Yes, the article's headline reveals two MAJOR CAMEOS (there's a third one too), but unless you've been living under a rock, it's no surprise that Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan make appearances in Tiger 3. Shah Rukh Khan's cameo was teased in Pathaan, when Salman Khan's Tiger sought his help for a mission after rescuing him from Russian captors. Reports suggested a bigger action sequence featuring the two in Tiger 3, which I'll delve into shortly. Tiger 3 Movie Review: Not Even Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan Cameo Can Save Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif's Dullest Entry Into YRF Spy Universe.
Regarding Hrithik Roshan, it was just a week before the film's release that both Variety and Pinkvilla broke the news about his cameo in Tiger 3. Even if you only heard the news without reading the report, you'd easily guess the superstar's appearance in a post-credit scene teasing the upcoming War 2, which is precisely what happens. So, before discussing their cameos and their relevance to the YRF Spy Universe and upcoming films, brace yourself for MAJOR SPOILERS ahead...
Before the interval, Tiger is captured by Pakistani forces for stealing nuclear codes for Emraan Hashmi's antagonist, Atish Rehman. He finds a Morse code in his cell's flickering light, recognising it's from Pathaan. A familiar theme plays, and Tiger anticipates his rescue.
Tiger escapes using a makeshift explosive. Surrounded by enemy soldiers, a bomb shaped like a cricket ball with an inbuilt transistor drops, playing "Jhoom Jo Pathaan," then explodes. Pathaan arrives hanging from a container airlifted to the site. He rescues Tiger, and they attempt a Sholay-style escape on a side-car bike, facing more enemies on a bridge.
After banter, Pathaan maneuvers a bike into an attacking chopper as Tiger combats foes on the bridge. Tiger nearly falls off the bridge but clings on. Pathaan crashes the chopper on remaining enemies, leaping out with a parachute. Catching Tiger in mid-air, they share a moment before parting ways. Tiger 3: Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan's Cameos in Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif's Film LEAKED on Social Media Ahead of Its India Release!
In what perhaps is a strange yet quirky tradition it borrows from War, Tiger and Pathaan share some pretty gay vibes while they descend sharing the same parachute, as they lock their eyes mid-air. While bidding goodbye, Tiger even tells Pathaan he looks good when the wind caresses his tresses. Ahem... ahem...
Pathaan offers to help Tiger with whatever he is doing in Islamabad. For reasons best known to him, Tiger declines his help and tells him to be in India where he is needed. Since Pathaan is already in the enemy state and has just done a daring act of espionage and there is no hint of anything crucial happening back home, we wonder what made Tiger reject the offer. Of course, we already know the answer. This is a Tiger movie, so even if Pathaan is free, we have to push him somewhere else for flimsy reasons.
Another thing to note here, is that this sequence is very similar to how Tiger rescues Pathaan in Pathaan, except there, the action is mostly set on a train but the beats are very much similar. Makes you wonder why the makers couldn't find a more ingenious manner to include Pathaan in the film, instead of just repeating what happened in his movie but with much lesser impact.
Also, the film doesn't really set up anything that would live upto the title of their next crossover - Tiger vs Pathaan. Tiger and Pathaan part on very friendly terms, and by the end of Tiger 3, Tiger has once again acquitted himself of any treachery in front of the Indian government.
Now coming to the actual setup of the next installment of YRF Spy Universe...
The mid-credits scene features Colonel Luthra (Ashutosh Rana) calling someone from a darkened office, revealed to be Kabir. The telephonic conversation intercuts with a cloaked man battling goons in a neon-lit alley. Luthra briefs him on a mission to take down an unknown, extremely dangerous enemy. He warns of dire consequences, where even if Kabir survives, there will be no redemption.Then Kabir takes the cloak off his head, and we finally get to see the intense face of the man. A long shot of him shows a sign-board behind glitching to read 'Hell Here' instead of 'Hello There'. Looks like Kabir will be going through some serious hell in War 2. War 2: Pics and Videos From Sets of Hrithik Roshan and Jr NTR’s Upcoming Film Leak Online.
It is interesting to note that the whole fight, or whatever little is shown, including Kabir's cloaked appearance, reminded us of Hawkeye turning Ronin and going after the Yakuza in Avengers: Endgame in terms of its lighting, tone and setup.
Watch the Scene From Avengers: Endgame Below:
So Jr NTR's character the 'dangerous villain' Luthra was warning Kabir about? What kind of a hellish mission is he giving him that even if he comes alive, there would be no redemption for Kabir? Guess we will have to wait for the answers when War 2, directed by Ayan Mukherji and co-starring Kiara Advani, will land in theatres in 2024.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 12, 2023 08:27 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).