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Review: Thugs of Hindostan

Film: Thugs of Hindostan
Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Cast: Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Fatima Sana Sheikh, Lloyd Owen, Ila Arun,
Cinematography: Manush Nanden
Music: John Stewart Eduri

Director Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Thugs of Hindostan is a decent action adventure that keeps you reasonably entertained.

The year is 1795 and most parts of Hindostan, as India was then known, have fallen prey to the British Empire.

However, one kingdom in Central India stands out and refuses to give in. Its ruler Mirza is wary of the Britishers’ wily ways and is looking to overpower them before they can strike.

He knows he cannot take them on his own and hence sends his trusted fighter Khudabaksh along with his young son, Aslam, to a neighbouring country, asking for its help.

As he awaits word from them, the British, led by General Clive, strike. They enter the fort to negotiate. As it reaches a stand off, Clive discloses that he has Aslam, the young son of the King, as a captive. Tied to the mouth of a cannon, Clive threatens to blow him to bits unless the King accepts his terms. However, as soon as Mirza signs, the boy is blown to bits.

Soon, a battle erupts in which everybody in the Royal family is killed, save Zafira (Fatima Sana Sheikh). The young child is on the verge of being shot, when she is rescued by Khudabaksh, who flees the kingdom with the girl, craving for revenge.

Eleven years later, Khudabaksh, who now calls himself, Azaad, leads a band of rebels against the British. He and his rebels strike terror in the hearts of the British who are desperate to get him.

Meanwhile, as kingdoms fight one another, there is one man who, unfazed by the developments, goes about his mission of making money. And he goes by the name of Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan). Firangi is a glib-tongued, quick thinking, smart cookie who can talk his way into hell and back.

The only problem with him is that you never know which side he is on, as he keeps double crossing people.

When the British begin to feel the heat generated by Khudabaksh’s strikes, they decide it is time they took him out.But how do they do it? They need a bait. Somebody who can lead them to him. They decide the best man to do it would be the Firangi. A deal is struck.

For a princely sum, the Firangi agrees to find out the whearabouts of Azaad alias Khudabaksh and lead the British to him. He sets out and then what happens is what the film is all about.

The film starts off on a brisk note but then slackens after the first half an hour. However, it again regains momentum just before the intermission. From that point on, it keeps you engaged right till the end.

Amitabh Bachchan looks old and weary. He does not look half as convincing as the ferocious warrior that Khudabaksh must have ideally looked.

Fatima Sana Sheikh as Zafira looks convincing and even impresses in a couple of the fight sequences.

Lloyd Owen as Clive does a neat job of his role as do most of the other actors.

However, it is Aamir Khan as Firangi Mallah who steals the show. Be it his new look for the role, or his expressions or his dialogue delivery, everything about his character is a treat to watch. The man simply turns into Firangi, so much so that after a point, you actually forget it is Aamir Khan playing a character. You simply look at him as Firangi.

What helps Aamir is the fact that his character too is a very interesting one. Wicked, ruthless, notorious and a turncoat on the one hand and kind, merciful and skillfull on the other, the character is one that uses both sets of qualities in tandem. As a result, the man is highly unpredictable.

When a gifted actor like Aamir plays such an unpredictable character, it is a treat to watch.

The other character that catches your eye is that of Suraiyaa(Katrina Kaif). Suraiyaa is a dancer, who is sought by everybody in the kingdom and that includes even the British. Nobody else could have done a better job when it comes to dancing as Katrina Kaif does.She dances her way into your hearts as Suraiyaa.

Manush Nanden’s cinematography is awesome in some parts and pretty ordinary in others. A couple of songs from the film are already chartbusters.

In all, Gangs of Hindostan is a reasonably interesting action adventure if you don’t have any huge expectations.

Rating: 3 stars

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