Thugs of Hindostan Review: Another Box Office hit or mindless disaster?

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Did the Thugs really succeed to captivate the audience’s mind? Or it was just another mindless period drama with an uncanny resemblance to the Pirates Of the Carribean? The much speculated, waited for and talked about movie by Yashraj Films, that released today, Thugs Of Hindostan had all the elements to be a major blockbuster of this year end. Ensemble star cast, magnificent sets, scintillating graphics, music by the famous music director duo Ajay-Atul and lastly coming from the makers of Dhoom 3, the movie created quite a storm ahead of its release. However, did it really match up to the amount of hype and expectation invested on it?

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Directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, this venture stars names like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Fatima Sana Shiekh and Lloyd Owen in pivotal roles. The story is based on a 1795 background, where the British company’s officer Clive (Lloyd Owen) takes over the kingdom of Mirza (Ronit Roy). Then, princess Zafira (Fatima Sana Shaikh) and Khudabaksh aka Azaad (Amitabh Bachchan) form a band of rebel pirates who swear to defeat the English officer and win their freedom back. The British Company in return, hire the wily thug Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan) to track Azaad’s gang and impede his plans.

Well, its too early to present any hardcore review of this action, adventure and fantasy packed movie. As depicted from the sets and costumes, this can be derived as the Indian rendition of the famous Hollywood flick ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean. However, definitely both of the movies doesn’t feel the same way.

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The story begins in the late 1700s, during the East India Company’s rule in India, when the British used their trading position to dominate India’s princely states. However, the fact that the heroes of this tale are Pirates, are not at all convincing enough, at least in the Indian context. While the production design by Sumit Basu and cinematography by Manush Nandan are excellent, the predictable nature of the writing by writer / director Vijay Krishna Acharya doesn’t help the movie at all. The movie is too predictable, where every twists and turns of the plat development are easily speculated, without the movie throwing up a single plot or twist. The much expanded screenplay features scenes that are too prolonged and over dramatic, that’s why the movie feels like it’s always on choppy waters.

Another very disappointing aspect of the movie is the music by Ajay-Atul, that doesn’t add to the narrative. While the individual performances by Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan are noteworthy, and of course this doesn’t need any special mention, the performances by rest of the cast just never comes together. Aamir excels in the physical comedy and banter, while Mr Bachchan pulls-off the heroics and the intense dialogues well, but the rest of the cast isn’t able to rally up any serious effort. Katrina Kaif seems like a mere show piece, limited to two songs and a few lines of dialogue, while Fatima Sana Shaikh is left at the mercy of some badly choreographed action sequences.

Apart from the stray funny moments and consistently good visuals, sadly enough ‘TOH’ lacks ‘that’ punch or the thrill that is required to pull off a film of this scale. At 2 hours and 45 minutes, the film feels a little too long and the reason being problematic editing. Apart from Aamir Khan, graphics and few funny moments, this one is a one time watch entertainer, which is all show and no substance.

To this, prominent film critic, Taran Adarsh, tweeted that only one word for the movie is ‘DISAPPOINTING’.

However, on the contrary, and apart from all the negative reviews, audience rather the fans seemed to be enjoying it.

So, how about a plan this weekend?!!!