It was touted to be the biggest Hindi language opener in 2017. The magic combo of Salman Khan + Eid + Kabir Khan. In fact, ever since the superstar has been on a winning run since Wanted – inspite of a few downers like Jai Ho – the one thing that’s never let Salman down is the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr (or RamzanEid). He had made that his own. And no film of his opened below par on that hallowed day. That is why the opening of Salman Khan’s Tubelight has left critics and industry agape… Because unlike the hysteria that Bajrangi Bhaijaan had evoked (and still does whenever it’s on TV), the first Friday of Tubelightsaw a bleak flicker instead. Yes, it was a working Friday on the biggest fasting day of Ramzan, – the JummaTulWida (or the last farewell Friday of the holy month – when almost every Muslim keeps a fast. But it was a shocker opening for any Salman starrer given the huge numbers he’s known to garner on the first day. Figures for morning shows were as low as 25%. Also, a glance through some of the popular reviews saw the ‘Bad’ outweigh the ‘Good’!
We picked out a few excerpts to help make up your mind on this one.
Though with a weekend coming up and 3 days of Eid coming up Monday onwards – the movie might just prove to be review-proof – with most Salman fanatics thronging to the theaters to watch their favorite star.
We can only hope it takes off the way most Bhai starrers do.
“…antagonistic politics need not always make compelling cinema; Tubelight flickers in that unfortunate zone. It’s not even half as engaging a film as Khan’s own BajrangiBhaijaan… Here he leaves you cold (and bored) with a hackneyed, facile and naive take on issues.”
“There is a blandness that permeates through and through, hardly any dramatic peaks nor any innate tension, no shocks nor surprises, not even one moment or scene that stays with you.”
“Even a sequence with Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan together — that should have brought the house down — totally lacks magic. The biggest nail in the coffin is that Salman has to cry a lot, perhaps the most since TereNaam. One wonders how his fans are going to respond to that hint of snot in Bhai’s nostrils.”
“The biggest letdown, however, is Salman himself. Crying copious tears alone can’t a good performance make. His handling of the child-man is all about pulling some embarrassingly weird faces at the camera. Not for a moment do you feel invested in Laxman—neither his little joys nor his gargantuan plights.”
“It’s not a narrative of political co-option that a bunch of upcoming mainstream Hindi films seem to be. In fact, it tries hard to look at some contentious issues — the national/anti-national debate, who is perceived to be an Indian and who is not, who is one of us and who is an outsider and it even tries to be subversive with the Bharat Mata Ki Jai chant.”
“Khan has a solid cast of actors. The child, MatinTeyTangu, is eminently cute. But Zhu Zhu can’t rise above being flawless; the tears flowing down her eyes in picture perfect streams.”
“The only scenes that work visually, to a mild extent, are the ones that capture the majesty of Ladakh mountains in war time.”
“In this oddly modified remake of Alejandro Gómez Monteverde’sLittle Boy, Salman plays a character written for an eight-year-old by going the man-child way in the tradition of HrithikRoshan’sKoi… Mil Gaya. It worked with Hrithik, but not with Salman.”
“The star tries too hard to act cute bursting in an angry pout or puerile tone…”
“Salman and brother Sohail Khan, playing siblings on screen too, in all their beefy-bodied, puffy-faced, vest and khaki shorts-clad enthusiasm don’t really look the part.”
“Though Tubelight, shot by Aseem Mishra in golden light and sparkling hues, wears a freshness that’s befitting of its alpine landscape and makes everything it touches — wool, wood, wrinkles — look new.”
“The brothers share a close bond and it shows more genuinely than most of the sentiment in the film.”
“It’s hard to ever dismiss Kabir Khan in entirety. His sensibility is profound even when distracted by the mawkish facets of storytelling.”
“Tubelight movie review: Salman Khan film has one message –‘love conquers all’. The message is apt, the messenger not so much. It is the supporting cast led by the adorable child actor Matin Rey Tangu, father figure Om Puri and hot-head ZeeshanAyyub that really infuse the film with a glow.”
“Salman Khan is probably the weakest link of the Kabir Khan film. His performance lacks in nuance and all the effort he put into it is showing.”
“The effort, on Salman’s part, to come off slow-witted, shows in every frame. It’s all feels constructed, and on the surface, with no nuance. Instead of Hindi Chinibhaibhai, it is more like Hindi Chini, bye bye.”
“Some of the film’s more likeable moments are shared between Laxman and the little boy, who’s completely edible, and an absolute natural. The supporting cast is solid.”
Tubelight is a Salman Khan film that kept me longing to have Sohail back on screen, and those are words I’d never thought I’d type.”
“While Khan could hardly be expected to pull off a Forrest Gump, what we get here is even worse than Koi Mil Gaya: Tubelight is the story of a developmentally disabled man whose superpower is making constipated sounds.”
“This leads to Salman trying to move mountains and stop wars by sticking his arms out and grunting earnestly, over and over. These are supposed to be emotionally hardcore scenes depicting naive wholesomeness and a good heart. They come across unbearably farcical, crippled by what is possibly the worst performance of Salman’s chequered career.“
“Tubelight means well, an anti-war movie that illustrates the pointlessness of battle and the importance of not actively hating those you are at war with, and while its simplistic message is timely and admirable, the film is rendered unwatchable because of the leading man.”
“We get fine performances from bright Chinese actress Zhu Zhu and, most memorably, moon-faced child Matin Rey Tangu, who should have swiftly replaced the lead.”
“The film that propagates the values of family, faith, and patriotism doesn’t manage to take a complete leap of faith because somewhere someone couldn’t pull this one off convincingly. In fact, everything is so cloyingly sweet that you start feeling you’ve strolled into a sermon rather than a Salman movie.”
“Pritam’sNaachMeriJaan 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, unraveling the lesser-seen side of his macho image. He cannot move mountains with his performance but he manages 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.”
Even Taran Adarsh in his one word Movie Review slammed the movie: