Agent 007 Vinod

By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, July 18 -- Sriram Raghavan is currently shooting the last schedule of his forthcoming spy thriller, Agent Vinod. And the hardest part, he confesses, was filming the action sequences, locations of which span various countries.

"There are more than half a dozen action set-pieces in the film. It has been tough to shoot them because we've mostly filmed in live and crowded locations. We've shot a fight in a Sri Lankan brothel, an assassination in Morocco and a ten-minute chase sequence on the streets of Riga in Latvia, apart from others," says Raghavan, who is working with Saif Ali Khan after the 2004 release Ek Hasina Thi.

The Johnny Gaddar (2007) director admits that he and actor-producer Khan are both huge fans of the Bond franchise. And while many have drawn parallels between the many-decades-old series and the upcoming thriller, Raghavan doesn't call Vinod Bond. " We hope that our film gives viewers the excitement that a Bond film does. It promises great action, cool lines, a super villain, exotic locations and of course, the Bond girls," says Raghavan, naming The Spy Who Loved Me as his favourite Bond film, which along with all the other parts are on air as part of Star Movies's 'Forever Bond' festival at 11pm every night.

In the film, Khan plays a seasoned RAW agent, Vinod. And even though the concept clearly provides blatant opportunity for a franchise, Raghavan hasn't given it much thought. "It has the potential, though it's too early to talk about it. We don't explain how Vinod became an agent. He's a real person and of course, has a past that we hint at. I can think of a dozen adventures that a spy can tackle," says the filmmaker, hopeful of taking his story forward.

Recalling the serial blasts that took place in the city on Wednesday, he adds, "In these troubled times, it's assuring to know that there's this solid spy out there, doing dangerous things to save our lives... if not in real, at least in fiction." Without revealing much, he confirms that the nuclear crisis did play a part in inspiring Agent Vinod: "Yes, it did, but I'd not like to elaborate on that so soon. The story is contemporary and very real, though we hope there's flamboyance in the presentation."

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