When one thinks of it, it feels a little strange to realise that Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan, two of the most successful and respected actors in the history of Hindi cinema have never shared the screen together. Yes, there was Indra Kumar’s ‘Rishta’ which was announced in the mid-90s but that film never took off and after that, one never really heard about the two of them coming together for a film. One finally gets to see the two of them in ‘Thugs Of Hindostan’ and that is one of the reasons which makes this film special. Director Vijay Krishna Acharya had a tepid start in the movies as his first film, the star-studded ‘Tashan’ was a big commercial failure but he redeemed himself to a good extent with the entertaining ‘Dhoom 3’. ‘Thugs Of Hindostan’ is one of the most expensive films made in India till date and is clearly one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year. Does Vijay Krishna Acharya manage to deliver another entertainer after ‘Dhoom 3’ or will the film turn out to be another ‘Tashan’ for Yash Raj Films and him?
It is 1795 – an era when India is ruled by the British and the country is years away from attaining freedom. There are certain rulers or kings who are against the British rule as they firmly believe that the country should be ruled by its own people. One such person is Mirza (Ronit Roy) who refuses to succumb to the Britishers. Mirza ends up losing his life in a fight with Clive (Lloyd Owen) and his men. The only member of his family who manages to escape from the clutches of the Britishers and live is Zafira, Mirza’s daughter who grows up to become a warrior wielding a bow and fighting the Britishers along with rebel Khudabaksh’s (Amitabh Bachchan) group of fighters. Firangi Malla (Aamir Khan) is a small-time thug whom the British assign the task of getting hold of Khudabaksh and his troupe.
‘Thugs Of Hindostan’ has scale and ambition perched on a wafer-thin plot. Vijay Krishna Acharya, who has also written the film, tries to introduce the audience to a world they have never visited before but fails miserably on account of a tedium screenplay that follows a predictable route and does not offer the audience with any novelty. There are lavishly built sets and a bunch of gorgeous action set pieces but all that is not sufficient to entice the viewers. The script plays truant here and offers entertainment value sporadically in a handful of scenes throughout the film.
It seems Aamir Khan had a ball playing the colourful character of Firangi Malla. His performance is one of the factors that make this film mildly tolerable. Amitabh Bachchan enacts all the scenes with a straight face. His character is not properly sketched out and its name is the only thing you remember. Katrina Kaif looks ravishing in the two songs she appears in. She barely has two-three scenes in the entire film. Fatima Sana Shaikh is the leading lady here; though she gets enough screen time, her character, just like that of Bachchan’s, does not have a proper arc. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub gets a few scenes to shine as an actor. Lloyd Owen plays the stereotypical character of the evil British general one has seen in several films in the past.
What was one of the most anticipated films of the year, turns out to be one of the worst you will see this year.