Many questions attach themselves to Ek Tha Tiger. Will director Kabir Khan, known for his non-formulaic approach, give us Salman Khan like we’ve not seen him or is he going to run with the Khan charisma? (If reports from the sets are to be believed, Khan has done his best to see that the movie has the Salman stamp all over it. And you know what that means.)

Will this film hit Rs. 200 crore? (If the execrable Ready could hit Rs 100 crore solely on the strength of Salman power, anything’s possible.)

Will Salman’s pairing with Katrina Kaif regain its on-screen sizzle now that they are allegedly no longer an item? (Khan vouches for the chemistry; up to you to believe him or not.)

Will it, gulp, be another Agent Vinod, filled with mysterious RAW agents, world-threatening secrets and lots of surreptitious dashing across the globe? (By the looks of it, mercifully, no. But who can be sure?)

Will Ek Tha Tiger break the spell of the silly season (Jism 2, Kya Super Kool Hain Hum, Bol Bachchan)? (This is probably the safest answer: Yes, going by Kabir Khan’s directorial record, which includes Kabul Express, New York and a documentary titled the Forgotten Army.)

Warfare in all its shades seems to be a continuing theme in Kabir Khan’s films. His latest delves into a covert form: the world of espionage. Tiger, a RAW agent, is dispatched on a mission to keep an eye on a scientist of Indian origin suspected of leaking secrets to — who else? — Pakistan. As a by-product, he also falls in love. The object of his affections is Zoya (Katrina Kaif), a student of dance at Dublin’s Trinity College.

But the path of true love will have to deal with another man: Shenoy (Girish Karnad), RAW head and Tiger’s mentor, who doesn’t approve. Tiger’s buddy (Ranvir Sheorey) adds to the cross currents. In The End, hopefully, Tiger will ensnare the girl, the villain and assorted traitors. In raw Salman style.

Bottomline: Khan has done his best to see that the movie has the Salman stamp all over it. And you know what that means

Ek Tha Tiger

Cast: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Girish Karnad, Ranvir Sheorey

Director: Kabir Khan

Releases: August 15, 2012