Verdict: Salman-Matin steal the show with their awwsome and awwdorable chemistry.
Three more nights to go before the crescent moon is out there but Bhai has already given his fans a wonderful Eidi; the big release we all have been waiting for. One of the highly anticipated Bollywood films of the year 2017, Tubelight marks yet another venture by the deadly combination of Kabir Khan and Salman Khan that has given the audience blockbusters like Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. While Kabir Khan has explored themes of patriotism, altruism, terrorism by getting us out of our oblivion to our relationship with our neighbors, Salman has always kept the entertainment bar high and given enough reasons to his fans to celebrate all his Eid releases. With Tubelight, Salman Khan not only gets more awwsome but also punches a wonderful message for all of us to take at the end of this two and a half hour long movie.
Inspired by the American war drama Little Boy, Tubelight is a tale of faith in adversity of an extraordinary child Laxman Singh Bisht (Salman Khan), who is slow to comprehension but has a golden heart. The movie begins with a picturesque shot of Jagatpur’s heavenly splendor and Salman himself narrating his ordeals since childhood; the reason why he is called a Tubelight. In no time, Salman gets blessed with a baby brother Bharat (Sohail Khan) and their journey to adulthood is covered in the song Nach Meri Jaan. With the Sino-India war incumbent, the Indian army visits Jagatpur to enroll young blood to fight on the border. Bharat, Laxman and Narayan (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), a conventional orthodox local; all three attempt the tests. While Bharat gets selected, Laxman and Narayan are rejected. The highly emotional scene when the brothers separate as Bharat leaves for border patrolling will just make your tear ducts active. Salman’s emotions as his eyes smile but heart weeps will melt you.
The turning point in Laxman’s life and in the film’s plot comes when a magician Gogo Pasha (Shah Rukh Khan) lights in him a flame of conviction and faith that can work wonders, through a small magic trick. This particular life lesson of Faith moving mountains is further encouraged by Laxman’s guru and uncle Banne Chacha (impeccably brought to life by Late Om Puri) through his constant emphasis on the ideologies set by Mahatma Gandhi. When the news of the war breaking out, reaches Laxman, he begins this journey of getting his brother back on the strength of mere faith. Salman lives the film’s tagline Kya Tumko Yakeen Hai throughout and this leads him to befriend and later empathize with an adorable mother-son duo (wonderfully played by Zhu Zhu and Matin Rey Tangu). While Laxman seems to do the impossible every passing day, back in the mountains, Bharat is having a tough time with India’s limited resources against the mighty Chinese military and fate seems to distance the siblings further more. To know whether this endearing sibling love story comes to an end or does destiny finally bend before Laxman`s faith prowess; do watch the film in the theatres today.
The moral of the story is Yakeen ek Tubelight ki tarah hota hai, der se jalta hai, lekin jab jalta hai to full light kar deta hai. Don’t expect big revelations or grand plot twists; the movie is about a simpleton. Yakeen rakhiye and you will find your magical moment while watching this tale of faith in despair. Though the background of the Sino-India war and the state during the war could have been elaborated more, what catches the eye is Salman’s never-seen-before avatar; miles away from his Dabangg superhero image. Imagine Salman crying out his heart like a 10-year-old kid. Salman has definitely evolved as an actor and you just can’t help but fall in love with him in this one. Shah Rukh’s cameo as the magician not just ends an alleged story of rivalry but also lights up the screen. Humaare Karan Arjun aa gaye. Yayy!
Salman’s camaraderie with kids is mind blowing and just like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Tubelight showcases another upcoming child star Matin. The two, with their constant banter and antics, would leave you with many "awww" and "so cute" moments. Zhu Zhu is impressive and Late Om Puri gives a flawless performance as the wise old Gandhian. An important role here is played by Zeeshan Ayub as Narayan Lal Tiwari, a local who represents the narrow mindedness of a majority of us. Sohail Khan looks perfect as the caring and doting younger brother and the sibling moments would make you nostalgic if not teary eyed. The camera work is decent and the setting is perfect with respect to the aura of the 1960s. Kudos to the director Kabir Khan for making sure everything falls into place for this perfect Eidi to be served on a plate to all Bhaijaan fans.
Tubelight, in short, is cuteness overloaded with lessons for life.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Salman fans need no reason. Others go watch this one for its sheer conceptual richness and Salman’s growth as an actor. Also, if you are a pessimist, we highly recommend you to watch this film. If nothing of the above interests you, go check it out to see a superstar become a kid sans any inhibitions.
PS: Be ready to die laughing every time Salman mispronounces Matin`s name in the film.