Thursday, February 25, 2021

'Thugs of Hindostan': Aamir Khan steals the show

Reading Time: 2 minutesFilm: “Thugs of Hindostan”
Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Ronit Roy, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Sharat Saxena and Lloyd Owen
Rating: ***1/2

A straight-laced fiction mounted in a historical set-up, director Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Thugs of Hindostan is a sprawling, ambitious 164-minute epic action adventure.
The story begins Circa 1795 when the British East India Company tries to annex the princely state of Ronakpur. When negotiations fail, they assassinate its ruler Mirza (Ronit Roy) and his son Aslam. Mirza’s trusted Lieutenant Khudabaksh Azaad (Amitabh Bachchan) escapes from the British’s bullets, taking along with him Mirza’s young daughter Zafira.
Khudabaksh aka Azaad along with his band of Thugs, give a tough time to the foreigners as they aspire to free the country.
Threatened by Azaad’s growing popularity, the British engage Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan), a small-time but ambitious con man, to locate and capture Azaad.
Everything about this film is in capital letters preceded by articles; the story befitting the intertextual clash of the good against evil, the mounting on the massive scale and casting of the leads.
While the two legendary icons of the Indian screen are pitted against each other, Aamir Khan steals the show with his flamboyance. He is the pulsating heart of the narrative. He brings his character to life with his energetic on-screen presence, priceless expressions on his visage, flawless dancing and agility during the action scenes.
While he is charming and convincing as an actor, his lines are bogged down by the superficiality of the character that makes him seem forced and a bit hollow, especially after his repeated cycle of smarts and tactics.
Amitabh Bachchan as Khudabaksh, a loyal guard-cum-protector of Zafira, is a character we have seen in some of his earlier films too. Luckily for him, his character stands out due to his sheer personality.
Katrina Kaif as Suraiya the dancer, is fabulous. She impresses us with her graceful and elegant dance moves, especially in the song Suraiya jaan.
Fatima Sana Shaikh as the warrior Zafira is impressive. So is Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, who plays Firangi Mallah’s friend Shanichar and Lloyd Owen as John Clive, the head of the British East India Company. They all leave an impact with their acting chops.
Visually, the film is magnificently mounted with visual and special effects. Manush Nandan’s cinematography captures the era created by Sumit Basu’s production design, costumes and locales to perfection. Each frame is a masterpiece, be it the wide angle shots or the close-ups.
The live action shots are seamlessly meshed with the computer generated images by editor Ritesh Soni.
The action sequences along with the stunts and dances are all astutely choreographed. The songs Vashmalle, Suraiya jaan and Manzoor-e-Khuda, blend into the narrative flawlessly.
While the first half is racy, the second half especially the climax and denouement drags a bit.
Overall, this film is worth a watch for Aamir Khan’s performance.
By Troy Ribeiro

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

former liberal staffer dhanya mani (1)

Dhanya Mani on speaking out: “It felt like a moral imperative”

  Trigger warning – sexual harassment The disparity between women and men in every workplace across Australia is well understood, but less understood is the disparity...

Rowing champ Gauri Kotera

  With a streak of wins behind her, 14-year-old Gauri Kotera is now among the top five rowers under 16, in the state of NSW. The...

Raising guide dogs – at home

  As the clock struck midnight this past New Year’s Eve, the Bhandari family in Sydney celebrated in a rather unique way: taking care of...
driving school instructor, sexual harassment

“Hard kisser or soft kisser?”, my driving instructor asked me

  Trigger warning - sexual harassment I needed to pass my driver's test because my learner's license expires in April. As someone who is employed full...

Review: The Big Day (Netflix)

  Reality shows about weddings are nothing new if you consider the success of productions like Say Yes to the Dress, Say I Do, and...