“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.
portrayed as “faith in self” but all the situations that test faith are actually testing hope and not self-belief
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.
The meta patronization is that the entire crew encouraged Salman Khan as he when around doing what he thought was acting.
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
Thumbs up, by Tushar P. Joshi, Bollywood Life : ...Tubelight has a message that resonates with current times – keep the faith and believe in the good. Salman’s sincere and heartfelt performance in the film will definitely move you. Keep that box of tissues handy! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sarthak Mehta , Desi Martini : ...This movie brings a turmoil into you emotional quotient and I recommend to carry a bag of tissues cause you’re in for a emotional roller coaster toughing every emotion from fun to gloominess.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sarita A Tanwar, DNA : ...The whole follow-Gandhi bit seemed forced. It reminds you of Lage Raho Munnabhai and the comparison hurts Tubelight. Watch it for the love of your brother. Or Bhai. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...Still, contrary to likely audience expectations, this is a film rather subdued on drama, hysteria, and action, although it remains coherent, entertaining, and sincere throughout. More importantly it does not preach to the choir. ... full review
So-So, by Samedha Arora, Desi Martini : ...Tube Light is light weekend watch, and Sallu’s fans should defiantly watch this movie but not his critics. The cinematography and supporting cast will not leave you disspointed but maybe your expectations from the story will. And Hey! It’s Eid, give yourself a movie weekend treat! ... full review
So-So, by Pallavi Jaiswal, Desi Martini : ...फिल्म का म्यूजिक प्रीतम ने दिया है, जो कानों को सुकून देता है। इस फिल्म से सलमान और कबीर की जोड़ी दर्शकों को सिनेमा हॉल तक खींचने में असफल हो सकती है। शुरू से लेकर अंत तक आप फिल्म में कुछ इंटरेस्टिंग ढूँढने की कोशिश करते हैं, लेकिन सिवाए यकीन के आपको इस फिल्म में कुछ नहीं मिलेगा। फिल्म में एक ही बात आपको खुश करती हैं और वो है सलमान और सोहेल की केमेस्ट्री जो आपका दिल जीत लेगी। इस फिल्म को एक बार देखा जा सकता है। ... full review
So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ... This is a sweet little film alright, but the emotional inconsistencies just don’t iron out. It’s a classic case of what could've been a great film, settles for much less.... full review
So-So, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...Still, with Tubelight, my glass is half full and not half empty. When your head points out several exasperating aspects of a film and you still find yourself weeping with it, there is something to be said about the director’s ability to touch an emotional chord. Whatever be my reservations, the big takeaway for me from Tubelight is that Salman Khan and Kabir Khan have once again teamed up in trying times to deliver a resounding snub to bigotry. ... full review
So-So, by Vaishnavi Kulkarni, fullhyd.com : ...Unless you are a fan of Bhai who has yakeen in the entertainment value of Salman Khan's face, it would be wise to skip this one. This Tubelight may leave you in a darker mood than Lights Out ever could. ... full review
So-So, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...The supporting cast including the late actor Om Puri, the endearing Chinese star Zhu Zhu and child actor Martin Rey Tangu are on call to complement the hero. ... full review
So-So, Indicine : ...Tubelight is a good movie which is technically of the highest standard. The budget is high, the scale is huge, the production design is almost perfect. But somewhere down the line it fails to do its most important job..... full review
So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Director Kabir Khan admitted in an interview that the objective of this cinematic tribute was to make the inspiring story accessible to a larger audience. And while Salman fans across the world would make for a substantial target, inflicting them with this preachy tale of leaning on 'yakeen' to get through life could be a tad misleading. But then again, we're addressing hardcore Bhai fans, who feel that hanging one's shades over the back of one's collar is the path to ultimate glory. ... full review
So-So, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...When it comes to performances--Salman laughs and cries unselfconsciously, showing his audience the less-seen side of his macho screen image. He cannot move mountains with his performance but he tries hard to keep the faith alive. Sohail is sincere. Zhu Zhu shows spunk and young Matin entertains. And, Om Puri reminds you of the mettle unsung heroes are made of. ... full review
Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, TUBELIGHT come across as a colossal disappointment as it fails to engross the audiences due to its wafer thin plot. At the Box-Office, the movie will take a jumpstart due to Salman Khan’s star power and accelerate over the weekend and the extended weekend [due to the Eid festivities], post which, the business will see a sizeable drop. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...Overall, Tubelight is a major disappointment. It is unlike any Kabir Khan film, and not in a good way. Watch Tubelight since you have no other film to watch over this long weekend as Salman has managed to block 4000 screens for his film. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Ameet Bhuvan, Desi Martini : ...It is not the first film where Salman has attempted to tailor his image to suit the good at heart irrespective of what he does otherwise narrative. What started with movies like Jai Ho, reached a crescendo with Bajrangi Bhaijaan, has reached a severe low in Tubelight. Avoid at all costs. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...The theology of TUBELIGHT is vast like an ocean but Kabir Khan has so cloyingly handled the Yakeen (faith) factor that it turns boringly 'Yuck'in. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...For a change, Salman Khan, often accused of playing larger-than-life hero far too often on screen, is pushed to his limits, but Kabir Khan's yakeen in him pulling off this part is misplaced. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Ahana Bhattacharya, koimoi : ...This Tubelight flickers; fails to shine brightly. The film fails to leave an impact. Surely, a little more was expected from the actor-director duo who has delivered a film like Bajrangi Bhaijaan in the past! 2 stars for this. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, News18.com : ...A film like Tubelight which espouses the power of faith and belief through the uncorrupted eyes of a man-child needed a lightness of touch that is conspicuous by its absence here. Tubelight is well intentioned but overtly manipulative and doesn't so much tug at your heartstrings as it punches you in the face demanding that you care. It's also over-long at nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes, and excruciatingly slow and boring in parts. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...Give me a good Dabanng over this pretence emotional film any day. The best moment of the film? When Laxman realises the soldiers giving Guao's mum the evil eye and he holds her hand to protect her. That's the Salman we love.... full review
Thumbs down, by Sreehari Nair, Rediff : ...He feels it in his stomach, the horrors, and tries to throw up. But then, he only manages to work up a spit. In a weird way, that scene becomes a perfect summation for what the performance aspires for, and what it finally delivers.... full review
Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...There is also an attempt to address historical wrongs, such as the shameful incarceration of Indian-Chinese residents during the war, but this is eclipsed by the sluggish pace, Salman Khan’s risible performance, and the untenable idea that faith can make anything possible.... full review
Thumbs down, by Raghav Jaitly, ZEENEWS.COM : ...At the end, we would just like to say that 'Tubelight' lacks entertainment. It struggles throughout to make you realise the importance of faith and belief. Some sequences will definitely entertain you. However, it is definitely not what we sought... full review
wicked_mEEr: Critics are being harsh on #Tubelight for no reason..just watched it with 3 frnds and we all loved it..Surely one time watch.
vijethbalila: Definitely well-intended beautifully crafted anti-war flick. And in a special mention, a pure Gandhian film in the heart. #tubelight
VijayByadwal: Tubelight must watch.. Love you bhai.
Turjow1: Tubelight Must Watch Full light kardiya
Tubelight321: Finally watched #tubelight.. Just one word Dont miss this. what an emotion! ATBB..Full Light Kar Diya @TubelightKiEid @kabirkhankk
tasirkazi007: Tubelight movie is awesome @BeingSalmanKhan has done a great job
SurajKu73015611: I like this tubelight movies
shuklashashank9: Yakeen ek tubelight ki tarah hota hai der se jalta hai lekin jab jalta hai, toh full light kar deta hai.Full Light Kar Diya @TubelightKiEid
Shanawa54900795: Full Light Kar Diya
Shaadrandhawa: Loved #Tubelight #believe #love #nowar @BeingSalmanKhan u are brilliant @SohailKhan so natural @kabirkhankk a great film ,super intentions!
satishkakarla7: #Tubelight is Heart I loved it
rupeshjha07: #Tubelight will be a Disappointment for Typical @BeingSalmanKhan fans but a proud Film for Salman in future,Grown up so well as an actor
ratsverma: #Khans rocked it! Powerful storytelling @kabirkhankk n colossal performances @BeingSalmanKhan @SohailKhan Take a bow guys
rahulpa43569128: Excellent movie
PARMARJIGNESH93: I m proud to be @BeingSalmanKhan fan. He did something new & did it very well.. Loved it @TubelightKiEid.Fu_k off bad reviewers..#Tubelight
mystery0725: #SalmanKhan: This is that kind of a film, where you need to take your parents, grandparents and families. #Tubelight
MRPARMAR198: Tubelight is super movie.... Love u bhaijaan......
movieshuvie: Nice sweet emotional movie that could have been made crisper. But still very good #tubelight @BeingSalmanKhan
mirani_meet: Just Watched #Tubelight... Loved it... We Love you SALMAN ❤ @BeingSalmanKhan
manish_pani: Two minutes silent for those who thinks #Tubelight movie is a bakwaas movie.Grt work by @BeingSalmanKhan @kabirkhankk and dlegendary#OmPuri
mahir_abdullah: Overall, #Tubelight is one of @BeingSalmanKhan's best films and is definitely amongst his top 3 best films list from 2010-2017.
lilmiss_muffet: Salman Khan is soo Adorable!! #Tubelight Full Light kar Diya
KamranK01: The only minus point I had for #Tubelight was that in the awesome 2nd half,the conversations between Zhu Zhu & Salman went for too long.
Ishaan_Conor: Don't waste your time on bakwas things ..Just watch n enjoy ! #Tubelight [ Full Light Kar Diya ]
geetahuja5: TUBELIGHT IS NOT A FLOP MOVIE A BETTER STORY MOVIE MUST WATCH BHAI APNI EIDI EID PR HI LENGE LOVE UHH @BeingSalmanKhan
DabanggSKhan: Watched #Tubelight. OUTSTANDING film...#BowDown But I've only one complaint, FOR WHAT REASON MAKERS CAST SHAHRUKH KHAN FOR 3 LONG MINUTES?
celbs2025: #Tubelight very nice movie
Being_Shanty: Yakeen ka #Tubelight Aisa jala ke Full Light Kar Diya! Masterpiece! @BeingSalmanKhan @SohailKhan #Bhaihood
Beingshuvam: Aj vaijaan ne hasaya aur bahut rulaya but 1k baat sikha di ki yekin rakkho. #Tubelight #TubelightDay
beingfanforever: Yuppp!! Awesome movie
beingDevilCr7: Just loved #Tubelight every part of it
BeingAnubhavV: #Tubelight is such a superbb movie I think critics should go to hell.
bappi1211: Review #Tubelight - Just go watch the movie. If ur not a @BeingSalmanKhan Fan u will become one
badmashtoka: #Tubelight the only drawback of the movie is that the second half went quite slow. Above all it's a really heart warming movie. Good watch!
amkebina: #tubelight ❤️❤️❤️ the movie.
akshitchawla04: Watched #Tubelight A nice film. Don't know why people are complaining. Some really emotional moments.
AamirZargar: I still cant understand hv they released different version of #Tubelight in India.USA version is awesome. how can 1 gv bad reviews to this??
YoSe_VFxWala: Let me put up dis vry simply that this aint no regular salman movie but 2b honest its a gud 1 time Watch with Family 4sure #Tubelight
Thalaaivannaan: This Week Movies Ratings #AAA - 2.5 #Vanamagan - 3.0 #Tubelight - 2.75 #DJMovie - 3.0 Which is Best You Have Watched Today!!?
Shivaji_555: Movie utni bhi buri nahin hai, if the comparison standards are Bhai's last few movies or even the entire filmography. #Tubelight
balaji_pspk: salman steals the show. an one time watch. Very slow emotional,No boring stuff 2.75/5 #Tubelight not a salman range movie
am_Migrade: #Tubelight is a slow paced movie !! Some visuals are good !!
_kanwardhillon: Well,yes TUBELIGHT is a disappointing film and doesnt live up to the expectations at all! Nevermind,i still adore n love Salman Khan.❤
yadav_ind: जिस देश की जनता ट्यूबलाइट देखने के लिए लाइन में खड़ी वह विकास कैसे कर सकता है! #Tubelight
umsalelkar: #Tubelight @BeingSalmanKhan you could not entertain me Bhaijaan. #EidMubarak
strthechamp: Plz don't dare to watch Tubelight.. One of the worst movie ever nd ever ...I
SonaliKandari: The movie #Tubelight was really boring to me and even is more emotional for no such reasons. @BeingSalmanKhan Sir's acting is so amazing.
smart_geek2: Tubelight review : surya bulb is better . #Tubelight
siddheshkamath1: #Tubelight Boring
Shaiq_IqbalArif: Hazard Alert ⚠ Don't become #Tubelight Urslf For Blind fans, link is
SaurabhWarekar: #TUBELIGHT is Dim light... Such a boring movie.
sanjib_dreamer: Waste of time and money, movie without any storyline. One of the worst movie of Kabir khan and bhaijaan #TubeLight
samyak93: Tubelight is such a Tubelight movie that Twitter trolls are better. AVOID!
RVenkat_India: Atrocious Movie!! @TubelightKiEid Was @kabirkhankk in Coma when he made #Tubelight @BeingSalmanKhan looks like an Oaf! #MeraPaisaWapasKaro
roshninayak_: Tubelight's # is full of disappointment and abusive words
RohaanKPatel: When was the last time audience started leaving 15mins after the interval in a Salman Movie . #Tubelight #Flop #AdhocScript
Ravilodha17: Very slow salmaan bhai boring movie tubelight..rv
rakapiyush: The best thing about TUBELIGHT is that it never lights so that you can sleep peacefully
rakacts: Itihaas gawah hai Salmaan- Sohail combination is a Flop Combo . #Tubelight
Rahulg143love: Iss Se acha Salman bhai footpath pe bulaake gaadi chada dete humare upr #tubelight #review
notagujju: My room's tubelight has a higher rating than the movie. #Tubelight
NawtyVampire: Tubelight movie ka fuse udaa hua Hai. Thoda Sambhal ke jaana.
mkskumar298: #Tubelight made me realize importance of chemistry in a film which unfortunately this film hasn't. An actor can't pull it off all by himself
madnesspawned: The choke and starter fused #tubelight
luckyforhuman: #Tubelight bhai bulb bhi nhi jla or tube ki to inverter lane ke Baad bhi nhi jla #KabirKhan tu ek kaam kr tubelight bhechna start kr de.
LifeNeedsMovies: This is truly disappointing
Kuptaan: #Tubelight भी फेल हो गयी. उसको भी पहले बैटिंग करना चाहिए था.
kumarnirmalpras: Agar kisi se badla lena ho to ushe #Tubelight ki ek ticket kharid kar de. 2 hours and 16 mins me aapka badla pura ho jayega.
KuldeepNirulkar: #Tubelight dekhne ke baad toh ghar pe bhi tubelight lagane ka mann nahi karta!!!!
kritam_dutta: Borring movie hey..sir... #Tubelight @BeingSalmanKhan
kd_jk91: Tubelight is not even a one time watch even though Kabir Khan managed to extract a lot from Salman. Didn't make the cut. Sad.
KaushikBora17: I saw Tubelight is not so good... sorry
kapiltyagi7042: #Tubelight bhai se movie bilkul pasand nahi aye na iss movie ki koi story h or na hi kuch khass dramma or action to h hi nahi 5/1.5
jpalash_: भले हाथी चींटी वाले जोक्स सुना देना लेकिन #Tubelight देखने को ना कहना ।
iTwinkleRKapoor: Tubelight ka fuse udd Gaya hai!
Im_Monjil: Tubelight has been one of the worst movies I've seen in a while. Left the theatre before 45 mins from end. Waste of money
imaavi: But Surprising thing is even my Friends who're Salman fans didn't like it
iAnkurMishra: This Eid please focus on Moonlight, not on Tubelight.
IamP00ja: So what if Tubelight is horrible?Salman runs Being Human and he will repair all the damaged brains of people who watched it. Bhai roxXx.
HumorouslyVipul: Tubelight movie ka fuse udaa hua Hai.
himrulz: #Yakeen ho gaya, #Bhai ko acting nai aati #Tubelight
ganeshmawai: No light in #Tubelight very bored #movie #Bollywood
diptikapoor: Watched #Tubelight as reviews it was really let down, very slow boring movie. If salman has guts like SRK he should come without HOLIDAY !!
chintan20: Itni horrible movie
cartoonistpai: Indian's will waste 300 Crs on Tubelight
BluntIndianGirl: Director ruined everything. #Tubelight
Bhayankur: You could've criticised recent Salman Khan films for anything but not for being slow and boring. Tubelight is. What a drag! Painful watch.
bhaagbosedk4: #Tubelight dekh k kitno k dimaag ki dahi hui ? @BeingSalmanKhan #floplight
bawak2000: Yaar Tubelight Kharaab Hai !!!
BadshahRahul: Tubelight aakhir #Tubelight he nikliii
babyygirl07: #Tubelight #SalmanKhan hats off u fr making such baseless movies...
AnushLad: Yeah, but overall, Tubelight wasn't that good. Waited the entire time like kuch hoga, kuch hoga. magar kuch nahi hua
anjalimani909: Tubelight dekhne wale sach me tubelight hai..
ameyaagrawal: #Tubelight dekh Kar Yakin pe se Yakin uth gaya :p #TubelightDay #TubelightReview
AdityaMohrir: #Tubelight is a big let-down. Disappointing. @BeingSalmanKhan @kabirkhankk
abhi_3csspeaks: Tubelight Is Seriously Tubelight.. Waste of Time..#Tubelight #TubelightReview
aamirkingBW: Biggest flop of this year #Bank_chor and #Tubelight
16pratikpandey: Watched Tubelight..Salman Bhai,pkaa Diya pora..bkwaas @BeingSalmanKhan #Tubelight
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.