Director: Kabir Khan
Cast: Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Om Puri, Matin Rey Tangu, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub, Zhu Zhu
Emotion is a tricky thing in cinema. If it lacks in the film, the movie becomes ineffective and if it is added excessively, the result is still the same, ineffective. The idea is to keep it in check. That’s what Kabir Khan failed to do in Tubelight; it is too high in emotions but empty in story.
I seriously appreciate Salman Khan’s efforts to portray a character he has not yet done and away from his typical macho action hero but the script and direction don’t help him here. Salman as Laxman Bisht is a slow learner and since childhood, he is being teased for it except his younger brother Bharat (Sohail Khan) who loves him very much. Bharat is the only one who believes and respects Laxman and their brotherly love for each other is well known.
Things change when India-China war emerges and Bharat enrolls to fight for his country. Laxman decides to end the war and bring his brother back with a ton of self-belief and some learned ideologies. Will he succeed? Will his beliefs deliver?
The concept of a man trying to change things solely on his beliefs seems fine but the screenplay is weakly written for characters and even the execution by Kabir Khan is dull. Some initial humor about Laxman’s character and then the movie just keeps dragging with silly punches without actual contribution to the plot. Laxman suffering the separation from his brother, his bonding with the little kid and the involvement of villagers in all these are hardly engaging.
Image Source: Salman Khan Films
The war itself is poorly shot. The brutality of it and bloodshed don’t raise any thrill. Sure, war was not the focus but it was relevant to Laxman’s character. Even the scenes of Army chief forgetting about the seriousness of war and trying to have conversation with Laxman seem unbelievable.
Kabir Khan’s direction should have been better than this. The film is shot beautifully but without the substance, it was never going to work. The core connection between the emotions, war and most importantly, hope and self-belief was absent. The dialogues don’t amuse nor inspire and the story keeps going on and on. Tubelight would have worked well had Kabir kept it simple. There were more than necessary scenes of Laxman crying which after a while feel unbearable. So, overall, this is a very weak storytelling. The angle of Laxman-Bharat’s brotherly love is not enticing.
Salman Khan has given a good performance as a slow leaner but he can do much better. His expressions are funny and emotional but there are few scenarios where his emotional act becomes tedious. Sometimes, more than slow learner, he seems like confused in those expressions. Sohail Khan doesn’t have much to do but he excels in it. Always caring for his brother and then his fight for the country, he makes a strong case for a responsible man.
Matin Ray Tangu and Om Puri are a delight. Om Puri delivers a respectable role and his teachings to Laxman amidst the difficulties are wise. Matin is sweet and he seriously adds amazing fun with Salman Khan. Their initial banter and emotional connect are appreciable. I like Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub’s acting. From Jannat, Raees to Tubelight, the guy can enact anything. He adds interesting vibe to the plot.
Tubelight is overly emotional with no content. The film has hardly any memorable moments. Kabir Khan’s direction is the weakest aspect of the film. Salman Khan does a good job but even he can’t save the movie from going downhill.