'Tubelight' movie review: Kabir Khan loses the plot

Arti Dani/Dubai
Filed on June 23, 2017 | Last updated on June 23, 2017 at 08.26 am

The best part about the movie is the bonding between Sohail and Salman.

Last time when actor Salman Khan and director Kabir Khan came together, they gave us the heart-wrenchingly beautiful film 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'.

With their latest Eid release 'Tubelight', Kabir tells us the story of a small-town simpleton Laxman (Salman Khan) who is waiting for his brother Bharat (Sohail Khan) to come back home safely as he is braving the war at the Indo-China border.

The movie is set in the background of the 1962 Sino-Indian war. We follow Laxman's journey in finding his faith even when everyone in his village makes fun of him. The villagers call him tubelight because it takes time for Laxman to register normal feelings, just like a tubelight flickers before it lights up.

His uncle, wonderfully played by the late Om Puri, teaches him about following Mahatma Gandhi's principle of having faith in your belief. Laxman also forms a great friendship with Guo, played by child actor Matin Rey Tangu, and his mother who are Indians but have a Chinese background.

The movie has good intentions but hardly any plot. With the running time of 150 minutes, the movie stretches too much. I felt manipulated by the director in making me cry. Tears hardly came organically like they did in 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', where our eyes would become moist every time the child actor would cry. Many times emotions are forced upon us. At one point, I even felt cheated by the director...I will save you from the spoiler and avoid discussing that important scene.

There were times when I felt that the movie was not leading anywhere, and having faith was all it kept talking about. Salman portrays his character with aplomb and surprisingly, he is not part of any action scenes in the movie except for a scene where he punches a racist character. Salman has now mastered the art of playing vulnerable characters with movies like 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' and 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'.

The best part about the movie was the bonding between Sohail and Salman. Kabir smartly paired up real-life brothers -- who are extremely close to each other -- on the screen. Their scenes together are so natural and refreshing that I hope to see them together in some road adventure movie.

Shah Rukh Khan plays a crucial role in the film in one scene with Salman but their scene together, which talks about magic, hardly felt magical to me. The movie did not work for me in entirety. However, it is nice to see Salman associating himself with different kinds of scripts with movies like 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', 'Sultan' and now 'Tubelight'.

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