Salman Khan’s Tubelight has received mixed to negative reviews from critics. The actor had earlier dismissed critics saying their reviews do not matter to his films. What’s important though is the response from the audience in theatres and although it’s still a little early, the reports that are coming in from the morning and noon shows aren’t very positive.
Tubelight Review by 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.. that is to organically connect with the audiences. Emotions feel manufactured and situations can feel contrived. But the superstar goes above and beyond his abilities and has chosen to do a film like this. It takes great courage to innovate when you are at the top of your game. The geopolitical and social commentary portrayed is relevant even today. If you’re expecting a gangbusting action flick, then Tubelight is not the film for you. Watch it for the sweet little friendship between Bharat and Guo (Salman and the adorable Matin Tangu).
Tubelight Review by Bollywood Hungama
While the promos of TUBELIGHT simply ‘lightened’ up everyone’s excitement about the film, the film fails to live upto its title and eventually falls flat completely. The film’s story (Kabir Khan) is raw, extremely half-baked and totally convoluted. The film’s screenplay (Kabir Khan, Parveez Shaikh) is very convenient and rests on a wafer thin plot that gets stretched way too long, thus, spoiling the film’s novelty in a big way. The screenplay seems to have been born out of convenience rather than conviction. Even though the film has been based on the adage ‘Faith can move mountains’, TUBELIGHT just does not hold any kind of solid content to mirror the same. The film is not at all convincingly made in the context of a backdrop of a war as it lacks the emotional connect with the audiences. The film’s dialogues (Manurishi Chadha) are just about average and very much unlike a typical ‘Salman Khan film’.
Tubelight Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
Some of the film’s more likeable moments are shared between Laxman and the little boy, who’s completely edible, and an absolute natural. The supporting cast is solid. It includes the late Om Puri, as a father-figure to the brothers, and Zeeshan Ayyub as a local hothead, among others. And Sohail reprises his familiar act as the caring ‘bhai’. But when the main act isn’t convincing, the film becomes just like the title: mostly flicker with a little late glow. The one word that’s used almost in every other line in the film is ‘yakeen’. The film should have been infused with it. Here we just don’t buy it.
Tubelight Review by Meena Iyer on The Times Of India
When it comes to performances–Salman laughs and cries unselfconsciously, unraveling the lesser-seen side of his macho image. He cannot move mountains with his performance but he manages 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.
Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
Set in 1962, the worst part of the film is its weak plot and sloppy execution. Tubelight is by far Kabir Khan’s weakest film. Though the entire film is about brotherly bond, it hardly touches you. The film has uncountable glitches which makes it an absolute mess. It is certainly not a Kabir Khan film. Wonder how the same director had made films like Kabul Express, New York and Bajrangi Bhaijaan in the past. The climax of the film is predictable and the way Sohail’s gunshot turns to a head injury is rib-tickling.
Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India
Kabir Khan gets most things right. Tubelight is about love, trust, magic and belief. It’s like a tonic for weary souls. You will find yourself interacting with the film and characters. For starters, it is clear that if this role had an A-list actor playing Salman’s younger brother, it wouldn’t have the same emotional quotient. Many times during the film, you may be moved to tears because the brotherly emotions blur the lines between reel and real life. Kabir and Salman have shown us with Bajrangi Bhaijaan that they work well with kids. So naturally, the scenes with the little boy Matin Rey Tangu are most endearing. Performances by Om Puri, Zeeshan, Yashpal Sharma and other supporting cast are stellar. Salman plays a innocent and a vulnerable character for the first time in his career, and nails it. There is no action in the film but he delivers a sentimental kick straight to the heart. Shah Rukh Khan in the guest appearance is one of the highlight scene of the film. The scenes between Zhu Zhu and Salman are sweet and gentle.
Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
While Salman has to be appreciated for attempting a glorious simpleton role, it doesn’t mean that he is consistently spot on. Some of his cheeky scenes are funny, but many fall flat and seem impossibly orchestrated. All forces are at work in the first half of the film to hoist him as an indefatigable on-screen simpleton supremo. A few scenes that may even remind you of the hit Munnabhai series, where Tubelight goes around spouting Gandhian principles and applies them to his own life. 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. Watch this film if you love Salman enough to ignore the flaws in his film.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Playing a specially-abled character onscreen is a gamble — a little excess could translate as caricature, a little less could be read as lack of effort. While Salman Khan crinkles his face with much determination to furnish this desi Gump, cumulatively, it doesn’t add up. That Khan had redeemed himself in the last few years and had with every film, inched closer to becoming an actor from a star, feels like a wasted cause as this one reverses that evolution. In certain scenes, he appears so puzzled, dazed and disconnected, even Sohail Khan seems actor like an actor with conviction while sharing the screen with him. The late Om Puri is in great form as the affable Bannu Chacha and doesn’t drop the ball even for a single frame. Playing a magician in his cameo, Shah Rukh Khan’s sequence is a frame-by-frame ‘adaptation’ of the original.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
Aseem Mishra’s camera work is jaw dropping while the music by Pritam is just average, ‘The Radio Song’ looks good while one is watching but it’s forcefully injected, as emotions are injected in this film without much establishment. All said and done TUBELIGHT is a huge waste of the given opportunity and resources, if we say that it missed in making a statement on the common ‘belief’ associated with North East Indians with the Zhu Zhu episode it will be an understatement. The Zhu Zhu episode if given that angle properly could have been another gem from the potential this movie offered that could have given TUBELIGHT new rays of lights, hope and life. The theology of TUBELIGHT is vast like an ocean but Kabir Khan has so cloyingly handled the Yakeen (faith) factor that it turns boringly ‘Yack’in.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
The director is conspicuous with his absence. Because the movie gets more and more tedious. Not one character grows in any sort of arc. Bhai remains dumb, the little boy adorable, Bhai’s brother who goes away on war remains brave soldier, the village bully remains that. You just wait for the movie to play out. Om Puri’s appearance as a mentor who gives Laxman a list of Gandhian Tweets/Quotes and goes off screen is the luckiest character. He facepalms so many times and is exasperated at Laxman and he shows it. The audience alas, cannot.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
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.
Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff
If Tubelight had a real story and wasn’t just flip-flopping between monotonous episodes of fluky coincidences treated like divine intervention and cursory battle scenes devoid of danger, urgency or tension, it might have earned some points for heft and affability. Sohail, despite a brief screen time, is a source of endless frustration. His impending fate drags this already slow movie even more sluggishly to its predictable conclusion. Having said that, it’s hard to ever dismiss Kabir Khan in entirety. His sensibility is profound even when distracted by the mawkish facets of storytelling.
Review by Tushar P Joshi on Bollywood Life
Over expectation is a buzz kill and that’s what Tubelight teaches you. Maybe I expected the film to be an epic journey of a brother in search of his lost partner, maybe I wanted Kabir Khan to revisit his Kabul Express days and give that realistic cinema another chance. Maybe I was greedy for some unplugged moments between Salman and Matin, or maybe I just wanted a better film! Tubelight isn’t a bad film, it has a lot of things going for it, but it is heavily weighed down by the weight of the superstar plastered across its poster. In an effort to make Salman emote and make us cry, Kabir has lost track of the story arc. The second half especially has so many random songs that pop out of nowhere that you keep checking your watch. The ‘yakeen hai’ (keep the faith) line gets too preachy and monotonous towards the end and the constant references to Gandhi could have been trimmed. Tubelight is neither a war film, nor a family drama between two brothers. It struggles to find its own identity and by the time you manage to give it one, the end credits are rolling on the screen. Music was a major letdown for me with just the Radio song being somewhat hummable.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
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.
Review by Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
Kabir Khan keeps devising moments to make you cry. It’s no Hacksaw Ridge, not at all, but it’s a film that delivers its message with force. The director emerges from the shadows of a superstar, in fact, two, Shah Rukh Khan is also there, and looks sure about his brand of cinema. Tubelight isn’t a science versus faith kind of a film. At times, it tries to explain the motive behind its theme ‘your faith can achieve anything’, by going The Secret (the famous self-help book by Rhonda Byrne) way, but probably it needed something more.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
Tubelight is all about faith. About the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Love, friendship, brotherhood and everything good. Kabir Khan’s story exudes goodwill and moral lessons. There is so much talk of good and Laxman trying to fulfill his Gandhi checklist that Tubelight ends up coming across as a stretched parable with a happy ending. Obviously.
Tubelight Review by Indiaglitz
The story is paper thin and has been presented in a simple and linear manner. The screenplay is bland and at times highly boring. It’s just the movie has been presented in a very slow manner with no proper bonding between any of the characters. There are dozens of repetitive situations which dilutes the flow of the film.
Review by Raghav Jaitly on Zeenews
The screenplay of ‘Tubelight’ has a lot of flaws. It fails to grip the viewers. In terms of productions, the movie is good in bits. It was still felt that things could have been better at places which needed to be highlighted. The director only banked upon the scenes which had high emotional value. The music helped in lifting up the spirit. But we realised that it is not a typical Salman Khan film. Maybe, the film could have worked with a better director and, definitely, some other actor.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
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.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Tubelight is at its brightest when debutant Matin Rey Tangu, playing the boy who bonds with the hero despite the latter’s initial reservations, is on the screen. He is a consummate scene-stealer. Zhu Zhu, as his mother, makes the most of the limited opportunities the screenplay gives her. Its shine might be inconsistent, but when Tubelight does achieve full wattage, which is frequently enough to stand out, it does light up the screen. Watch it even if you aren’t a Salman Khan fan. Tubelight does much more than just entertain.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
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.
Review by Githa Vanan on Bollyspice
The script and music can be good and the actors all played their parts well but this story drags out the emotion quotient and seriousness. Understanding the movie is attempting to understand the sacrifice and the pain of the families of our soldiers but the potency of the sorrow is so strong, it becomes hard to swallow. Yes, there is semi-happy ending. However, the overriding feeling left behind by the film is one of sadness/pity for those who end up in these situations.
Review by IANS on Sify
The only person who steals the show in the film is Matin Rey Tangu as the young Guo, who Laxman befriends. He is charming with his oriental looks and impish demeanour. The Chinese actress Zhu Zhu plays his mother Liling with flair. Shah Rukh Khan in a cameo with his tattooed visage and ears studded with earrings, as a magician is dead pan and flat. He does not help to uplift the narrative or add emotionally to the film.
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