Tubelight - Review
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“Believe that the right thing will happen”, society's outlook towards people who are developmentally challenged, Gandhian values, futility of war, misdirected nationalism, judgements based on looks – these are the themes Tubelight goes over. All lofty, all preachily approached, all boring.
The first thing you do when you see an adult with a developmental challenge is patronize him/her, right? Ok, a few ridicule them. Tubelight takes both the patronization and ridicule to a whole new level. When people laugh at him, the entire village laughs at him except for a handful (just one in one scene) who sympathize. When the village isn't around these sympathizers treat him like you wouldn't treat a five year old. The meta patronization is that the entire crew encouraged Salman Khan as he when around doing what he thought was acting.
Sure, it can be argued that developmentally challenged people do believe whatever they are told and are rather innocent. But, what Laxman (Salman Khan) does in all his innocence is amusing if not outright annoying! The forced baby tone used by Salman Khan, especially in the voiceover is plain painful.
Fortunately, you have Om Puri to bring a grounded feel to the performances even though he is preaching (because you know, he is a Gandhian). Matin Rey Tangu and Zhu Zhu bring about a calm by their presence. You might disagree with Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub's Narayan with as much he makes his argument, but he convinces you of his hate. Similarly, Sohail Khan, makes us believe that a straight face with expressive eyes are emotions enough for his character Bharat. I actually caught myself thinking, Sohail Khan should taken up more films as an actor. Hopefully, non-Salman films.
Writing is to blame here as much as his performance though. An actor can look only as believable while mouthing a line, “Where can you find the strength of faith?” And that is his signature line. It is even more frustrating when the line is portrayed as “faith in self” but all the situations that test faith are actually testing hope and not self-belief.
Similarly, you wonder what they are trying to do with the other issues the film raises. The main theme of the mental disability is botched completely. The other theme that runs thick through the film is that of judging people who look different. When the general attitude of characters in the film is that of ridicule or hatred, it is understandable. That is what the film wants to highlight. However, if the protagonist himself pokes fun at things like different-sounding names, it doesn't seem right. Especially, given what the film is trying to say otherwise about the situation.
To add to the misery, the scenes drag. While thankfully slow-motion has been avoided, the other tool used to create drama – silences and pauses are way too long. Instead of adding to the intensity of the scene, they make you wait for it to make a move. The songs too add to the run-time almost making you wonder if the makers knew the material didn't have enough to hold attention. The music and lyrics are lacklustre and reminded me of the dreadful music from the 90s.
It is strange that Tubelight has so many things to say and yet felt like it said nothing. I don't expect to be impacted by the manner in which issues are raised. But I expect the makers to at least try. It actually felt like, they thought what they saw on the paper had loads of mean, but when they got down to making the film, they lost faith.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: A few fist fights. A few war scenes
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: None
- Concept: A brother believes that the right thing will happen to him
- General Look and Feel: The beautiful Himalayas. The setting is supposed to be the 60s, but I doubt you would be able to tell.
Tubelight - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Salman Khan Films
- Producer: Salman Khan, Kabir Khan
- Director: Kabir Khan
- Lead Cast: Matin Rey Tangu, Salman Khan
- Supporting Cast: Sohail Khan, Zhu Zhu, Shah Rukh Khan, Nasirr Khan, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Om Puri, Yashpal Sharma, Paras Arora, Aryan Ashik, Hasim Khan
- Cinematography: Aseem Mishra
- Music Director: Pritam Chakraborty, Julius Packiam
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 135 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Family, Social, War
Tubelight - Trailer
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