Saif had promised himself that whenever he did an action film it would be something that would make his kids sit on the edge of their seat. He is living up to his self-promise. It now comes to light that Saif will change his bodyline, muscle-tone and weight to a radical extent for every major action sequence in Agent Vinod. While for the recently-concluded sequences shot in and around locations in the outdoors of Delhi, Saif was athletic and agile on his feet, now for the next bout of action, a one-to-one combat where the camera will focus on Saif's brawn quotient in tight close-ups, he will work building those rippling muscles.
Director Sriram Raghavan admits that Saif has been making those seemingly impossible physical transitions and leaps for different phases. "For the Delhi schedule, we needed Saif to be on the run. These were all sequences shot in heavy traffic with real crowds. Saif had to be in and out of camera range at full speed. For the next schedule the action sequences are of a different nature. They require a different physicality. Saif is working on it...and quite happily. Doing an espionage film is a childhood dream come-true for him...and for me too. We've kept the action in the realistic space. None of the fights and stunts would be outlandish."
This explains why the action sequences require different body structures and language from Saif.
Says Sriram, "Saif is most happy to comply. It is our biggest challenge to do a spy film that is exciting and edgy and yet real. We do have VFX (visual effects).We recently shot a house being blown up. Now we need to shoot the interior portions of that sequence. Saif and I did a completely different film together in the past (Ek Haseena Thi).For both of us, Agent Vinod is a different epic world. We're shooting the action sequences in an authentic location and physical space."
There were reports from Delhi that the Agent Vinod crew completely disrupted shooting in key outdoor locations of Delhi earlier this month.
"Not true," Sriram Raghavan protests. "Yes, there was a traffic problem on the Barapullah flyover. So we packed up and returned on the day of the World Cup semi-finals when the flyover was relatively empty. And so what if we missed the match? We got some extraordinary candid shots."
Unknown to everyone except the immediate cast and crew of Agent Vinod, Saif Ali Khan is working towards making the film the ultimate espionage film, on a par with the Don series but far more realistic. And yes, Agent Vinod too will have a Part 2. Saif hopes to make Agent Vinod a franchise on a par with Shah Rukh's Don.
Interestingly, Don 2 opens two weeks after Agent Vinod releases on December 9. According to sources, though both the films are in the same espionage genre, Saif is working toward giving his spy's character a kind of life beyond James Bond.
Says a source, "Agent Vinod is a far more believable spy .Don has a roving eye...a kind of 'Spy Who Loved Meat'. Vinod is a one-woman man. That the woman happens to be Kareena, is just coincidental."
If Don is the ultimate comic book actioner, Agent Vinod will occupy a different head-space. Saif is making sure of that. He has charted out a different body-tone for his character in the various action sequences.
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