Yes, Thugs of Hindostan is a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean but it’s still definitely worth watching

Published: October 2, 2018
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This time around, the next big thing is Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, which is also said to have one of the most expensive outdoor settings in the history of Indian cinema.

Aamir Khan, aka Mr Perfectionist, has always exceeded expectations, whether they are about the quality of films Bollywood is capable of producing or the amount of money a movie earns at the box office. Khan’s movies are always the “next big thing” in Bollywood and the audience waits for his new releases eagerly because they know they’re in for a spectacle. This time around, the next big thing is Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan, which is also said to have one of the most expensive outdoor settings in the history of Indian cinema. The trailer of this much-awaited movie was released a few days back.

The long trailer takes us back to the Indian subcontinent in 1795 where the East India Company (EIC), led by the ruthless John Clive (Lloyd Owen), has taken over the region. The trailer shows us the horrors faced by the people and the tyranny they were forced to live under. We are then introduced to Khudabaksh Azaad (Amitabh Bachchan), a Muslim rebel, who along with his crew and his daughter, Zafira (Fatima Sana Shaikh), continues to foil the plans of EIC. Thus, he lands himself in their most wanted list.

Khudabaksh’s introduction is pretty impressive, especially the sequence where he zip lines to the enemy boat and engages in a sword fight. The British, fed up of the rebel, decide to hire Firangi Malla (Khan) to infiltrate Khudabaksh’s group and capture him for them. Firangi is treacherous and witty, and is loyal to no one except his own selfish desires.

We also get a glimpse of Suraiyya (Katrina Kaif), who plays Firangi’s love interest. Kaif is once again relegated to playing a dancer and it seems that the filmmakers are only using her to increase the glamour quotient of their movie. One can’t blame them to be honest, given her underwhelming acting skills.

In the final few seconds of the trailer, Firangi and Khudabaksh engage in an intense sword fight. Will Firangi actually be able to take down Khudabaksh or will Khudabaksh continue to rebel against the colonisers? I, for one, can’t wait to find out!

Thugs of Hindostan is basically about pirates, who are led by a long-bearded captain, taking on the EIC while a deceiving and conniving man tries to play both the sides. The setting sounds familiar, no? That is because Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean also had a similar set of characters and setting. The similarities between Pirates of the Caribbean and Thugs of Hindostan are quite uncanny. While Khudabaksh is a mix of Captain Barbossa and Blackbeard, Firangi is the Indian Jack Sparrow.

Even the fight sequences are quite similar, but Pirates of the Caribbean movies had brilliant visuals which Thugs of Hindostan clearly lacks. Although the audience’s reaction to the trailer has been mixed, most people have termed it as a copy of the major Hollywood movie. However, that doesn’t make me any less excited for the movie. So what if it has drawn inspiration from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? It still could be a movie worth watching and who wouldn’t want to watch two Bollywood heavyweights, Khan and Bachchan, go face-to-face in a blockbuster showdown?

The movie has generated enough hype to make sure it sets the box office on fire and when you have Khan as the lead, you can expect that fire to go wild. I hope Director Vijay Krishna Acharya learns from the mistakes of his past work, Dhoom 3, and makes sure that the final product is more polished and pleasing this time around. Also, Acharya needs to ensure that the audience gets to see the Rs300 crore ($42 Million) budget being put to good use. From the looks of it, those visual effects still require some final touches to look more convincing.

Thugs of Hindostan could either be one engaging and entertaining rip-off of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise or it could be the one that drags Khan’s “Mr Perfectionist” title through the mud. Let us all hope that the former is true.

Thugs of Hindostan releases on November 8, 2018.

All photos: Screenshots

Sahir Palijo

Sahir Palijo

The author is an undergrad pursuing a degree of Business Administration. He loves to write his thoughts and is a movie freak. He tweets at @The_Sahir (twitter.com/the_sahir)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ayesha Tariq

    Bla Bla Bla, Copywood!Recommend