'Thugs of Hindostan' movie review: Visual overload

'Thugs of Hindostan' movie review: Visual overload

Thugs Of Hindostan

Hindi (U/A)

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Katrina Kaif

Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya

Rating: **

Huge ships, mammoth caves, swords that spill gallons of blood, and a dancer who is in the movie clearly because of her midriff. Yes, the Rs 300-crore eye candy is out!

The thugs spare no weapon in the armoury, but their battle for Hindostan misses the target by miles despite piercing plenty of British chests. And the chinks lie in the scale itself. The massive canvas translates into a shallow show, as much of the sweat has gone into VFX.

Of course, the film gives an eyeful. The forts and fights are overwhelming. All its creatures, including the zillion dancers who whirl in at regular intervals, look opulently Bhansali-esque even in their 1790s gear. But the visual marvel is undone by predictable props and an absolute lack of twists. Wish the film borrowed a few tricks from its most arresting thug, Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan, absolute joy).

Director Vijay Krishna Acharya gets aboard two great performers to fight the evil designs of the British East India Company. Amitabh Bachchan (all fired up as Khudabaksh, the patriotic sailor) and Aamir Khan make the most of their ammo. But again, nothing blasts off without a bright script. So all you get is a cardboard army that takes on British officer Clive (Lloyd Owen, all of guns and sideburns).

Arrows account for much of the casualtities, and that brings in Fatima Sana Shaikh, the prized archer-cum-protege of Bachchan. Now, Fatima is sharp on the field, but goes astray when she begins to emote. She has good company in Katrina Kaif, who gyrates in and out as courtesan Surayya.

The crumbling fortress is held together by Aamir. The man does a mean good job as a turncoat with his kohl, nose ring and a donkey-load of tricks (And no, this ain’t Pirates of the Caribbean and there is no smack of Jack Sparrow).

In the end, the thugs are burdened by visual overload. They thunder “freedom”, but their weapons are blunt.


Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox