Thugs of Hindostan - Trailer Breakdown
Thugs of Hindostan is an upcoming 2018 Indian Hindi-language epic action-adventure film written and directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya. It is produced by Aditya Chopra under his banner Yash Raj Films
The trailer of Thugs of Hindostan opens, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag-like, with a swarm of invading battleships. The year is 1795; the English East India Company is tightening its grip on India, and has long shed its pretense of being mere traders. There are sprawling sequences of British sepoys colliding with rebels, and of vintage rifles unloading on mobs of men. We then meet Khudabaksh (Amitabh Bachchan), the armour-wearing and sword-wielding leader of a rebellious Thuggee cult, as he and his wild bunch lay waste to a British warship. Among them is the sharpshooter archer Zafira (Fatima Sana Shaikh), who drops multiple soldiers with three arrows at a go.
Grimacing through it all is the character of John Clive (Lloyd Owen), a ruthless British officer scheming to take down Khudabaksh’s cult by subbing in a double-crosser named Firangi (Aamir Khan). “Firangi Mallah… village Gopalpur, district Kanpur, Awadh,” Aamir introduces himself in the trailer. His character, all brown-hair and piercings, looks likeably roguish and evidently slippery, and the actor seems in his element tattling off in broken English. Well past the two-minute mark, Katrina Kaif’s character, Suraiyya, is introduced through a lavish song sequence. Both the female actors in the film do get any lines in the trailer, which focuses entirely on elaborate sea battles, exploding cannonballs, felled watchtowers and gun-clocking Britishers.
The scenes aspire for scale, aided by the grand production design, but the poorly-rendered visual effects ruin the overall appeal. The characters are not given time to register and the trailer rushes by to pack too much repetitive action into its 3 min 38 sec runtime. Producers Yash Raj Films have gone all out to present Thugs of Hindostan as the ‘biggest Indian film’ ever, and while all the necessary ingredients are in place — stellar actors, a massive budget, an action-adventure plot, soaring cinematography, rousing music — the definitive assurance of a well-rounded and promising spectacle is somehow amiss in the trailer.
Towards the end, the trailer finales into a sword-fight sequence between Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. We are spared a glimpse of the first few blows, as the title logo drops down and Aamir and Big B are left standing on a ledge. This, we are afraid, is also our feeling about the film. It seems too much on the edge, and not in a good way.