4 February 2019 | namashi_1
Aamir Khan shines in this big-budgeted action adventure!
Hindi Films have often been guilty of plagiarism and with 2018's biggest box-office disappointment 'Thugs of Hindostan', the idea of originality in the Mumbai-Based industry was in question, once again. This action-adventure period-piece, is undoubtedly adapted from the Hollywood Blockbuster franchise of 'Pirates of the Carribbean'. But, is the film as bad as the critics and the general audience thought it is? My answer - is a NO.
Sure, 'Thugs' was slaughtered ever since it's trailer released and the comparisons to Pirates, and it's setting, were of course obvious. So for originality and also for smartness, Director Vijay Krishna Acharya scores less. But is his misfire a terrible film? Absolutely not. 'Thugs' is a predictable ride, but never an unwatchable film. Its got its moments, for sure.
Set in the late 1700's, 'Thugs' follows a group of Rebels known as Azaad, led by the commanding Khudabakash (Amitabh Bachchan), who must take down a vicious British Leader (Lloyd Owen). In their pursuit to defeat the British, the rebels are faced with a friend/foe in the form of Firangi Mallah (A delightful Aamir Khan), a rogue who cannot be trusted.
'Thugs' is a predictable film, and sadly, barring Firangi's colourful character who changes sides every time and now, there are no surprises here. Even the character of Zafira (Fatima Sana Sheikh)
and her personal vendetta against the Villain, for having killed her family in front of her eyes, is so 1980's. However, the moments between Firangi and Khudabaksh are engaging and the joy of watching two of Indian Cinema's most respected actors coming together for the first time, cannot be denied.
The biggest plus of the enterprise is Aamir's enjoyable portrayal of the anti-hero, who hits all the right-notes, be it Comedic or Sly. The action-sequences are nicely staged, but they aren't exceptional overall. Ajay-Atul's Score is superb and the Production Design is absolutely lavish. The art and costume design are top-notch, as well.
The Writing by Acharya could've be stronger, for sure. Considering the amount of talent and money that has been associated with this biggie, Acharya should've made the narrative more arresting and tried on something novel. The Writing isn't bad at all though, it's by the books and works well in some parts. Acharya's Direction is decent. Cinematography is top-notch. Editing is fine, but the film feels a little too long at a 160-minutes.
Of the cast, barring Aamir, no one really stands out, as they aren't given much to do. Bachchan gets a brilliant intro, but is later given limited lines and scenes, Fatima is just about okay, Katrina Kaif has just 2 songs and 3 scenes throughout the film and Owen does well. In supporting roles, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub does a sincere job as Firangi's friend and Ronit Roy is wasted as Zahira's father.
On the whole, 'Thugs of Hindostan' isn't as bad you have heard it is, but it isn't even as good as it should've been. It's, at best, a fair watch!