So, you’re sitting in the theater, munching on your popcorn, ready for the movie to begin. Suddenly, an unfamiliar logo flashes across the screen – “YRF (Yash Raj Films) Spy Universe.” You’re like, “Umm, what’s that all about?”
But then the movie starts and you’re introduced to Pathaan (played by the one and only Shah Rukh Khan) and things are looking good. But wait! Suddenly, there’s a mention of Kabir (played by the oh-so-handsome Hrithik Roshan) and you’re like “What’s going on here?”
And then, just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, BAM! Salman Khan makes a grand entrance as “Tiger” and the whole theater erupts in cheers. Suddenly, it all clicks – “Pathaan” is part of a larger cinematic universe that includes “Ek Tha Tiger,” “Tiger Zinda Hai,” and “War.” In other words, it’s all connected, baby!
‘Ek Tha Tiger’ And ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’
So, “Pathaan” has made it clear that “Ek Tha Tiger” was the first in the YRF Spy Universe franchise. And let’s just say, the story wasn’t exactly Shakespeare. It’s basically about Tiger (from the Indian spy agency RAW) and Zoya (from the Pakistani spy agency ISI) who meet while on a mission in Dublin.
Tiger is supposed to kill Zoya because they’re both after the same bad guy, but of course, they fall in love. Fast forward to a UN meeting in Istanbul and they finally confess their love, but they know their countries won’t be cool with that because of their nationalities.
So, they go on the run with RAW and ISI hot on their heels. But, here’s the twist, they’re so good at their spy game that they manage to outsmart both agencies and disappear into the unknown.
“Tiger Zinda Hai” was like a spy movie on steroids! Tiger and Zoya were living the life in a cozy cabin in Austria, but when they heard that some nurses were in trouble, they couldn’t resist the call of adventure. Tiger brought along his crew of RAW agents and Zoya brought her crew of ISI agents, and together they saved the day!
They fought off terrorists, saved the nurses and even added a new member to their family – a little boy named Hassan who they saved from a suicide bombing mission. By the end of the movie, Tiger and Zoya were living it up in Greece with their two boys and leaving their espionage days behind. It was like a spy movie fairytale!
“War” the latest addition to the YRF Spy Universe, is a thrilling ride that follows the cat-and-mouse game between Major Kabir (Hrithik Roshan) and his former protégé, Captain Khalid (Tiger Shroff). Kabir, a rogue agent, is on a mission to expose India’s connection to a shady terrorist/businessman named Rizwan Ilyasi (Mashhoor Amrohi).
In the process, he takes down several high-ranking government officials, leaving Khalid with the task of hunting him down. But, things aren’t as they seem, as it turns out the Khalid we’ve been following is actually an imposter named Saurabh (Yash Raaj Singh) who underwent plastic surgery to take Khalid’s place after killing the real deal in a previous mission.
The film ends with Kabir defeating Saurabh and going off to take down terrorist Farid Haqqani on his own, while also enjoying a surf session with the daughter of his deceased lover, Naina (Vaani Kapoor) named Ruhi (Dishita Sehgal).
“War” and “Tiger Zinda Hai” are like two puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly! As a newbie to the Tiger Zinda Hai universe, I may have missed some of the connections between the two movies. For example, the mission of Kabir and the RAW agents in War took place in the same location as the entire Tiger Zinda Hai movie.
And with Abu Usman out of the picture, it’s possible that Haqqani is the new big bad guy in town. Also, it was pretty cool to see Anupriya Goenka play two different roles in both movies. In Tiger Zinda Hai, she played Poorna and in War she played Aditi.
And while it could just be a coincidence, it’s possible that Aditi was a secret agent who was undercover among the nurses and didn’t reveal her true identity to Tiger or his team. Finally, let’s not forget the not-so-subtle jokes that made me chuckle.
Like the fact that Tiger’s team was kept in room 69 and the elevator code was 80085 (which if you know your calculator, you’ll understand the joke). Overall, it’s exciting to see how these movies connect and what other Easter eggs we can discover!
When we first met Jim, the leader of the sneaky terrorist group Outfit X, we were all like “Whoa, wait a minute! We thought this dude was dead!” Turns out, he was just on a little hiatus from RAW (the Indian intelligence agency). But before he took off, he was one of their top dogs, just like Major Kabir.
And get this, they even worked under the same boss, Colonel Luthra. But here’s where things get juicy, Jim had a little grudge against RAW and India because they didn’t save his pregnant wife and unborn child from some Somali terrorists. So, he faked his death and went undercover to seek revenge. I
t’s like a soap opera, but with more explosions and secret agents. And let’s not forget Pathaan’s hilarious typo, “boobles” instead of “rubel”, hahaha!
Let’s be real, Tiger’s appearance in “Pathaan” was a total crowd-pleaser! I mean, who doesn’t love a good Salman Khan cameo? Plus, these two Bollywood bigwigs have been buds since way back in 1995’s “Karan Arjun.” Talk about a throwback!
In “Pathaan,” the two even recreated a scene from the film as they ran alongside each other after a train brawl. Tiger even gave a nod to the iconic “Bhaag Arjun bhaag” line by yelling “Bhaag Pathaan bhaag” during their fight on top of the train.
And let’s not forget the epic “War” theme that played in the background, giving a nod to the franchise’s musical connection. As Pathaan and Rubina (played by Deepika Padukone) infiltrate Jim’s hideout in Afghanistan, Pathaan even brings up the recurring theme of RAW agents falling for ISI agents, a trope that started with Tiger and Zoya and continues with Pathaan and Rubina.
And in the film’s closing moments, Colonel Luthra even mentions Tiger and Kabir’s names as he tasks Pathaan with forming a team of former soldiers to fight off various threats. Talk about a connected universe!
What Can We Expect From ‘Tiger 3’ And Future YRF Spy Universe Movies?
Looks like “Tiger 3” is going to be a wild ride, folks! With Diwali 2023 around the corner, it’s almost certain that Tiger and Pathaan are going to team up for a massive mission. And who knows, we might even see Shah Rukh Khan join in on the action alongside Salman Khan, bringing some painkillers and other goodies to keep themselves going.
As for who Tiger’s working for now, it’s a bit of a mystery. We know that Shenoy, played by the late Girish Karnad, was Tiger’s boss, but with him gone, the character has been retired. But we did see Dimple Kapadia’s character, Ma’am, filling Pathaan in on Tiger’s arrival, so it’s likely that Tiger was still in contact with her.
But since she’s also not with us anymore, there’s a chance we might see a brand new character stepping in as Tiger’s confidant. Or maybe Tiger and Zoya will be on their own, who knows!
One thing’s for sure, Tiger’s not ready to retire just yet. And with Junior and Hassan growing up, it’ll be interesting to see how they balance parenthood and spy work. Will be a treat to watch!
Looks like Hrithik Roshan is busy working on a new film called “Fighter” with Deepika Padukone, but I’m crossing my fingers that he makes a surprise cameo in “Tiger 3”! I have a feeling that YRF is holding off on the ultimate trifecta of Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Hrithik Roshan for “War 2”, but a little sneak peek in “Tiger 3” would be pretty sweet.
It’s clear from Pathaan and Tiger’s convo that this Spy Universe is the place to be for Indian action stars, and I’m pretty sure the only one who can hold his own against these three heavyweights is Tiger Shroff. I can’t wait to see where this franchise goes and all these action stars steal the spotlight on the big screen.