Thugs of Hindostan Movie Review: Aamir as Firangi ‘Thugs’ the Heart

Thugs of Hindostan (TOH) is based in 1795 India. The East India Company came as traders but now rule India.

Some like Khudabaksh aka Azaad (Amitabh Bachchan) choose a life of a rebel and face certain death if captured, rather than bow to a life of slavery.

Others like Firangi (Aamir Khan) would sell their mother for a profit, their only master is money.

When Firangi is enlisted to deliver Azaad into the jaws of death by John Clive (Llyod Owne) for the Company, Firangi sets out to pull off the biggest Thugee (Con) of his life, facing his most worthy adversary yet.

Mounted on a massive scale, ToH is set in the early days of The British Raj and brings together two iconic Indian superstars for the first time on the silver screen.

Filme Shilmy reviews this highly anticipated movie.

What’s Good?

The concept and premise are refreshing for Bollywood. We’ve not really seen the subject of Thugs is something novel. One can at least acknowledge Yash Raj Films’ endeavour.

Fortunately, TOH doesn’t go the stereotypical Bollywood filmy way. Initially, one would think/expect that Aamir would end up being the estranged son of Amitabh, but thank goodness it doesn’t do that.

The locations are quite different especially the views of the ships in the sea… Plus, even the sequences during Azaad’s hideout are quite nice

Amitabh and Aamir together ooze of epic, without it making any bold proclamations. Just wish this happened a long time ago and a film made by a better director than Vijay Krishna Acharya.

Amitabh is decent as Khudabaksh aka ‘Azaad’. Though many have said otherwise, it is quite refreshing to see Big B in an action-packed avatar after a hiatus.

As such, there is the nostalgia of his Khuda Gawah avatar, especially when he recites poetry.

Aamir Khan, however, saves this ship from sinking. Just to be clear he does not ape or emulates Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow whatsoever.

Aamir adds his own quirkiness and charm to the Firangi character. He carries this film to its conclusion.

Fatima Sana Shaikh is impressive. Though she has minimal lines, her expressive eyes and body language do the talking. Even her dialogue delivery is impactful.

As for her action, we know that she’s apt in that after seeing her in Dangal. But definitely, Fatima shines.

Katrina Kaif, as expected and like her role in Dhoom 3 doesn’t have much to do in the film and is in the film to enhance the glamour quotient, which she competently does. She’s stunning as Suraiyya.

What’s bad?

Whilst there are a few good points about this movie, one cannot deny that TOH has its deal of flaws.

Director Vijay Krishna Acharya does not have a great history in terms of filmmaking – if we look back at Tashan and Dhoom 3. Yet again, there are a few glitches in his direction

Katrina’s outfit in ‘Manzoor-E-Khuda’ is not one that would be worn during the British Raj. In fact, it seemed very 80s.

Also, Khudabaksh is a sailor who hijacks the ships of the British, but where was he parking the boat after stealing them?

We never saw boats parked at his hideout/den.

Moreover, When Azaad attacked the British boat for the first time, surely they could’ve seen it from a mile off!

VFX was weak too. This could’ve been much better given the film was made on a big budget.

Given that Ajay-Atul is the composers, the songs could’ve been much better.

The musical duo has given us some mesmerising albums in the past including Agneepath, the three songs in this film are okay and will not really have a long shelf-life after the film.

Nonetheless, the background score is enthralling and enhances the film’s atmosphere.

On the whole, Thugs Of Hindostan is not as horrible or dreadful as many are making out to be.

Perhaps it was just high expectations attached to it and rightly so.

Maybe, it’s time for Bollywood should really muster the fearlessness to make a unique and fresh film, which is what was attempted in ToH.

Regardless of what one thinks, we cannot deny that Aamir Khan’s performance carries the film despite its weaknesses.

Having said that, Hindi cinema has definitely seen far worse films. But at the same token, the movie could’ve been better.

If one sets out to seek entertainment in this film, it can be found as long as you’re aware that it is not a flawless venture.

About Anuj Radia 749 Articles
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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