Salman Khan movies are the most awaited Bollywood films of every year. This year's Salman Khan movie happens to be one that's a little different than his last.
'Tubelight' comes across as a heartwarming story about faith, adapted from a weird source material.
The teaser trailer for 'Tubelight' gives very little information, but more acts as an establishing of the setting for the story. In war-torn India, we are treated to glimpses of a happy small town with bright colors, simple people and most importantly, Salman Khan.
Khan seems to be doing his typical, character with a heart of gold and child-like innocence, shtick. And it's fine, to a point. The teaser gives us the usual Salman Khan shenanigans, amazing song pieces with familiar faces and a narration of war and belief playing over the whole thing. It's light hearted, sweet and uplifting. But there's a problem.
While I have all the faith in Kabir Khan as a filmmaker, it's been reported, and even confirmed by Khan himself, that 'Tubelight' is an official remake of the 2015 Hollywood movie 'Little Boy'.
'Little Boy' is about a young boy who wishes for his father to come home from WWII, and will do whatever he can to make it happen. The movie plays out as a series of coincidences, along with the help of some well meaning adults, convince the boy that he processes magic that he can use to end the war. It's weird and at times, unsettling. With a score of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received universal panning, as being a faith-based film that ends up being offensive. And this is where the problem comes into play with remaking this into Bollywood.
The biggest change in 'Tubelight' from 'Little Boy', obviously, is that the 50+ year old Salman Khan plays the role of the 8 year old child in the original. And the premise kind of falls apart here. Near the end of the teaser for 'Tubelight' Khan's character is shown as attempting a similar display of powers as the original movie, so it stands to reason that he believes, similar to the child, that he may have some powers. But the original film portrayed this as a bunch of adults, indulging a child so as not have to explain the complicated nature of war to him, especially when it relates to his father being on the front lines.
Khan is old. The youngest character he can play at this age in a movie is maybe 35+. In a Bollywood movie, maybe mid-20's to early 30's. And that's being delusionally generous. So how a grown-ass adult can fail to understand the nuances of war, or even more so, be convinced that he has magical powers to end it... and have it all be framed as an innocent leap of faith that heals the world... is beyond me.
Now, to be fair, the teaser is just that; a teaser. The full trailer of the film may reveal more about the context, explain the situation and give more insight into Khan's character. We're not even sure yet to what extent the film is adapted from 'Little Boy'. I'm hoping it's not as easy of an explanation and that the writer/director don't cop out by having Khan's character have any sort of developmental issues.
But until we know more about the movie, so far 'Tubelight' seems interesting and the typical movie you would expect from Salman Khan. And I mean that in the best possible way.