Tubelight: A Crass Story Led By Insensitive Narration
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
There is only one compliment that can be paid to a film like Tubelight. Through its perverse perspective, this film makes even the most meager and dull films in the Tamil Film industry look bright. On all grounds, the perspective this film takes and the proceedings that follow should be deemed insensitive, amateur and irresponsible. At a time when people are finally happy for an emerging platform being made available to young filmmakers, you can’t help but wish director Indra had handled this film with a little more sensitivity and much more tact.
After a freak accident, Ram (Indra) is left with an auditory processing disorder. Since his brain takes an additional five seconds to process and relay information, he is constantly the joke of any little situation. Right when his coping methods are exhausted, Mouli (Pandiyarajan), a doctor resembling Victor Frankenstein comes up with unorthodox treatments to find a solution to his disability. A love-struck Ram on the other hand dismisses these treatments to court Hema (Aditi). An Art-Therapist who gets kidnapped right in front of his eyes. Amidst all this chaos, an infuriated Ram seeks to right the wrongs, one problem at a time.
From the very beginning, Tubelight carries distastefulness and logical loopholes in its stride. Most of the time, Ram’s disability is the butt of all jokes and wherever need be, it is used as a self-pitying antic to milk sentiments in a crass manner. Even if you get past the director’s insensitive portrayal of disability, the manner in which the film portrays doctors and hospitals is downright despicable. In one scene, the chief doctor punches a patient angrily in the buttocks with an injection and in another scene; a nurse is encouraged to flirt with doctors to get ahead. Right from the start till the end there lays a perverse outlook in the way the story unravels.
After being a witness to an unbearably maniacal first half, you can be rest assured that the film has tossed aside all kinds of logical attributes. A disability that delays Ram’s auditable processing by five seconds is showcased in an inconsistent manner. In some scenes, the character takes two seconds, in some he takes close to two minutes. Isn’t uniformity to its logline one of the primary aspects of a credible story? A particular male nurse wears an inconsistent Coimbatore slang. The slang fades away in places and marks its presence in convenient places. Maybe, Tubelight’s team simply did away with the continuity check altogether.
Even if you get past all this, it is immensely difficult to like a film like Tubelight. A one line with an unexplored disorder might seem interesting, but the way in which the film stages its narrative is poor and crass. The central character who suffers this disability itself is unlikeable by a hundred miles. Every time he is seen exhibiting self-pity, it only seems like the glorification of a villain. Villains like Gru from Despicable Me are only outwardly villains with a minion troop but characters like Ram have overpowering villainous qualities that only seems to be glorified in the film.
As Ram, Indra never establishes the disorder in a realistic manner. He overacts and hams his lines most of the times. The rest of the cast members deliver unimpressive and amateur performances as well. Then again, a crew is only as good as its director, so they can’t be blamed for the inconsistent characterizations.
On the whole, Tubelight is a crass, insensitive and illogical film. The only way things could get better is if Director Indra had a massive change in perspective before he ventures out to make his next film. If I were you, I would give this film a miss.