Tubelight Movie Review

Whenever Salman Khan and Kabir Khan come together (Ek Tha Tiger, Bajrangi Bhaijaan) they have a history of giving the 2nd highest grosser of all time. So if their third film together, Tubelight, becomes the 2nd highest Bollywood grosser of all time (behind Dangal) it will be considered a gargantuan success. But this time the story is a lot more mellow, Salman plays a normal character without any fighting involved, the music hasn’t become a huge hit, and the promos haven’t been unanimously praised. But Salman Khan can sell movies on his own and make them enjoyable through his sheer presence. Will his Eid magic continue this time too?

Story: Laxman Bisht (Salman) is a slow person who doesn’t grasp everything quickly. That’s why he is called a ‘tubelight’ by his school friends and townsfolk. His brother Bharat (Sohail) and Uncle Banni Chacha (Om Puri) take care of him. But the 1962 Sino-India war is on the anvil, and Bharat enlists with the army. Laxman is taken apart from his brother and starts hating the Chinese. Things turn around when a Chinese-Indian single mother (Zhu Zhu) and her son Guo (Matin Rey Tangu) come to live in the town and Bharat gets close to Guo. Through a series of events, Bharat learns to respect people not based on their religion or race. But he also has faith that his brother Bharat will eventually return. So he sets out on a mission to make that happen. What happens eventually? Watch the movie to find out.

Screenplay and Direction: Kabir Khan brought about emotions organically in Bajrangi Bhaijaan. The emotions brought about tears naturally but this is where he goes wrong in Tubelight. The drama is upped an ante in Tubelight and the scale is also higher, but this is what goes against the film as the emotions feel manipulated and the audience almost feels compelled to shed a tear or two. That is not to say, Tubelight is a bad film. It is far from a bad film but the expectations with Tubelight were a lot higher than they were with Bajrangi Bhaijaan (which seemed to come out of nowhere), and it disappoints to that degree. But the bond between the two brothers, the bond between an innocent Indian guy with a Chinese-Indian kid, the commentary on racial tensions, the subtle commentary on Hindi-Chini bhaichara are things which have been brought up beautifully by Kabir Khan. Not a lot of big budget Bollywood tentpole films want to explore the geopolitical relationship between India and China. So Kudos to the team where it is due. And Tubelight is entertaining as a movie too. That helps.

Tubelight has been mounted on a grand scale with well choreographed war sequences, and plenty of world building involved. The production design and costume design suits the nature of the film to the tee. Attention has been paid to details. The war choreography is decently put together but more could have been done to make it seem brutal. The background score is decent and doesn’t impede the proceedings of the film. The music of Tubelight works better within the film than in standalone avatars. Radio is a earworm. Naach Meri Jaan grows in the film, Tinka Tinka is too mellow dramatic.

Acting: Salman Khan, as is the case with all of his movies, is the centrepiece of Tubelight. He could have easily made another action film and made money but being at the top of his game he still decided to go in an unique road playing this character and for that he needs to be lauded. And he has definitely improved as an actor showing more range in Tubelight than he has in any of his films in the last decade. But he doesn’t quite pull it off as you’d want a supreme superstar like him to. His expressions and behaviour is on point technically, though. He is decent in Tubelight but the role had potential to become a classic character. Sohail Khan doesn’t have a lot to do but he looks the part and he’s decent in his role. Matin Rey Tangu is adorable and he pulls off the scenes quite convincingly. Zhu Zhu is beautiful. And she’s darn good at channeling her emotions. The Late Om Puri is perfectly cast in his role. And Shah Rukh Khan makes a magical cameo.

Conclusion: 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).

Pros:

  • The subtle commentary on racial relations and the geopolitical commentary
  • The production design and costume design is top notch
  • The music works better in the movie
  • Salman’s decision to take on a movie like this

Cons:

  • Salman’s inability to pull off a role like Laxman convincingly
  • The emotions feel manufactured and the situations can feel contrived
  • Doesn’t quite match the expectations of a great film
Rating: ★★★☆☆

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46 Comments

  • KYA TUMHE YAQEEN HAI…???

    Ki…

    Bina Eid ke Meri film chal sakti hai…???

    NAHI, HUME YAQEEN NAHI HAI… HAHAHAHAHAHA…

  • Reduced the rating for 3.5 stars to 3 Star..Just review what you feel unlike by seein what others have given @indicine

  • This is a great movie.movie teaches that faith can do anything.Main reason why tubelight’s first show opening isn’t impressive is the youth of the country wants to see movies with action scenes.Salman has won my hearts with his brilliant acting and has made me proud of my favorite star and his achievements.Shahrukh’s cameo is another reason why movie is starting slowly.

  • Salman tiny bhojpuri local star is nothing in front of global megastars aamir and srk’s stardom.. in Bollywood only 2 actors have true stardom and billions of fans worldwide. Aamir and srk. Lallu is very tiny compared to these giants. He is local 2010 born baby. Nothing else. Dimlight will fail to break opening day record of dangal and forget 300 cr even 250 cr is out of reach for this crap. Never gonna waste my money on this crap. Jai ho days are back.

  • @indicine why are you cover him by saying that he is top of his game it’s need great courage to this movie?? even a small kid tell you that similarities of these types of social drama movie’s like bajarangi bhaijan pk and dangal that salman want to cash again that why he was in hurry to bring it on this eid. they bring all ingredients in this movie to make it huge like same singers rahet and atif asalm bring once again after bb almost every singers are same than recent trend like hero is not looking like hero for ex… pk, dangal, bb was also followed by kabir than patriotism, emotion every recent blockbuster recipes followed by salman even half sweater trend in bb, sultan, dangal was also followed with a child who replace harshali. we had already some examples that how salman cash back to back south action recipe which was ended with jai ho ??? so why you give lame excuses?? this is not courageous move this is a safe money making moves by makers. common yar u r one of the best sites so this is not suited you !!

  • Srkians are blabbering too much on Tubelight’s opening and reviews….Some of them are calling Tubelight a ‘Fuselight’… But this’ Fuselight’ is going to thrash…….

    Dear Zindagi in 3 days…..

    Fan in 3-4 days……

    Raees in 4-5 days….

    Dilwale in 5-6 days…..
    .
    .
    .
    Srkians ke behaviour dekhke ek line yaad aata hai…..Ulta Chor Kotwal ko Daante!

  • @fan pk : Toh rehney de you hypocrite. All these years @Indicine was shielding your feku king shamelessly you were supporting same and now crying !!!!!!!

  • @Indicine It’s like you are mouthpiece of so called Megastar. You have tried very hard to take his side by saying so much positive things. I feel pity when you add his courage of doing this movie in “Pros”.. You should talk about the movie not about personal decisions.
    One can take risk only if he is in good position. Nobody will try to take such risk in bad phase.

    I remember when Aamir got filmfare for Dangal you said it should be based on performances on screen and not on the off screen efforts put in by the actor (pointing at importance given to Aamir’s transformation Fit -Fat -Fit )

  • Rofl..Indicine is trying hard to save tubelight from disaster..Movie is epic flop as it collected less than Raees despite Being a solo release in Eid..You guys repeatedly call him
    Megastar..So he shud atleast have collections on day 1 irrespective of any factor..Stop being biased to Salman and Aamir atleast from now..Srk is a bigger star than both of them as his movies opens in the same range even in clash

  • this is really bullshit by indicine… how does making this movie become a pro.. by your logic indicine every movie that is made must be a pro since no one really knows wether a movie would work or not and thats a risk… just to cater to your salman fan base of your site you will put any rubbish…give real reviews and dont just give reviews to increase your hit count

  • Wow @indicine you are praising salman for choosing this movie and called he is brave.When mihenjodaro released you said hrithik’s script sense is poor and blamed him. If this film had hrithik or akshay, i am sure you will rate it 1.5. Shame on you.
    Sorry salman,love you forever.

  • when I saw the trailer.. I was expecting it.. that it would never be as good as Bajrangi and it’s only a copy, maybe.. I didn’t like Salman’s performance in some scenes in the trailer, thought it looked stupid. but anyway.. there’s no other hindi film to go for it on Eid holiday so am going to watch it.
    And yeah.. any film he does with his home production and with his brother Suhail.. noticed it flops.. why?!

  • @Rej good joke. Tiny 140 cr club actor Srk bigger star than aamir? πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ˜ƒ. More jokes please. Megastar aamir khan has given 2 back 2 back 300 cr films and 5 ATHG in last 8 years. What has your tiny star hakla done? Just hits and super hits in his peak. Aamir is by far biggest star of Bollywood and biggest crowd puller. Look at dangal worldwide collection you oxymoron. Can you think of your hakla giving eve 10 cr+ opening with dangal? I don’t think so. πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”.

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