Tubelight (2017) : Movie Review
Tubelight : Imagine if Aamir Khan had played an overgrown dyslexic kid in ‘Taare Zameen Par’ (instead of master Darsheel Safary) and let his brother Faisal Khan play his teacher and mentor, what would have been the outcome of that film? Unthinkable, rite!! Salman does just that with his latest eid release.
Tubelight, an official remake of the American film ‘Little Boy’ (2015), was actually a story of an innocent kid who feels he has the kinetic power to move a mountain and bring his father back from the war front. This plot would’ve worked perfectly with a Harshaali like child from ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ (2015) longing for her soldier dad Salman Khan. But here, Bhai decides to play the little boy and turn the army man in to his bro Sohail. It’s hara-kiri of sorts for the superstar who messes up the character big time. As for Sohail, he performs as effectively (!!!!) as Faisal Khan had in Aamir’s ‘Mela’ (2000).
Playing an overgrown man-child named Laxman but called Tubelight for his dimwit, Salman Khan cries and wails through most of the film. Worse, when he tries to telepathically move a mountain by waving his hands while making constipated sounds, it appears downright ridiculous.
Indeed, it’s a fatally flawed decision to cast Salman in such rotlu role and completely strip him of his usual histrionics which include the trademark swagger, witty one liners and a shirtless torso. Remember even Rajini Sir couldn’t pull off the offbeat ‘Baba’ (2002) when he tried to step out of his comfort zone and here, Salman Khan is likely to go the same way. His hard core fans will certainly be disappointed to see their bhai in such an avatar.
Co-writer and director Kabir Khan manages to drive home the dual message of ‘faith can move mountains’ and ‘spread peace not war’. Certain scenes like an army officer (Yashpal Sharma) wishing for the war to end so both sides can go back to their families tugs your heart.
On the other hand, the ‘hindi chini’ bromance stirred up in form of a side story involving a Chinese lady (Zhu Zhu, promising debut) and her beta (Matin, cute enough) isn’t given the right culmination. A rather juvenile attempt is made to evoke laughs by naming the chinese kiddo Guu. Shah Rukh Khan is roped in for a special appearance with Salman Khan but their reunion after twenty two years lacks the ‘Karan Arjun’ (1995) spunk.
On the positive, Aseem Mishra’s cinematography is breathtaking. The late Om Puri impresses in his last screen appearance. And the Radio song makes you ecstatic enough to clap out loud. Sadly, the rest of Tubelight doesn’t!