THUGS OF HINDOSTAN: a majestic deceit

“Deceit is in my nature”, exclaims Firangi Malla in Vijay Krishna Acharya’s disastrous directorial which sums up the hype surrounding – what is touted to be a Diwali extravaganza. For the first time Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan appear together on-screen, we expect them to at-least set the screen on fire but instead extravagant expectations are on blaze. With exorbitant ticket prices, an out-and-out bland masala entertainer thugs the junta through a majestic deceit. Apart from a visual play, Vijay Krishna Acharya’s third directorial after Tashan (2008) and Dhoom 3 (2013) doesn’t rise above any incoherent amalgamation of a rookie idea.

Thugs of Hindostan revolves around bandits and rebels against the expanding British East India Company in the 19th Century. A cohesive and interesting idea which might set screens on fire with India’s finest Superstars is dumbed down by style over substance. Predominantly, Writer-Director Vijay Krishna Acharya plays with a meticulous production design and glossy waters but never caters attention towards the blandness of a mediocre script. It ends as a visual spectacle which banks on surface rather than diving into deep waters, scenes are dragged endlessly often over-dramatic and underwhelming. Khudabaksh (Amitabh Bachchan), the most easily written character is as heroic as it is ineffective in its script encroachment, likewise, Firangi Malla (Aamir Khan) looks a gimmicky character which impresses the narrative with expected twists and mood swings.

It’s a film about freedom – a dream and a firm belief sowed throughout in a visual tussle, with Aamir Khan in a similar setup it reminds of Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005). And a stark resemblance to Jack Sparrow is inevitable which was evident in the trailer itself, so what’s unique here? Indian-ness. It works on whims in a bloated feature where a clichéd good triumphs over evil segment is set in Dusshera, Britishers always talk in Hindi when aloof and a fantasy geographical forte which wipes the boundaries for a broader perspective, is it? Apart from meticulous and majestic Production Design by Sumit Basu, all other technical departments either fail or end up being loud especially, the exaggerated background score by John Stewart Eduri.

Thugs of Hindostan features two Superstars of Hindustan who end up in a hamming session without any heartfelt takeaway apart from sheer disappoint and questionable nature of film acceptance. Amitabh Bachchan steps in physically a difficult task to achieve but seems like amour weight made him deliver a constipated performance. Hence, as usual he adds weightage to the performance through what he’s best at – vocals. Aamir Khan in a chameleon character adds bombastic value, which caters more to characterisation rather than script. Fatima Sana Shaikh adds substandard emotional value while Katrina Kaif troupes around the steps managing an excusable drunk look.

You might need a substance to take off the bugging thug, whatever that means…such bugs might visit every Diwali to deceit, if necessary precautions (read: avoid) aren’t taken. Thugs of Hindostan runs exhaustively around 160 minutes, a foreseen disaster and an example of excessive hype building around a stylish extravaganza without any substance.

Language: Hindi
Release: 08 November, 2018
Rating: 1/5

Copyright ©2018 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.


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