Strong Script saves Salman’s Tubelight from going off

Cast: Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Zhu Zhu, Matin Rey Tangu, Om Puri, Mohammed   Zeeshan Ayyub.
Director: Kabir Khan
Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)

As the Bollywood tradition goes, 2017 also witnessed actor Salman Khan celebrating Eid with his fans with his latest venture ‘Tubelight’. The Salman-Kabir Khan actor-director duo famous for Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan, delivered another film for ‘Bhai’ fans to enjoy during the festival.

The movie claimed to be an emotional and family watch by the star is set in the backdrop of the 1962 Indo-China war and tries to portray the consequences of war on not only the soldiers’ lives but also the lives of their loved ones who are left behind waiting for their return.

Salman Khan has been trying to reinvent his image with projects like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and now Tubelight. The 51-year-old actor has attempted to venture far from his hero image to the vulnerable character of a man with the innocence and understanding of a child. The film, an official adaptation of the 2015 Hollywood film ‘Little Boy’ puts Salman in the role of a brother Lakshman, determined to bring back his younger brother Bharat, portrayed by Sohail Khan, who has gone to fight the 1962 war.

The chemistry between the Khan brothers manages to come out beautifully in some moments, but also becomes a drag many times. The awkward stance of Sohail Khan is clearly visible in the film, who doesn’t look at ease with his character. Playing a mentally-disabled character, called Tubelight by everyone around him, Salman is somewhere able to make up for his otherwise expression less face.

The makers of the film possibly tried to use the adorable child actor formula to add to the charm of the film again;eight-year-old Matin Rey Tangu failed to capture everyone’s audience unlike Harshaali who had managed to outshine even Salman in Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

The scripting and camera of the film manage to win hearts to quite an extent. Scriptwriters Kabir Khan, Parveez Sheikh and Sandeep Srivastava deserve all the appreciation for the political commentary included in the film. Statements like “I don’t need a certificate to prove that I am an Indian” by Chinese actress Zhu Zhu who plays Matin’s mother clearly takes a dig at the constant certification of patriotism being awarded in our country recently. Mocking the concept of the person shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ the loudest to be the real Indian, again proves to a very smart and much needed take on the pitiable definition of nationalism gaining popularity in our nation. Lens work done by Aseem Mishra beautifully captures places like Ladakh and Manali, at the same time managing to recreate the 1960s aura.

The message of inclusiveness and Gandhian ideals and making friends with the enemy, although sounds cliché but comes out very innocently and beautifully on the screen. The acting definitely disappoints, but the script manages to save the film to some extent. The first half is far more engaging as the second becomes a bit of a drag. The female actors in the film aren’t able to leave their impact, while the supporting cast including Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Narayan and Yashpal Sharma as Major Tokas manage to do justice to their parts.

The cameo of Shah Rukh Khan comes out as a surprise but doesn’t really impress. The music of the film is way too loud, the songs are shot very well and manage to convey the emotions of the moments, but the makers could have possibly toned the sound a bit down as it unnecessarily overshadows the film.

The film being the late veteran Om Puri’s last, stars him in a fatherly role and plays out as a poetic eulogy to the legend.

*Spoiler Alert*

The symbolism in some of the scenes such as the one where Lakshman spreads Bharat’s ashes in the river with the latter’s soul running forward and mixing with the ashes comes out very strongly and conveys the emotions spot on. Although the scene is a copied one, it still plays out strikingly and creates a mark on the audience’s minds and hearts.


Overall, the simplicity in the approach and the attempt by Salman Khan to depict the naivety works out to some extent, although the scope of improvement is very much there. It might have been interesting if more emphasis could have been on child actor, still the film passes on as a one-time watch

K.V. Vijayendra Prasad: The man with the magic wand

Even as Baahubali and Bajrangi Bhaijaan are ringing in the cash at the box office ,

a Telugu writer has suddenly shot into the limelight. It is none other than film maker SS

Rajamouli’s father, K.V. Vijayendra Prasad. He is an established Indian screen writer, and has

produced considerable amount of work in both Bollywood as well as Telugu cinema. He has

been the screen writer for more than twenty five films since 1988, and needless to say, his

films have been appreciated often, including mainstream Bollywood cinema such as

‘Rowdy Rathore’. He has also won an award for ‘Rajanna’, a film he directed back in 2011.


What has suddenly changed for K.V. Vijayendra Prasad?

He has been writing since 1988, but recent successes for him seem to have attracted a good amount

of recognition from critics. It is because of Prasad’s writing that a Salman Khan starrer has

been appreciated not for its star quality, but for the richness of the story. The July 17 release

of ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ has left a staggering impact on the box office.

The terrific combination of father-son duo, director SS Rajamouli and scriptwriter K.V.

Vijayendra Prasad have produced a box office hit, ‘Baahubali’. While many people are aware

about the scriptwriter of this particular film, hardly anyone became conscious that there is a

link between ‘Baahubali’ and ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’; that link of course, being the talented

scriptwriter. The importance of a good story can hardly be downplayed, and here it

becomes even more apparent as ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ is sailing far and wide due to its

emotional content, and not only because of its lead actor’s charisma.

Prasad recognises Mahabharat as his main source of inspiration for ‘Baahubali’. He

attempted to show many characters at war with one another and with themselves, as cited

from the source. The film has done extremely well at the box office, which is an added

bonus for him.

This veteran writer downplays his brilliance when he says that he entered the profession

due to sheer necessity and adds, “When my son became a director and my nephew

M.M.Kreem a music composer, the family needed a writer for the picture to be complete.

So, here I am. Glad that Baahubali has found such wide acceptance.”

While revealing the source of inspiration for Bajrangi Bhaijaan, he shares an anecdote;

“Some years ago a Pakistani couple came to India for their child’s heart surgery. Back home

in Pakistan, the surgery was too expensive and they couldn’t afford it. Then, a Chennai

hospital stepped in and they offered to do the same surgery for 2-3 lakh. After their child’s

successful surgery, the couple spoke about how wonderful the Indians were to them. That set

me thinking. Why can’t we have more such incidents of people connecting over the


As critics and viewers continue to attribute the success of the film to its writer, K.V.

Vijayendra Prasad is making news for all the right reasons.

Courtesy: Vijayendra Prasad is finally getting some long overdue recognition.
Vijayendra Prasad is finally getting some long overdue recognition.