Cast: Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Om Puri, Zhu Zhu, Matin Ray Tangu
Director: Kabir Khan
Production House: Salman Khan Films
Tubelight is the story of a man-child, or more accurately, a child-like man dealing with the absence of his war-fighting brother set in the era of the 1962 Indo-Sino conflict through which director Kabir Khan (The brain behind Bajrangi Bhaijaan and, my personal favorite, New York) attempts to emphasise on the innate power of human faith, ridicule the rationale of war and promote mutual love across nationalities.
The intention has been noble, and the dressing of the film has been beautiful, but it is nowhere enough to take your eyes off the unengaging storyline. Salman, as we recall, had taken inspiration from real children (Well, duh!) and tried to photocopy their nuances in order to get his character right, but we have to say that his attempt is in no way worth your money. We felt that only if Salman would have been serious about his character and instead taken inspiration from real life cases of developmentally challenged middle-aged adults instead of hanging around with toddlers, he would have been at least watchable.
It was evident that Salman was trying hard to justify his character, from which, frankly, we could smell a bit of desperation. However, if there was anything good that came out of the superstar cast, it was the magician (Shah Rukh Khan) who was a tad bit engaging, in spite of playing the exact same character as the one in 2015’s Hollywood flick Little Boy, of which Tubelight is a faithful adaptation. (Mind you, Little Boy bombed at the box office, even though it really had a little boy who was testing his power of belief, which was somewhat justified)
We couldn’t emphasise enough on the stellar performances put up by the underrated Sohail Khan, the veteran unsung hero late Om Puri, the star of art-house cinema Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Zhu Zhu and the adorable Matin Ray Tangu, although the entry of the last two felt a little bit too convenient to promote the Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai sentiment, which, we felt, would have worked in the 90’s.
It is a shame that in an era where the audience is getting smarter by the day and are seeking some kind of mental/emotional stimulation to compliment the entertaining factor of films, filmmakers are, GOD knows why resorting to shallow storylines and relying on star power for the film to be a success more than ever.
Overall, if you’re ready for the heroic task of overlooking Salman’s utterly irritating acting and maintain your focus on the other characters, especially the drool-worthy Shah Rukh Khan, Tubelight is the film for you. Else, pretend that this movie was never made and wait for Salman’s Christmas release.
Our Rating: 1/5 Stars