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Apparently, in the beginning, the leading lady's role in Agent Vinod was relatively less substantial than Saif's.
Says a source, "In fact Kareena wasn't sure she wanted to do Agent Vinod because the title clearly indicated whom the film belonged to. But Saif convinced Kareena that her role would be on a par with his. Then he convinced Sriram with whom Saif has a deep rapport since they did Ek Hasina Thi together, to make sure Kareena's presence in the film is justified."
Quiz Kareena about this, and she laughs, "Do you think I'd agree to be part of the film if my role was not as exciting as Saif's? I mean, can you imagine what would happen? Saif and I will be smoldering-hot in Agent Vinod. Even the posters will be designed to highlight us as the coolest hot pair."
Clearly, after Rensil D'Silva's terrorist drama in which Saif and Kareena look and act very real, the pair is in no mood to get into the authentic space once again.
But here's where the problem sets in. While Kareena and Saif are looking to do a high-gloss big-budget espionage thriller, director Sriram Raghavan is looking at making a gritty life-like spy drama.
Says Raghavan, "I grew up watching those really filmy spy films like Farz, Aankhen, Yakeen and of course the Rajshris' Agent Vinod. I've been fascinated by the genre. However, times have changed and so have definitions of espionage. My film will occupy a more real space."
He admits his spy drama will be more in the mood of Mani Shankar's recent Mukhbir than the old Agent Vinod. At the same time Raghavan admits the high budget of the new-age Agent Vinod forbids any over experimentation, "I've never worked on this kind of a budget before. And I can't afford to be experimental. The market has to be kept in mind. So there will be music and songs. But no lip sync songs."
With Saif wanting to be Tom Cruise and Kareena looking as hot as Nicole Kidman in his arms, Sriram Raghavan could be heading for more excitement than he bargained for when he starts shooting in July.