Thugs Of Hindostan: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen

This action-packed period movie about trust and betrayal has swashbuckling, rakish men ably supported by a feisty and fierce princess. What's not to like in such a full-on entertainer?

By Vanshika Devuni Kalanidhi

Thugs Of Hindostan: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen
Photo courtesy: Yash Raj Films Facebook page

A disclaimer: I love learning about history, and I’m really fascinated by what my motherland was before becoming ‘modern’. I also like action-packed movies, and I’m a sucker for strong female characters. Due to that reason, this review might be slightly biased (case in point: I REALLY liked the movie, while my mom claimed she zoned out for most of it!). For me, it was about watching characters I have learnt in history lessons come alive. Imagine watching Robert Clive being villainous and intrepid on the big screen! Dig it.

A daughter's revenge 

Thugs of Hindostan is an action-packed period movie about trust and betrayal. It is about a daughter’s revenge and retribution. It starts off with British Governor General Robert Clive killing the king of Rounakpur and his family after convincing him that the East India Company is a 'Friend of India'. In the skirmish, the young princess Zafira is spared, thanks to the timely intervention of the Army Commander Khuda Baksh (Amitabh Bachchan). 

Khuda Baksh, aka Azaad, is known to create havoc by looting and ransacking British ships. Naturally, the British want Khuda Baksh dead or alive. They think he is Azaad, the rebel. Then, Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan), a two-bit thief who is too smart for everyone, manages to get into Azaad's camp. He then lets the British know that Azaad is not really one person, but an army of Azaads filled with the mission to win freedom and throw out the British. And that there is this army getting ready in the secret hideout of Zafira (Fatima Sana Sheikh) and Khuda Baksh. Firangi is loyal only to money and known for his unscrupulousness, so he keeps betraying Khuda Baksh and the British, by turns, and making a fool of everyone for money. However, in the end, his true love for the motherland surfaces and he helps Zafira establish their kingdom again.

Crowd-pleaser, but lacks plot

As much as I enjoyed the movie, it has flaws. There is overflowing emotion and love for the motherland, but no strategy. That kind of plot was present in Padmaavat, but missing in this film. I found Suraiya’s (Katrina Kaif) character quite unimportant and uni-dimensional. Also, I didn’t like the fact that Katrina (who has about 10 minutes of screen time) is the face of the film in posters while Fatima Sana Shaik (the lead actress) is barely visible. The plot gets repetitive post-interval. I also found Azaad’s character plain and predictable. The movie also looked a little too modern to be set in 1795.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the film, the breathtaking locations and amazing cinematography. I literally got chills during several scenes, including the one where Azaad rescues young Zafira from Clive’s men and the scene where they overpower the British ship. I loved the shots towards the end where Zafira defeats Clive. I also loved the symbolism with the eagle.

I think the actors did a spectacular job. I’m not used to seeing Amitabh Bachchan on screen, (not being a part of the Sholay generation), so I found his portrayal of Azaad impressive. Aamir Khan is amazing as Firangi with his sly demeanour and mischievous aura. I’m always fascinated when actors, who usually play the flawless protagonist, portray villainous characters (Ranveer Singh in Padmaavat is another good example).

A fierce and feisty princess

I really loved how Fatima portrayed Zafira. I have a fascination for strong women who fight well and do other things generally considered 'manly'. The scar on her eyebrow and the tattoo on her chin added to the flair. She can be quite intimidating in some scenes (which I like). I was happy there is no romantic sub-plot between Firangi and Zafira. Both Fatima Sana Shaik and Zafira have been added to my list of gutsy women to look up to. (They’re way up there with Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games and Thalia Grace from Rick Riordan's book series). Deshna Dugad also did a great job as young Zafira.

Overall, it was a worthwhile watch. I wouldn't mind watching it on a streaming service, during my X'mas holidays.

My 5 Takeaways From Thugs of Hindostan:

  1. Learn to fight for what you believe in. In this case, the motherland. 
  2. Only two things are certain in life — death and betrayal. Be ready for the first, but watch out for the second!
  3. A single person can change the course of history. YOU can be that person.
  4. Trust the right people or you will be in trouble.
  5. It's never good sense to let those who do business with you, have control over you. 

Also read: Padmaavat: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen

The author is a writer/blogger who blogs at www.vanshikadevuni.blogspot.com

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