THUGS OF HINDOSTAN
Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Lloyd Owen & Ronit Roy
Written by: Vijay Krishna Acharya
THUGS OF HINDOSTAN is the story of a group of rebels fighting the British. The year is 1795. The kingdom is ruled by a compassionate king (Ronit Roy). The evil Clive (Lloyd Owen) annexes the kingdom by treacherous means and kills the king and queen. The king’s guardian, Khudabaksh (Amitabh Bachchan), escapes with the king’s daughter Zafira (Fatima Sana Shaikh). 11 years later, Khudabakash, Zafira and their gang are now considered thugs. They have wrecked havoc in the lives of the Britishers. With no other option in hand, Clive summons Firangi Malla (Aamir Khan) to trace the whereabouts of Khudabaksh. Firangi is a devious character and it’s difficult to trust him.
With the help of his friend Shanichar (Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub), Firangi devises a plan and enrolls into Khudabaksh’s army. The rest of the story is how everything eventually comes together.
There are many major issues with TOH but one of the biggest and the most glaring in the movie is the script or in this case lack thereof. Aamir Khan in all his interviews said that the one thing that attracted him to the film was his character. Well his character is surely very well written but is it his character that the audiences have to be gravitating towards? Or is the character of Fatima Sana Shaikh that we should be rooting for because after all it is her revenge story that is main backdrop of the entire story? Or is the character of Mr. Bachchan that we should be follow who is this guardian of righteousness throughout the movie? The writer-director Acharya fails to answer this question even with a massive runtime of almost three hours, because he too is confused and his confusion is very evident in his storytelling style during the span of the movie.
The first half of the movie although is long and repetitive does have some stand out moments and hence is bearable for the most parts. But it is the muddled second half of the film which is a quick sinking ship with zero lifeboats in sight.
Production values are fantastic. Technically, as well the film was great. Cinematography by Manush Nandan is right out of the top drawer. The editing by Ritesh Soni is good but it could have been trimmed into a shorter length. The action sequences were just brilliant especially the fight sequences in the first half on the boat . The art direction and the production design is bang on. Ajay-Atul’s music is a major letdown.
Performance wise Aamir Khan does great with his character but how we wish he wasn’t this verbose. Amitabh Bachchan does a stellar job. He is particularly brilliant in the action sequences. Fatima Sana Shaikh is earnest in her performance and good in the action scenes. Katrina Kaif is wasted. Villain Lloyd Owen does okay. Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub is loud. While the rest of cast provide able support.
As a director, Vijay Krishna Acharya is let down by his own lackluster script. His direction too falls way off the mark.
At the box-office
The film took a sensational start but the shocking word of mouth has already started to show its effects on the numbers. The movie will eventually end up been a big disappointment for all concerned.