SALMAN KEEPS THE FAITH ALIVE – TUBELIGHT FULL OF EMOTIONAL DRAMA
Laxman Singh Bisht (Salman) is nicknamed tube light by his neighbours because he is feeble-minded. Despite being special, Laxman lives by one life-lesson; keep the faith alive and you can do almost anything, even stop a war.
At the outset, one must warn people that Tubelight is a departure from your regular Salman Khan mass entertainer. Here Bollywood’s darling-star plays a child-man who doesn’t take off his shirt or flex his biceps. So the audience going in for this one should invest belief (or should that be disbelief?) in this age of innocence offering from Kabir Khan.
Tubelight inspired by the Hollywood film Little Boy directed by Alejandro Monteverde, is told with a fable-like simplicity. Set in Jagatpur, a pretty North-Indian town, during the Indo-China war, the locals are mostly hangers on, who have little to do except laugh at Laxman’s antics or berate him. Banne Chacha (Om Puri) mentors him, imparting Gandhian gyaan at every given opportunity. Narayan (Mohd Zeeshan) is the local bully who slaps the hero around without provocation, making the slaps sting less and irritate more. Things brighten up a bit when the drop-dead gorgeous Liling (Zhu Zhu) and her perky son Guo (Matin), who are Chinese immigrants, move to Jagatpur. But even this track seems like a ploy to play up the Hindi-Chini bhai bhai sentiment.
The war sequences are poorly mounted because the filmmaker hasn’t invested in them either through evocative writing or mind-numbing montages.
The film that propagates the values of family, faith and patriotism doesn’t manage to take a complete leap of faith because often the emotions barely scratch the surface. Everything is so cloyingly sweet that you start feeling you’ve strolled into a sermon rather than a Salman movie. Pritam’s Naach Meri Jaan and Sajan Radio are magical, as is Shah Rukh Khan’s cameo as magician, Go-Go Pasha. Aseem Mishra’s camera work is largely-breathtaking.
When it comes to performances–Salman laughs and cries unselfconsciously, showing his audience the less-seen side of his macho screen image. He cannot move mountains with his performance but he tries hard to keep the faith alive. Sohail is sincere. Zhu Zhu shows spunk and young Matin entertains. And, Om Puri reminds you of the mettle unsung heroes are made of.
Tubelight’, starring Salman Khan in the lead, is shining bright at the box office as it collected Rs 18.50 crore on its first Monday. The film directed by Kabir Khan is now inching closer to the 100-crore mark with a total four-day collection of Rs 81.25 crore.
Though a little below the expected response for a Salman Khan film, ‘ Tubelight ‘ saw an average collection on the festival of Eid, which was a national holiday. The film has taken the second spot in the highest first days grossers of 2017, behind SS Rajamouli’s ‘Baahubali 2: The conclusion’.
The film saw a decent start with the collection of Rs 20.75 crore on its first day, followed by earning Rs 19.75 crore and Rs 22.25 crore on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The film has also been making its mark in the worldwide box-office with its first weekend collections recorded to be approximately between Rs 20.96 crore to Rs 22.57 crore.