It is not just a name, it is a disclaimer. Just like a quintessential tubelight, this movie flickers incessantly from beginning to end, that too with a bad choke.
Set in a tiny village somewhere in the hills of the north, the story begins with a narration by the pure-hearted protagonist himself. Salman as Laxman Bisht, quickly sets the premise for us and establishes that this story is going to be aabout a slow-witted boy (himself) and his younger brother, both orphans. After watching Salman for more than 10 mins on the screen you are already a bit annoyed by this extremely outdated and dull version of Rohit from Koi Mil Gaya. With his sing-song dialogue delivery and loud distorted facial expressions, Laxman is anything but lovable. The first half is leisurely spent in corroborating the chemistry between the two brothers through some song and dance. There comes a time when even Sohail Khan as Bharat Bisht looks like a better actor than Salman, and this is when you know the film is doomed.
Kabir Khan has picked up tried and tested elements – a man-child who is naive and golden hearted, an eminently cute child of non-indian origin, an underlying message of love over war, and all this weaved in by simplistic storytelling. What he missed out on, is a story. There are no highs, no lows, no drama, no build up and hardly a climax. Even the set of a make believe village looks as faux as its inmates. With no soul to this body, Tubelight is absolutely bland and fails to strike any emotional chord. The only beautiful parts of the movie are the ones with Salman and his little friend Matin Rey Tangu as Goi. It attempts to hint at some serious issues like modern day patriotism but fails to make a dent.
There are highly dependable actors like Om Puri and Zeeshan Ayub playing half-heartedly written characters. Chinese actor Zhu Zhu makes for some refreshing screen presence but that’s that. Pritam’s music also hits an all time low and you only hope there were fewer songs.
How we wish Tubelight had a story and was not just a three-hour explanation of the word ‘Yakeen’. Yes, that is the single takeaway for you, ‘Yakeen ki takaat’. Which basically means that Salman aka Laxman thinks that if he does the ‘Ankhon ki Gustakiyan’ step for too long, he can move mountains.Imagine such confidence for a non-dancer:p
Everything said and done, it is EID, and nobody can stop this one from crossing the 100cr mark, but in all honesty, Tubelight is painfully slow and boring and a major disappointment to even the Bhai-fans. Save your money for better entertainment, thank me later.