Thugs Of Hindostan
Thugs Of Hindostan: A Shoddy Adventure That Lacks Imagination
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, Thugs Of Hindostan is an action-adventure film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Katrina Kaif in lead roles. The film promises thorough grandeur but delivers it only through its production design. It might be a visual treat, but as far as the writing and direction department is concerned, it is shockingly sup-par and utterly disappointing. One of the foremost reasons for its doom is its complete lack of imagination.
John Clive (Llyod Owen), East India Company’s commander seizes the land of Mirza and goes on to enslave its people. Refusing to comply with the Britisher’s reign, a band of rebels emerge, led by Khudabaksh Azad (Amitabh Bachchan). Determined to capture Azad and his crew, Clive puts a mischievous, self-serving and scheming man, Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan) on a mission to falsely befriend this rebellious brand and bring them to him. Whether or not Mallah sees this mission through completion forms the crux of the film.
Thugs of Hindostan spews grandeur and magnanimity through its brilliant production design, there is no doubt about this. But one of the major issues with the film is its lack of imagination. First of all, when one gets a chance to make such a large scale fantasy film, why would they choose to borrow bits and pieces from a franchise as well established as Pirates of the Caribbean. It simply doesn’t make sense. Even if you choose to look past the similarities, the story that might have appeared interesting on paper is a complete bore because of unimaginative execution and inane predictability.
If you think about it, how many times has the audience been a witness to the following characters and their journey: A rebel, a mischievous villain who might be a hero, a supportive daughter, and a courtesan. By just naming the role of these characters, it is easy for any layman to spin a story around them. So, you are left utterly disappointed when the writer of the film makes no effort to give the tale a refreshing perspective. Everything is just as underwhelming as you imagine it to be.
One of the foremost problems with Thugs Of Hindostan is the fact that it is built on a base that is all about the action and chooses to forego its heart. So, sure you are amazed by the recreation of the 1795 period but if you look beyond, you don’t feel anything. It tries to overcompensate for its weak writing, ordinary characterization and predictable plot twists with 300 crores worth of grandeur. If only that insane amount of money had been spent on carefully selecting a much more focused and original pre-production team.
Due to its mismatched representation of historical facts and a jumbled perspective of geography, it is very hard to perceive the film to be anything more than mindless entertainment. The film is sub-standard even when thrust into this category. It provides you with no background information on any of its characters, it mechanically jumps from one scene to the other and fails to capture many key moments in a scene. Even if you don’t want to go digging for flaws, you notice them because of the film’s exhaustive three-hour run-time.
As Khudabaksh Azad, Amitabh Bachchan delivers a riveting performance with respect to the action sequences. His screen presence otherwise is simply uninventive. As Firangi Mallah, Aamir Khan is vibrant, animated and at times annoying. But even his powerhouse presence cannot save the film. But his mischievous antics and nuances make the film watchable. If you enjoyed Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, chances are, you will like the Indianised Firangi Mallah as well. Fatima Sana Shaikh barely has anything significant to do in the film. The story could’ve done without Katrina Kaif as she merely appears for two songs. In both these songs, her performance is uninspired.
Manush Nandan’s cinematography is spectacular in bits and pieces. But in action sequences, it fails to capture a few vital shots. John Stewart Eduri’s background score lifts the film up slightly and Ajay-Atul’s soundtracks are quite forgettable. The film’s VFX is far from awe-inspiring. It comes across as hasty and messy in many sequences
On the whole, Thugs Of Hindostan is a tiring film that lacks imagination. Maybe with much better writing and a fresh perspective, the film would have fared better.