Directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Salman Khan with Salman himself in the lead, the film ‘Tubelight’ was a much awaited, much expected movie. Kabir Khans venture with Salman Khan has earlier been very successful as we all know as the duo gave an all time hit ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ . The film not only marked a milestone in Salman’s career but was also considered to be one of his best performance so far. Kabir Khan is a director who knows the art of perfectly mixing logic to commercial cinema. We have thoroughly enjoyed his previous releases such as Kabul Express, New York, Ek tha Tiger etc. Which brings us to the conclusion that to expect the best from these two is not at all too much to expect.
Well, about Tubelight! Tubelight takes place in Jagatpur, a pleasant North-Indian town, during the Indo-China war. Salman plays Laxman Singh Bisht, who is nicknamed as ‘Tubelight’ because of his flabby mind. One thing that keeps him moving is his hope. He believes that if he has faith, he can move mountains. He keeps this ideology intact throughout the movie. His brother, who has gone to fight the Indo-Chinese war never returns and Laxman sets out to find his brther. After the war two immigrants from China, or rather a ‘Chinese’ looking mum-and-son (Zhu Zhu and Matin Rey Tangu) who comes to Jagatpur, becomes the target of the villagers. Once, inspired of a magic by a hamlet, Salman starts trying to move mountains and stop wars by sticking his arms out and grunting senselessly. What follows is the film!
Tubelight is inspired by the 2015, American war film ‘Little Boy’ which is the story of an eight year old boy who faces the affirmatives due to war and comes out of it beautifully by believing in his own magic. The film was directed by Alejandro Gómez Monteverde. In tueblight the 8 year old boy is replaced by a 40 year old character portrayed by Salman. Why..?! That we might have to ask Kabir Khan himself.
We have always loved Salman for his screen presence and outstanding performances. No doubt he has the highest fan following in India. But if you are expecting to watch the usual Macho Entertainer Salman on the screen, I am afraid you will be disappointed. Salman plays a very different role in Tubelight, something which has never been done before by him. This turned out to be very devastating because Salman has delivered one of his worst performances in the movie.
The film falls out of logic. Kabir Khan who is very good with action and war sequences has put little or no effort in this. Or atleast it seems so because there is no emotion attached or no feeling of patriotism is evoked. There are some exceptional performances by Sohail Khan and the little boy Matin Rey Tangu. Sohail’s screen presence makes us want to see him more on the screen and Matin’s natural, innocent performance steals everyones heart. His combination scenes with Salman maybe the only good thing about the movie.
The film is also one of the last performances of the late Om Puri. He plays Banne Chacha, a father figure to the brothers who constantly mentors them and gives them some valuable life lessons. Om Puri had always been a delight to watch and it continues to be the same even in Tubelight. Salute to the Epic Actor!!
All this is what Tubelight is about. A movie which could have conveyed a very strong social message but failed to do so due to poor performances from the lead actors as well as because of its poor construction. Tubelight, very sadly fails to glow!