Tubelight.... Betrays fans' faith

Tubelight is a slang used generally to refer to a person who is a slow-starter, takes time in grasping matters like jokes or a simple statement. In the film, Tubelight, Salman Khan's character, is described as such by one and all because nothing seems to get into his head. But, as the story unfolds, it belies its own title because, Salman is not just a slow-starter: he is a non-starter. Nothing gets into his mind.

Based on the Hollywood film, Little Boy (2015), it is a period film in that the story takes place during World War II. A young boy of eight and his father share an amazing love for each other. The father has to join the troops to fight the war in place of his older son. The boy, attached to his father, will do anything, go to any length so that the war comes to an end so that his father can come back.

Tubelight has followed Little Boy almost scene to scene and in the setting but takes the liberty to change the characters and relationships. In place of the father-son, Tubelight is about the bond between brothers. These liberties prove hard to live up to as the film proceeds.

Salman Khan, living in Kumaon in Uttarakhand in north India, is a halfwit who is slow to react to things. He is lonely and the butt of jokes of the whole town. That is till his mother delivers a son, and Salman now has a younger brother. Sohail Khan, though younger, protects Salman from all the bullies. The brothers become inseparable and complement each other.

The peaceful town suddenly comes alive as trouble is brewing on the north-east frontier and war with China looks inevitable. The army visits the town to appeal for recruits. A patriotic fervour takes over and a lot of young boys volunteer. Salman, for his slow take on everything, is rejected while Sohail makes the cut.

The film takes about 30 minutes from the start till now, which is when the real story is set to begin; that of Salman pining for his brother and looking for the ways to end the war so that Sohail can be brought back. This time taken to depict the undying bond between the brothers has not quite worked on the viewer.

While he was a child, Mahatma Gandhi had visited Kumaon and given a mantra to Salman, that if you have faith in yourself, you can make mountains move. This mantra is put to test when a magician, played by Shah Rukh Khan, visits the town. He needs a volunteer from the audience for a magic trick. Salman is the chosen volunteer and he has to use his self-belief to move a soda bottle put on a table. The feat only adds to Salman’s belief in what Gandhiji had said.

Then, there is also Om Puri, who gives tenets of Gandhiji to Salman to follow if he wants to be successful in bringing his brother back.

While Salman’s self-belief is being honed, a Chinese family of two, a young widow, Zhu Zhu, and her little son, Matin Rey Tangu, move into Kumaon. Having arrived from Calcutta, they settle in a distant cottage. Sceptical at first that the Chinese had invaded Kumaon, Salman decides to follow Gandhiji’s advice and makes friends with Matin and later with Zhu Zhu. No matter that the whole town hates these two Chinese just for being Chinese.

If all this sounds mundane and not like a story, that is because that is how it is. There is no movement, the film is at a standstill as Salman goes around proving his self-belief, spending time with the Chinese, inquiring about his brother with the army man, played by Yashpal Sharma, time and again, and getting ridiculed by the townsfolk.

Even while concluding the film, the director chooses to stretch things by adding unnecessary melodrama.

Tubelight starts with a wrong film as inspiration. The idea of superimposing Salman in place of an innocent young boy of eight in the WW II era braving all tests so that his father could return from the war backfires. Just making him an imbecile to fit into an eight year old’s character is not a sane idea.

The direction is poor with glitches galore. Borrowing an American film is fine, but also following the same sets is not. Kumaon town of 50s and 60s with English signboards on shops, bakery, Softy vending machine, direct dialling telephones is taking things for granted. War scenes are not convincing. While the war is being fought across Ladakh, half the army seems to be stationed in Kumaon, busy giggling!

Musically, the film has two decent numbers in Naachmerijaan….and Radio song. Dialogue is mundane. Set designing is patchy ad editing is poor. Cinematography complements the scenic location.

Salman Khan tries his best but this just is not his film, he disappoints his fans. Sohail Khan is still a non-actor. Sharma and Isha Talwar are okay. Zeeshan Ayub is the villain without a cause.

Zhu Zhu is good. Om Puri and Matin Rey are the only bright spots.

Tubelight offers none of the regular Salman feature like action, songs, comic situations, the things that make his films work. This film counts only on emotions which, sadly, are forced and fail to touch the viewer. Unreasonably high priced, Tubelight has little going for it despite Eid week.

Producers: Salma Khan, Salman Khan.

Director: Kabir Khan.

Cast: Salman Khan, Matin Rey Tangu, Om Puri, Sohail Khan, Yashpal Sharma, IshaTalwar, Mohammed ZeeshanAyub, Zhu Zhu, Brijendra Kala, Shah Rukh Khan (Sp. Appearance).

Latest Reads
Oddball Motion Pictures gets Rs 250 cr for film production

MUMBAI: Oddball Motion Pictures, founded by filmmaker Nitin Upadhyaya, announced its association with Chanda Group where the latter will be funding a seed capital of up to Rs 250 crore for the feature films and original digital video content that will be exclusively developed and produced by...

Movies Movies On Mutiple Platforms
Cast & crew of 21 sarfarosh: saragarhi 1897 celebrate army day with the 7th Battalion of sikh regiment of the indian army

The cast & crew of 21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897 commemorated the Army day with the Soldiers of Sikh regiment of Indian army. Actors Mohit Raina & Mukul Dev personally took the soldiers of the Sikh regiment on the tour of the set in Aamgaon where the epic battle of Saragarhi is currently...

Movies Hindi
Watch the world television premier of "Nirahua Hindustani"on 30th december at 1 PM only on Dabangg

SABGROUP’S foremost regional channel – Dabangg is geared for the World Television Premier of the highest revenue grossing Bhojpuri Blockbuster of all times, ‘Nirahua Hindustani’. The telecast will air on the 30th December,2017 at 1pm, followed by the repeat at 8pm.

Movies Hindi
BookMyShow reveals how India entertained itself in 2017

As the year comes to a close, BookMyShow looks back at what entertained India this year, from movies to plays, sports, events and music. In 2017, millions of Indians reached out to BookMyShow to meet their entertainment demands basis which the platform is delighted to present #Bestof2017*.

Movies Hindi
Catch Bollywood Actor Irrfan Khan this Week on Off Centre

MUMBAI: This week on Off Centre, Anuradha Sengupta talks to one of the finest Bollywood actors in the industry, Irrfan Khan. From being noticed and welcomed as a romantic lead after 22 years in business to his latest release and love, sex, romance in today’s time, he expresses his views and...

Movies Hindi
Zee Studios International's Secret Superstar hits it big in Taiwan

Zee Studios International has collected $700,681 from its release of Aamir Khan-starrer Secret Superstar in Taiwan, making the movie the widest Bollywood film in the country. The film, which also features Zaira Wasim, lit up the box office in India. The distribution company began the next phase of...

Movies Hindi
Zee Studio to premiere the post-apocalyptic horror drama - MAGGIE!

Zee Studio, the hollywood movie destination, brings the Indian television premiere of Maggie. Starring multi-award winner Arnold Schwarzenegger and Academy Award-nominee, Abigail Breslin, this post-apocalyptic drama premieres on 10 December 2017, Sunday at 12 noon and 9 pm.

Movies Hollywood
Demonetisation, decline in govt ads impact UFO Q2 numbers

BENGALURU: Indian digital cinema distribution network and in-cinema advertising platform UFO Moviez Ltd (UFO) reported a 12.8 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in consolidated operating revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18) as compared with the corresponding year ago...

Movies Movies On Mutiple Platforms
The modern day economics of film financing

Only 2 per cent of the total movies released in 2016 in the US were computer graphic (CG) animation, yet they grossed more than 21 per cent of the US box office collection. Strong animation brands have longer shelf-life and generate revenue for years.

Movies International

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories