When the trailer of Thugs of Hindostan came, there was a conversation about the movie being a rip off of the famous Hollywood franchise Pirates of the Caribbean. Well after watching the movie I can definitely say that POTC is a huge inspiration for this movie and especially for designing the character of Firangi played by Aamir Khan. The problem is that Vijay Krishna Acharya has written a script that’s way too predictable. The movie has its moments of commercial high. But it just couldn’t build on such scenes to deliver a movie that is beyond a Diwali entertainer.
The movie begins with us being shown the downfall of an Indian king as he gets betrayed by the East India Company in order to gain power. 11 years after, the daughter and the commander in chief of that king are seeking revenge against the East India Company officer John Clive. How that mission goes and what was the contribution of the crooked man named Firangi in that is what Thugs of Hindostan all about.
If you are someone who was highly disappointed seeing the trailer of Thugs of Hindostan, I must tell you that I felt it as a disappointing movie rather than a terrible movie. Vijay Krishna Acharya who has made movies like Tashan and Dhoom 3 in the past is luckily not giving us those extremely outdated cheesy bits this time. But where he fails is in building a strong and exciting screenplay. As a writer, he is getting tackled from every angle and he just can’t bring a novel enough scene. The recent Malayalam movie Uncle starring Mammootty got a major flack about the casting as the movie was trying to portray Mammootty’s character as a negative one. But as we all know he won’t be a negative character, the film’s fundamental conflict was facing a problem. Here also a similar issue is there. They have tried to establish that Firangi is not trustworthy. But you know this is an Aamir Khan movie and he won’t play such a character. That severely affects the movie’s desperate attempts to antagonize him. Whenever he shows his cheater side, you can sense fakeness in that which sadly no one in the movie was recognizing.
In terms of production design, this movie is grand and you can clearly see a good leap in visual effects quality. But what is less original here is the story and making. From the Jack Sparrow-inspired Firangi to set pieces and even the very last Firangi bit, the POTC inspiration is evident. Getting inspired from POTC is not a crime as cinema is an art where everyone gets inspiration from other’s work. But when you watch Thugs, other than the practical and logistical efforts, there isn’t a genuine effort in the writing of this movie. Emotionally it feels so flat and Vijay Krishna Acharya’s efforts to spice it up with visual grandeur weren’t really helping the film. The cinematography by Manush Nandan was good. But the editing was extremely clumsy, especially in the fight sequences taking away all its grace and impact. Music is kind of okay as some of it is in sync with the emotional high of the movie.
Aamir Khan has openly said that this was one movie where he said yes to the film as he liked the character. Well, you can definitely see that excitement in his performance. He has played the desi version of Jack Sparrow in his own style and to me, he was the only saving grace. Amitabh Bachchan in the retired Shehenshah attire has the commanding screen presence. But the movie wasn’t really using him in his full potential, mostly because of the way the character was written. Fathima Sana Shaikh as Zafira has a natural toughness in terms of body language. But she fumbles a bit in certain emotional sequences. Lloyd Owen was impressive as the English officer. Katrina Kaif has actually signed this movie the way she signs contracts for award nights- just two songs for you to ogle at her voluptuous body.
Just like how some of you might have clapped for the transformation scene of Aamir Khan in Dhoom 3 (the one where he fools Abhishek), Thugs of Hindostan has a few such masala moments. But it wasn’t enough to make this movie an exciting one. They have ended the film with a possible hint on a sequel and I hope that script would have something exciting. And by the way, what is the justification of showing two British officers having a private conversation in Hindi?
Thugs of Hindostan has its moments of commercial high. But it just couldn’t build on such scenes to deliver a movie that is beyond a Diwali entertainer.