Thugs of Hindostan Review: Formulaic Entertainment – 2.5
It was one of the most anticipated films this year. In fact, when the teaser trailer of the Thugs of Hindostan released, other film makers making films in the same genre launched their teaser trailers too – the film was so big. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh and others, Thugs of Hindostan is commanding the price tag of a big film in Mumbai and other circuits. With ticket prices reaching the North of 500 – even single screen theaters have increased their prices by a hundred rupees, Thugs of Hindostan had all the makings of a blockbuster. Does it succeed, read our review to find out.
Thugs of Hindostan is based long before the 1857 Uprising, considered to be the seed of the Indian Independence, was even a thought in anyone who took part in it. So, this gives the writer-director Vijay Krishna Acharya a lot of leeway. So, we have a young princess, Zafira escaping the British with her trusted guard, Khudabaksh. They turn pirates and the British hire a mercenary Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan) to track down these two and bring them down.
So, in hindsight, Thugs of Hindostan has everything that a typical Bollywood potboiler should have. Add to that an enormous budget from the Yashraj Films banner, and you should have a winner at your hands. Well, the film is a visual spectacle. The production and the set designs are tastefully done. It gives the Indian audience a great look into the times of yesterday.
There are mixed reactions towards the CGI. The CGI is the best coming out of Bollywood, but that’s the problem. We are still using ‘in Bollywood’ when talking about CGI. Audiences are paying equal – if not more – money watching both Hollywood and Bollywood, so why the film-makers think that they don’t need to up their CGI game is beyond comprehension.
In the performance section, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan shine. And that’s part of the problem. The casting of the film is like the batting order of the Indian cricket team back in the nineties. Once the first two are out for a duck, we had nobody to hold fort. Aamir is right at home with this role, and Amitabh Bachchan has forgotten about acting more than the current crop will ever learn. So, Fatima Sana Shaikh doesn’t hold in their presence. Katrina Kaif should seriously relook at her film choices.
To cap it all, Thugs of Hindostan is watchable, but it doesn’t garner the goosebumps that a Kranti would. But other than that, it’s a fairly commonplace multistarrer.