Kabir Khan has been regarded as one of most intelligent filmmakers of India and after the blockbuster success of ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ (2015), the expectations were much higher from his films. His movies have been a proportionate mix of a good story with a nice message for society with an intelligent balance of reality and cinematic liberty. With his new release ‘Tubelight’, he disappoints. It is a sweet film but too much of sugar can spoil a good tea. He wants to drive a preachy message that faith can move mountains. In today’s time, you can’t be preachy until it has been told in an effective manner with logic. The audience is intelligent and has access to all kinds of information at the tips of the fingers. We believe in practicality than emotions. The emotion with logic connects better with the audience.
Salman Khan, the lead actor of ‘Tubelight’ saves the film with his endearing performance. One needs to appreciate the effort for trying something different as an actor. The media has been a little unfair towards him in their reviews on his acting performance in the film. He has done a good job in a weak script. The film could have built on other characters like Zhu Zhu, Matin Rey Tangu and Mohamed Zeeshan Ayub with interesting sub plots. The relationship of child actor Matin Tangu and Salman Khan could have been explored deeper because they brought smiles when they were together. The second half hampers with too many songs. The character ‘Laxman Prasad’ played by Salman Khan is weak and vulnerable. The audience expected something heroic from him similar to ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’.
Directors can’t be repeating the same message several times because after a while, it becomes irritating. It was the same scenario with Salman Khan ‘Jai Ho’ (2014). Incidentally, it was directed by Sohail Khan. Raj Kumar Hirani’s films also covey lot of messages but he is not preachy in his films. He tells them in an entertaining manner and explores different avenues of storytelling.
The role of Chinese actress Zhu Zhu needs to be appreciated as she has done an excellent job. The scenes between her and Salman Khan were beautiful and full of sensitivity. The love story could have been explored further. They also drove a message that North Easterners have always been looked as people from a different country. They belong to India like any other people from other parts of the country. The concept of the film is good but it fails in its treatment and execution. The script and screenplay should have been tighter.
Kabir Khan should put more efforts in the mentioned areas for his future films. He is an efficient filmmaker and has a great potential to make better films. ‘Tubelight’ is a decent film but due to its high expectations, it fails. Salman Khan’s performance will be memorable forever. It is one of his career best performances as an actor.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.