Tubelight, the Bollywood adaptation of an American movie Little Boy (2015), is Khan’s fourth straight Eid release and his seventh since 2010.
As far as the Indian audiences are concerned, Salman Khan is metonymous with Eid and for distributors, Eid is metonymous with Salman Khan.
Genre :- Family Drama
Run-time :- 2 hrs 51 mins.
Cast :- Salman Khan, Matin Rey Tangu, Sohail Khan, Zhu Zhu, Om Puri, Yashpal Sharma, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.
Director :- Kabir Khan.
Plot –Tubelight, a drama set during the 1962 India-China war is about Laxman doing everything in his power to bring his brother Bharat back from the war zone, in one-piece.
Direction and Screenplay :-
From the actor-director duo who gave us blockbuster’s like Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, this is yet another instalment which if not anything will surely leave you teary eyed with the perfect concoction of emotions, drama, music and some first-rate performances.
The movie would’ve definitely fared better had the screenplay and narrative been tight enough to hit home.
Regardless, Tubelight splinters the boundaries of conventional Bollywood male machismo and presents a vulnerable but brave protagonist who lets his heart lead him through the complexities of the world around him.
Cinematographer Aseem Mishra has given a well-shot cinematic ode to the topography of a small town in Kashmir. A wonderful job capturing the gorgeous locales, stark beauty, even that of the war.
Pritam, a frequent collaborator with Kabir Khan, has struck gold with the compositions for this album.
‘Tinka Tinka’ bags a place in my favorites list for its emotionally potential lyrics and soulful voice of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
‘Naach Meri Jaan’ takes you to a gleeful headspace and is more like an invitation to celebrate the forthcoming festival, Eid.
‘Radio’ is just another crowd pulling song, aimed at getting stuck in your ears.
‘Main Agar’ could’ve been better with regards to the lyrics.
In one word: Addictive.
The Highs –
▶ To be honest, acting has not always been a strong point of this mainstream actor. But in recent years, we have been seeing a sea change in his attitude, persona and adroitness in acting. And this one surely falls under the list of sufficiently good acting by Salman Khan.
▶ The background music is garden-fresh and sets an ebullient mood right from the title sequence to the end credits .
▶ This one’s a tear jerker. Except one or two places, all the other scenes have a perfect blend of emotions and drama.
▶ Kabir never disappoints with his direction. Perfectly shot scenes coupled with above average special effects will make sure your eyes are glued to the celluloid.
▶ The chemistry between Matin-Salman and the real life siblings Sohail-Salman is one of the high points in this movie.
The Lows –
▶ The weakest thing about Tubelight is the pace. It is slow enough that it almost hit my snooze button. Well there are saving graces, but not enough to save this ship from sinking.
▶ The screenplay is very dry for it to strike the exact chord with the audience. Had there been a little more spice in this dish, it would’ve been more palatable.
▶ Salman has definitely worked hard in order to portray the character of an uncorruptible simpleton and it is evident in his performance. But there is a thin line between being ‘just right’ and going ‘over the top’ and Salman somehow breached it by tossing it over to the “now that’s completely unnecessary” zone.
▶ The movie had all the right ingredients to formulate a gripping narrative.
1) An opportunity to plant a sweet slap on racism.
2) Preaching the power of good intentions and belief.
3) A dekko at the lives of the menage of the army men.
Sadly, the film manages to do full justice to the last one and a moderately good representation of the second one.
▶ The role of Laxman is a step up from Salman’s ‘Bajrangi.’ Here, he takes off his Superstar cape, gets hit multiple times, weeps like a baby and adapts himself to the mould of a person lacking common sense and proper reasoning. It is no wonder that Salman Khan personifies innocent self-belief in the appearance of a pure hearted man child, and he nails it this time as well.
As far as execution and deliverance of emotions are concerned, he goes all Radhe (Tere Naam) on the naive Laxman. Notwithstanding the fact that he goes overboard in numerous scenes, his performance in few scenes is surreal, you’ll cry even before the ‘officially sad’ bits start.
▶ Matin Rey Tangu as Guo is a scene stealer. He will leave a trace of smile on your face everytime he is in the frame.
Also the chemistry between Salman and Matin is one of the best things about this movie.
▶ Sohail Khan justifies the role of Bharat (Salman’s younger brother) who is off to the battlefield to guard the nation. More could’ve been done with his character which seems underwritten.
▶ Zhu Zhu as Liling (Matin’s mother), makes the most of the limited opportunities the screenplay gives her.
▶ Late Om Puri as the father esque Uncle plays an enjoyable part in the movie.
▶ Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub plays the local rabble-rouser who beats up Laxman on a few occasions.
⏩ Watch o Not ?
Yes you may. Heres a heads up! Do not go expecting it to be as good as Bajrangi Bhaijaan, it certainly isn’t. But all the highlights surely makes up for a decent one time watch with your fam.
Its shine might be inconsistent, but when Tubelight does achieve full wattage, which is frequently enough to stand out, it does light up the screen. It does much more than just entertain by giving you takeaways to preach for life.
Warning: This life affirming movie is like a sob fest that won’t leave a dry eye on the seat. Do not attempt to watch it without tissues in easy reach.
Ratings – 2.9/5