'Thugs of Hindostan' review: Aamir Khan's weakest film in years
In the 1700s, the East Indian Company is taking over Hindostan and expanding their empire. British officer John Clive (Lloyd Owen) deceives King Mirza (Ronit Roy) of Raunakpur and takes away his kingdom. His loyal general Khudabaksh Azaad (Amitabh Bachchan) and daughter Zafira (Fatima Sana Shaikh) are the only two people left while the entire family is massacred.
After 11 years, the duo has kept their fire alive and desire nothing but 'azaadi' (freedom) from the British. We are then introduced to Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan) with kohl in his eyes and shrewdness as his second nature. He is cunning, unreliable and can even sell his countrymen for a few gold coins. He treasures nothing more than his own life and harbours dreams of sailing to England one day.
Amitabh Bachchan's Khudabaksh is exactly the opposite. Nothing is more valuable to him than loyalty and his determination to attain freedom. And when their paths cross, Khudabaksh wants to give Firangi a chance to redeem his ways. But can he be trusted?
When the movie begins, you aren't really overwhelmed with the magnificence of the sets. What impresses you is the grand entry of the warrior Khudabaksh, riding a horse. Firangi, on the other hand, is inspired by Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean, donning a captain's hat and riding a donkey. He draws you towards himself with his animated big eyes and humour but that doesn't hold you for too long. After a point, it is difficult to endure his antics.
#ThugsOfHindostan have arrived! Witness the action unfold in cinemas near you. Book your tickets now - https://t.co/p2wwRl6Nz5 @SrBachchan | @aamir_khan | #KatrinaKaif | @fattysanashaikh | #VijayKrishnaAcharya pic.twitter.com/63rownS5yk- #ThugsOfHindostan (@TOHTheFilm) November 8, 2018
Zafira is given few scenes to show her valour and courage to seek revenge but she is the second fiddle and her significance is dwarfed in comparison to the leading heavyweight men. The seductive Suraiya (Katrina Kaif) is reduced to providing the oomph factor and does so with great panache. Apart from the two item songs, she has four dialogues that she delivers in her sultry style.
Post interval, you really want the film to pace up and reach its climax - something you can anticipate much earlier in the film. Thugs of Hindostan relies heavily on the background score by John Steward Eduri to add to the dramatics. There is not a moment in the film where the loud, glaring background score isn't present.
As you anxiously wait for the climax, it ends quite auspiciously on Dusheera day with the effigy of the demon king Raavana falling on officer Clive - this isn't really a spoiler!
Undoubtedly, Thugs of Hindostan is the weakest and most disappointing Aamir Khan film in recent years as we have come to expect much more from the talented actor. Amitabh Bachchan puts in his heart and soul into Khudabaksh and all we can do it laud his determination at his age.
The script and direction of Vijay Krishna Acharya hardly has anything to deliver. He can be credited for bringing the two stars together but it is a wasted opportunity.
While small budget films have recognised the strength of a strong script, big production houses are mounting expensive wafer-thin storylines.
Thugs of Hindostan just ends up being a long (nearly 3 hours), expensive colossal waste. Not sure it entertains but it does manage to extort you of your money.
Thugs of Hindostan
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Fatima Sana Shaikh
Directed by: Vijay Krishna Acharya