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Movie Review: Tubelight – it simply refuses to switch on!
Storyline: Tubelight is a remake of the 2015 American film Little Boy. Set in the backdrop of the 1962 Indo-China war, Tubelight is a touching tale of two brothers Laxman (Salman) and Bharat (Sohail) who have been each other's support since childhood. Laxman is a developmentally disabled man who is more child like. Their lives change when Bharat joins the army and does not return back from war. However, Laxman refuses to believe that Bharat is dead and decides to bring him back.

Cast: Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Om Puri, Zhu Zhu, Matin Rey Tangu

Director: Kabir Khan

Runtime: 2 hours 18 minutes

Rating: 2/5


Tubelight becomes a must watch for Om Puri fans, as it is the late actor’s last filmed performance, albeit, just a passable one, all thanks to the insipid script. Nevertheless, it is great to see Om Puri on the silver screen for the last time.

The team that had two years ago moved us to tears with Bajrangi Bhaijaan, this time reunites to bring Tubelight, which forces you to cry in despair. Honestly, will things ever change in Bollywood? Salman is a 50-year-old man who desperately tries to act child-like and naive as Laxman. In short, he looks at least 40-years too old for his character. After all, the film is based on Little Boy, in which the protagonist was an 8-year-old child who tries hard to come to grips with war. Salman might have a great screen presence, but with age an actor has to evolve and chose roles accordingly. An ageing Salman has developed a large frame and in Tubelight he looks a total misfit as Laxman. To say the least, the only thing wrong with Tubelight is Salman Khan.

On the flip side, it is his less illustrious brother Sohail as Bharat who turns out a total show stealer. As for Salman, although he tries hard to pull off a Forest Gump in the film, he fails miserably at it. If not the worst, Tubelight surely fits the bill for being one of the worst performances of Salman’s career.

The two actors who play Indians of Chinese origin, Chinese actress Zhu Zhu and child actor Matin Rey Tangu are good with their performances. Although, it’s ironical that while Zhu Zhu is a Chinese, Tangu hails from Arunachal (the state where India has a border dispute with China).

As for Kabir Khan’s direction, his depiction of war sequences is found wanting and could have been much better. Moreover, since the director has given the film a happy ending, the climax becomes quite predictable and boring. Furthermore, as the film is set in a relatively untouched backdrop, it could have shed more light on the lives of Northeastern Indians of the region and the discrimination against them.

A dialogue “Kya tumhe yakeen hai?” is repeated needlessly en number of times without any rhyme or reason. And not to forget Salman’s repeated acts of raising his hands for moving mountains. However, it did prove to be a herculean task for director Kabir Khan to make a mountain read Salman act. In conclusion, Tubelight is a pure waste of time and money. Watch it only for Om Puri, if you must.

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