Thugs of Hindostan is definitely the movie with the most lavish budget and probably the most hyped movie of this year. It had a high-profile star cast, two item numbers by Katrina Kaif, the promise of a story-line, and witty dialogues (as per the trailer). All elements that make a hit were present. It seemed like India could have its own Pirates of the Caribbean.
Let’s review Thugs of Hindostan by by going through all its counterparts individually.
However, the reality could be no farther from our expectations. One of the weakest points of the movie was its predictable plot. This is surprising more so when it’s an Aamir Khan movie in question. Even though his performance was deemed commendable by many a critic, he seemed to have ventured away from his offbeat didactic story-line and delivered a very masala, very Bollywood flick to his fans.
Considering that the story-line spoke of the British Rule (probably the only history lesson every Indian knows very well) it was littered with many factual inaccuracies. While creators of fiction are allowed liberties when it comes to facts, creators of TOH seemed to be exploiting this liberty. They did so while not delivering much of a thrilling adventure as promised. The plot twists and progression didn’t seem much above the level of a novice writer.
The quality of visuals enticed nearly every viewer. It boasted of even better CGI than the Blockbuster ‘Baahubali’. The lead seemed to be carrying out some difficult stunts with panache and the action sequences seemed Hollywood-esque.
As per reviews of audiences and critics alike, the cinematography along with Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan’s acting is the only saving grace of the movie. In terms of visual appeal, the movie has outdone every other Bollywood movie. In this respect, there is hope for future Bollywood movies that wish to portray larger-than-life settings. The visuals have done justice to the budget. But cinematography can only go so far when it comes to a below par narrative.
Many movies that don’t really achieve great Box-Office success end up being remembered for their music. TOH had the added advantage of a catchy number featuring Katrina Kaif. However, not a single song from the soundtrack made it to my playlist. ‘Suraiyya’ didn’t manage to garner the hype Katrina Kaif’s item numbers usually do.
Speaking of ‘Miss Kaif’ (with sarcasm overloaded), I think, now she has established herself as a good dancer and eye candy. I think it’s silly of audiences to even expect substantial acting from her. While her dance performance wasn’t bad at all, what was painful was how forced her presence seemed in the script. Thankfully it’s not long drawn.
In a movie, where there isn’t much to praise, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan’s acting does deserve a special mention. While they were limited by the plot and were victims of bad editing, they clearly showed what acting talent and years of experience ensues. Specially when it comes to roles like these where the characters are flamboyant and fictional, there is no real benchmark. Yet they gave depth to their roles that could’ve come off as comical caricatures.
While Fatima Sana Shaikh is good for a newcomer her performance as Zafira is no match to what she delivered in Dangal.
I feel movies like these where it is purely a work of fiction and a lot of action and fantasy, Bollywood filmmakers must tread carefully. Specially now when Indian audiences have easy access to cinema from all around the world. Moreover, the fantasy genre is high-level film-making, which should be taken up by experts not just undertaken as an experiment to exhaust surplus cash reserves. Indian filmmakers haven’t even mastered the simple romantic drama genre which is probably the easiest to execute, the adventure genre seems a little too ambitious.
What’s your Thugs of Hindostan review?
All in all, Thugs of Hindostan is a movie which tries to be entertaining, which tries to be funny, which tries to be a mind-boggling adventure, but is at most okay in these respects. It is a movie that is just trying too hard and has failed at more than one level. I’ll just download a Hindi dubbed version of Pirates of the Caribbean to console myself.
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