Mumbai: After playing a simple Dalit man in `Aarakshan`, actor Saif Ali Khan returns as a spy in the thriller `Agent Vinod`, which is releasing Friday.
The film, made at a budget of approximately Rs.60 crore, has been shot in Russia and Switzerland, while in India it has been shot in Ladakh, Mumbai, Jaisalmer and Delhi. It took almost two years for Saif to complete the film.
Produced under Saif`s banner Illuminati Films, it also stars Kareena Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Prem Chopra, Ram Kapoor and Ravi Kishan.
The story begins with a series of seemingly unconnected events, all over the world. In Uzbekistan, an ex-KGB officer is murdered. In Cape Town, a group of international business tycoons are seen discussing that the dead officer had a nuclear suitcase bomb hidden away.
In Moscow, an Indian secret agent is exposed and is shot dead while he was trying to send a coded message to India.
In India, the head of RAW sees the incomplete message, which has only number 242. To solve the mystery, Agent Vinod (Saif) springs into action. He has a relatively different way of solving cases, which often puts him into dangerous circumstances, but he still manages to get crucial leads.
He is sent to Moscow to investigate why his colleague was killed, where he comes to know that a Russian money launderer called Abu Nazar (Ram) has sent $58 million to a contact in Morocco, for an operation against India. He immediately jets off to Morocco, where he bumps into Mafidsi Kazan (Prem Chopra) and Dr Ruby (Kareena). Kazan is part Greek, part Moroccan, and part Indian. He is a ruthless man running the drug trade in the Mediterranean.
A series of twists and turns take Vinod across the globe from Marrakech in Morocco to Riga in Latvia, Karachi, Delhi and finally London, where he discovers the ultimate conspiracy.
Directed by Sriram Raghavan, Saif will be seen performing some daredevilry stunts in `Agent Vinod`. A film with a similar title hit the screens in 1977, with actor Mahendra Sandhu playing the lead role.
The makers insist that the new "Agent Vinod" has no resemblance to the old one but a dialogue in the film is indeed dedicated to the yesteryear actor, where someone asks `Agent Vinod` about his name and he says "Mahendra Sandhu".
A lot of comparisons are being made between Hollywood`s "James Bond" movies and `Agent Vinod` but the makers are adamant that the character bears no resemblance to the British superspy.
Even before the release, `Agent Vinod` found itself embroiled in controversy after an Iranian music band Barobax slapped a legal notice against the makers and music composer Pritam Chakraborty for song "Pyaar Ki Pungi" over copyright violation.
The film caught attention for its sleek trailors, Kareena`s mujra song `Dil mufta ka` and, of course, its item number `Pyaar ki pungi` picturised on Saif.