Tubelight review: Flickers and fades away

With ‘Tubelight’, the makers have desperately tried to recreate the magic of ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. While that movie was endearing and engaging, ‘Tubelight’ dawdles about for roughly two and half hours, preaching a contrived message without conviction. From the unmistakably similar opening sequence to the striking semblance of the protagonist to Bajrangi, the director has painstakingly created a product that unfortunately proves to be phoney.

If only Kabir Khan had tried a little harder to import the sentimentality of his previous film into this one. That ingredient is conspicuously missing and in large quantities. It’s almost as though Kabir was attempting to make a latte but forgot to add the coffee powder. ‘Tubelight’ is intended to be an engrossing, emotional film. Instead, it ends up being a dreadfully boring one.

Burdened by a wafer-thin plot, ‘Tubelight’ repeatedly hacks the viewer by accentuating the emotional sequences and demanding acknowledgement in return. Subtlety is entirely lost in the process and the jerky attempts of evoking the requisite response perpetually fail. The experience of viewing this film is akin to watching a stand-up comic hopelessly deliver duds and ultimately resorting to toilet humour to get applause.

Apart from the tardy pacing of the screenplay, ‘Tubelight’ isn’t helped with a visibly limited actor at the core of the film. Salman Khan, who is severely out of his depth in this outing, tries awfully hard, knotting himself up in expressions that you have never seen him display before. However, the ask from the makers appears to be gargantuan in relation to his skill-set. In turn, Salman comes across as awkward and a different shade of doltish compared to the brief given to him.

The visible lack of chemistry between the brothers is rather shocking, as this weakness significantly contributes towards an attitude of indifference on the part of the viewer. For a movie based on brotherhood, it is imperative that the two men share a strong bond that transcends the silver screen. It doesn’t help that the two perform like strangers forced to work with each other at gun point.

The music and locations are among the few highlights of the film. That said, the background score is annoyingly repetitive. ‘Tubelight’ is a testament to the fact that Salman Khan is a one-tricky pony, a trick he has mastered over the last decade. His advisors will be hammering home the message; stick to fists and let others do the heavy-lifting.

Rating: 1/5

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