Popcornversations: (Travel) Agent Vinod

Our unreliable source, ‘Agent Pramod’ claims to have discovered this transcript of telephonic conversation between actor Saif Ali Khan and Shriram Raghvan, the guy who directed gems like ‘Ek Haseena Thi’ and ‘Johny Gaddar’. The authenticity of the source is surely doubtful, but after watching the film ‘Agent Vinod’, this nonsense transcript suddenly makes sense.  

Saif Ali Khan: I want you to direct my film where I play a different role…James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy type….
Shriram Raghvan: Mahendra Sandhu chalega?
SAK: Who’s Mahendra Sandhu?
SR: Agent Vinod. It was a hit in the eighties. I have a story inspired from this film…story of a spy who travels from one country to the other…around a dozen of locations.
SAK: Well you might as well title it as ‘Travel Agent Vinod’!
SR: I am serious.
SAK: Even I am…just imagine…a travel agent who’s actually a spy.
SR: Travel agents need not be globetrotters.
SAK: That’s the twist. By the way, twist reminds me of ‘Twist’ song in Love Aaj Kal. I’ll ask Pritam to copy his own song instead of Korean films.
SR: He must have already done that. I’ll ask him to explore Iranian tunes…I recently gifted him a CD of Boney M and some Iranian DVDs…hope he’s able to lift something and pull it off.
SAK: Perfect! How about Rasputin by Boney M? Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen…there was a cat that really was gone…Ra Ra Rasputin…Russia’s greatest love machine…It was a shame how he carried on.
SR: Great idea. But I am worried about the ‘Ra Ra’ part. People haven’t recuperated from the RA One syndrome and might mistake our film as yet another video game…
SAK: Bingo! There you go! This is exactly what I have on my mind. Let’s make Agent Vinod like a video game hero.
SR: But my concept was something else…
SAK: There’s always scope for a sequel Raghvan…we’ll make it in 3D!
SR: The leading lady will also be a spy who outsmarts this guy…you know…not a mate, but checkmate.
SAK: Nah…she would be a spy, but a victim…intense look…teary eyes…Kareena will do ‘Dev’ act again.
SR: But I had some other young actor in mind while writing the character.
SAK: What do you mean ‘young actor’? Isn’t Kareena young enough?
SR: I meant to say…okay…done…so the story goes like…
SAK: Oh stop worrying about story Raghvan. We are creating an action video game where the hero showers bullets all the time without dishevelling the pleat of his hair or crease of his shirt. The hero keeps disguising and outsmarting people.
SR: What happens next? Won’t the audience smell the rat and make out that there’s no story?
SAK: Before the audience figures out what’s happening, we’ll change the location…from Morocco to Moscow, Somalia to Latvia, Afganistan to Pakistan, and London to India. We can add some nuclear bomb angle in the story and make some business honcho the main culprit…play some cat and mouse game between the terrorists and the hero. Write anything Raghvan, doesn’t matter much….
SR: That’s right. Exotic locations captured by cinematographer C K Muraleedharan edited by Pooja Ladha Surti, action by Peter Heins and Parvez Khan, interesting pop-up characters played by ace actors like Ravi Kisen, Ram Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, and Co., background score by Daniel B. George, what else do people want!
SAK: Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment.
SR: You mean a cameo by Vidya Balan?
SAK: Nope. Mujra song by Kareena Kapoor. We’ll also have a music video kind of sequence where bullets are firing around us and a love ballad is being played in the background….
SR: But you said she’ll play a sobbing and majboor girl…I already have a mujra sequence and decided upon the actor.
SAK: No issues, Kareena will dance along with her.
SR: But two actors in a mujra sequence…?
SAK: Who’s the producer?
SR: Agreed…better Saif than sorry.


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