‘Tubelight’ movie review: Salman Khan slays it in the emotive drama

Directed By: Kabir Khan
Produced By: Salman Khan
Cast: Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Zhu Zhu, Matin Rey Tangu
Duration: 2 hours 16 mins
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3/5

“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind,” said John F Kennedy. And thus, when the Indo-China war of 1960s trembled the earth with its bloodshed, there was this man who wanted to turn hatred into love with his magic wand of belief. He was a lot like us, and a lot unlike us as well. Like us, because he knew the power of love. Unlike us, because he practised it. Kabir Khan, with ‘Tubelight’, has got it just right.

Little Laxman Singh Bisht (Salman Khan) had all the bad fortune accompanying him, since the time he was born; namely, an alcoholic father and a half-grown mind for himself. The boy who was often bullied as a ‘Tubelight’ to much of his dismay and hardly had a mate, found his best friend and solace in brother Bharat Singh Bisht (Sohail Khan). As they grew amid each other’s fond company, the world was changing quietly. But one day, it shook them loud enough. Bharat left for the war and nobody heard from him again. Just when a baffled Laxman is figuring out how to bring his brother back, a little boy (Matin Rey Tangu) and his mother (Zhu Zhu) come to stay at Jagatpur, their small town that was pretty stirred up by the war by then. Just as countless Indian youth gave away their lives in the hands of Chinese soldiers, the arrival of a Chinese family irked many. Laxman and the little boy Guwo grow to be affectionate companions, bound by the Force of similar agony. But where would life take them at all?

As I sat and witnessed how Kabir Khan was efficiently weaving the brotherly bond on screen, a little smile broke on my face. Salman and Sohail’s tender and comforting relationship remains the USP of ‘Tubelight’. This non-Salman fan had her eyes all welled up. Casting the two Brothers together was an intelligent move indeed, keeping in mind that the film is foiled by the warmth of relationships from beginning to end.

Salman Khan couldn’t be better. He mastered all the innocence his character required. Sohail Khan, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Om Puri have complemented the story as they add crucial emotional elements. But, the one who takes the cake is little Matin. This adorable, mischievous, secretly compassionate kid arrived when Laxman was in desperate need of a comforting friend. The uneven yet beautiful friendship is what we take away from this film.

What words don’t elaborate, music does. Pritam’s songs and Julius Packiam’s background score have spoken a million words of familiar love. Kabir Khan’s screenplay is a delight. Neither is it overstuffed with feelings, nor does it ever come across as lifeless. Aseem Mishra’s cinematography is neat.

We could score the film higher if the director stopped a little early. He continues to probably make it more content, which might have a few takers. It might as well have been made without the miracles Kabir has fondly added.

However, it’s not just about two brothers departing from each other. We live in a much messed up world, where lives are lost, love is numb, relationships are fragile. How badly do you really need to put your world through an acid test called war? You may be brave enough to pick a sword, could you be braver to drop one? May be no…

Hence, watch ‘Tubelight’ for an unputdownable tale of hope. Because, hope, my friend, can move mountains…

Watch the trailer here: