Good : Locations , the concept , decent background score , Fine performances
Weakness : Ineffective screenplay , Quite pretentious dialogues, unnecessary songs , predictable plot and disappointing climax
Salman Khan: the star who has delivered a lot of commercial successes comes up with something different this time. Since this isn't usually what he delivers, I can't say that this film will turn out to be a big box office success. Largely because Indian audiences still don't understand what to expect from a film after seeing the trailer. The trailer already what kind of a film this one was going to. The negative reviews did make me doubt my choice of watching this film. But after I watched TUBELIGHT, I realized that it's indeed a very powerful and engaging film while it's entertaining too.
TUBELIGHT is not what one usually expects from a Salman Khan films, so obviously it might not impress everyone. But will definitely work for those who love emotional films. The emotional scenes are portrayed very well and almost every such scene brought tears in my eyes. Salman Khan is indeed the biggest strength of the film as it's hard to imagine someone else do the character he did. It's really commendable that he did something of this grade. Sohail Khan, the late Om Puri, Zeeshan Ayyub, Martin and Zhu Zhu give good performances and every character is very well written.
The story and screenplay of TUBELIGHT hold a lot of promise, and the film delivers on that front. The music is good. The action sequences are well filmed, and so are the locales captured. The editing is fine but could've been better towards the end as the pre-climax episode seems a little extended. But the film still holds your attention with the power of emotion and you leave your seat with a different experience. This must be enough to summarize how good the climax is.
Overall, TUBELIGHT is a different experience so it will definitely entertain those who love such kind of emotional war-action drama films. Salman Khan's name is enough to bring people to the theatres. And further, Kabir Khan's solid direction is enough to entertain them with something they'll love to take home.
The holy month of Ramadan has come to an end with the fast broken & the new moon sighted. So on this auspicious occasion of Eid Al Fitr, I would like to wish Allah's Rahmat on all my fellow brings for a peaceful & prosperous life. Apart from hogging on the goodies, one of the indispensable ways of celebrating a festival is watching a movie & when it comes to Bollywood, this day is invariably locked down for Salman. In accordance with the usual trend, Salman presents "Tubelight" this year hoping to add further light to the festivities. Hmm... but will it be able in the same league as his previous blockbusters???
Based on Alejandro Monteverde's "Little Boy", the tale is set against the backdrop of the Indo-China war in 1962. The protagonists were two brothers who lived in the misty town of Kumaon nestled in the hills. Laxman Singh (Salman Khan) is a man child (more along the lines of Forest Gump) who endeared to one & all due to his innocence & slow witted nature which gave him the nickname "Tubelight". He was looked after by his protective younger brother, Bharat (Sohail Khan) & life seemed to move along peacefully until war broke out between the two neighbouring nations. As it was the need of the hour, there was large induction of youth into the army & Bharat happened to be one of them. Even though reluctant to leave his brother, Bharat heads into the war zone. Since he feared for his brother's well being, Laxman makes efforts to bring his brother back home. But will the two brothers ever meet again???
After the bombastic success of "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", Kabir Khan has yet again joined hands with Salman for their third collaboration. If "Little Boy" had a 8 year old kid as the protagonist then Kabir Khan used his creative freedom & financial acumen to make it into a guy in his early 50s. The primary flaw here is that there isnt a credible thread to the script & it's all about Laxman putting his faith to the test (except that it came across as rather trivial). In such a scenario, the 136 minute long movie tests our patience which should have been taken care of by Rameshwar Bhagat. On the brighter side, I did like Pritham's tracks which was in sync with the mood created while Aseem Mishra has done a decent job with the visuals.
There is no doubt that Salman excels when he plays characters which exudes innocence & has a heart of gold. However, over here there were more emotionally charged sequences & he seemed rather inept at it; though we will still take a liking for his character's simplicity. Salman's scenes with Matin Rey Tenga worked out pretty well & the boy has given an impressive performance. Surprisingly, Sohail Khan has done a fine job in the few scenes that he appeared. The late Om Puri, Zhu Zhu, Zeeshan Ayub etc have all done justice to their parts. Shah Rukh's cameo as a magician was fantastic as he fitted the character perfectly.
Verdict: The weekend got off to a great start for Salman as "Sultan" won the best action movie award at the Shanghai International Film Festival. However, he wouldnt have got a similar high from "Tubelight" as the opening day collection was one of the lowest for his Eid releases. Well it's definitely not surprising due to the reasons mentioned earlier. In short, it is yakeen to fall well short of expectations!!!
Kabir Khan's films are always based on magnification of a small idea that looks good on theory, but becomes preposterous on reel. His latest Bollywood feature drama is the newest example.
Laxman (Salman Khan) is a dim-witted young man who lives with his younger brother Bharat (Sohail Khan) in a small North Indian town. He is called "tubelight" by his fellow town-dwellers because of his doltish nature and his inability to muster general things at the usual human pace. Bharat knows that his brother needs his support to survive, but still enlists himself for the army. With no one else to go to, Laxman now finds solace in a young boy named Guo (Matin Rey Tangu) who everybody misguidedly thinks hails from China, a neighboring country which India is currently at war with.
Director Khan, along with co-writer Parveez Sheikh, narrate a straightforward story here and try to exaggerate it beyond limits. The basic idea that they try to convey is about Laxman's undying love for his brother and his unabashed faith in this love that will possibly help his brother come back hale and hearty post the war. As stated earlier, while that story looks good on paper, watching the Khan brothers enact it with a couple of supporting actors (albeit talented) is real pain. Mostly because the whole drama is highfalutin nonsense that does not induce any kind of emotion, let alone tears. An added dash of ambiguous magical realism does not help either, as one will find out if one manages to finish watching the film.
Although, the film is too politically correct to not appeal to the average Indian audience. Of course, it may not matter to the international crowd, but when the makers inculcate thoughts of patriotism (nationalism, if I may) into the dialogues, one knows what the story is trying to achieve, and thus pay attention. One could look at this film as a message to the several unpatriotic citizens of India who should sign up for the army and look for Laxman's prayers to stay alive. Utter nonsense! Forget what's in the epitaph and hail the country!
At the end, however, one realizes that all that Laxman did was fool around with his new friend and his friend's mother. For an average film-goer, the experience would be foggy, unsatisfying, and deeply disappointing because of factors that are not only related to a poor script. The quality of acting is not that great either. Watching Salman Khan wince as he tries to act like a half-witted grown-up is cringe-worthy. The popular notion that he cannot act might finally be becoming more apparent. His brother Sohail has a small yet pivotal role, and he too seems over-occupied. Supporting actors Om Puri, Zeeshan Ayyub, Zhu Zhu, Tangu, and Brijendra Kala put up a better show.
The score is ambient, but the songs did add to the stupidity of the entire 2-hour long show. I am personally not against songs in Bollywood films, but when they are unnecessary, it's better to leave them out. Some exciting shots of northern locales of India, but other than that, it's just Salman and his borderline mockery.
Overall, there are far too many negatives in this film, which is a remake of a 2015 Mexican film called Little Boy. Even if you are optimistic about the Kabir-Salman duo or are a fan of any of the actors, skipping it would be in the best of your interests. Do not even watch the original.
BOTTOM LINE: Kabir Khan's "Tubelight" must be an ambitious project, considering that it released during a big festival time in India, but as standalone cinema it does not hold any ground. You might as well switch off this tube light.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
One of the ducks for Bollywood... No such emotion in this slow motion... No lights lit till the end of tubelight