Tubelight Movie Review: Salman And Kabir Khan’s Efforts Shine Bright
Salman Khan and Kabir Khan’s partnership had worked wonders in the past with Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, owing to which, their latest venture Tubelight was one of the most anticipated films this year. But does ‘Tubelight’ shine as bright as the earlier two films? Let’s find out… Set in Kumaon, ‘Tubelight’ is the story of Lakshman Singh Bisht (Salman Khan), a simpleton who adores his brother Bharat (Sohail Khan). When the Sino-Indian war breaks out in 1962 and Bharat joins the army to serve his country, Lakshman is devastated and vows to end the war through sheer faith after being told by an enigmatic magician (Shah Rukh Khan) that his faith can move mountains. In the meanwhile, Lakshman also befriends a Chinese woman (Zhu Zhu) and her son (Matin Rey Tangu), who come from Calcutta to stay in Kumaon and face hostility from the locals. Does Lakshman manage to get his brother back? Watch the film to find out… Since the past few films, Salman Khan has shed his macho swagger to play simple-hearted and noble characters and the Bhaijaan does so once again in ‘Tubelight’. As Lakhshman, Salman is absolutely adorable with his childlike naiveté (the Dabangg dude has really killed it in some scenes), though at times, he does tend to overdo the ‘simpleton’ act. Sohail puts in a decent performance as does Zhu Zhu. Om Puri is dependable and dignified as always and little Matin Rey Tangu is a delight to watch as the impish Guvo. Special mention must be made of Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub, who plays the town bully Narayan- the man is effortlessly good in every scene! Shah Rukh Khan, who has a cameo in the film, totally dominates the scene that he is a part of with his charisma and screen presence. As for the film, ‘Tubelight’, which is based on the Hollywood film Little Boy is a touching fare, though I couldn’t help feeling that Kabir tried to mix too many issues in one film. At one point of time, the film seems to focus on the power of faith and then suddenly veers towards the concept of Gandhiji’s policy of ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’ and then again touches lightly upon Lakshman’s bonding with little Guvo. Unlike Bajrangi Bhaijaan, which had a simple agenda (Bajrangi wanted to drop little Munni back to Pakistan), ‘Tubelight’ seems eager to send across many messages at one go. Also, though the film does have its strong points, it somewhere lacks the ability to tug at your heartstrings the way ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ did. I remember getting a lump in my throat on a few occasions while watching ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, but this time, there was no such scene or sequence, which touched me to that extent. Also, the second half could have used some trimming as it tends to stretch a bit. The film’s cinematography and camera work is stellar though the music is quite average (apart from the foot-tapping number ‘Radio’). But the film does have its heart in the right place and Salman does prove once again that he can rise above the ‘macho swagger and bulging muscles’ type of roles that he has been doing since Wanted. All said and done, Tubelight is a worth watch, though it may not come across as a worthy successor to Bajrangi Bhaijaan.