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Tubelight Review: A universal message wrapped in an entertaining Salman film

By Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times

Bollywood star Salman Khan has collaborated with director Kabir Khan for the third time after Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan for Tubelight that hit theatres on Friday. 
In his latest venture, the filmmaker picks up a universal message and wraps it up in an entertaining Bollywood film.
Tubelight is mostly played to the gallery, but with a lot of force. Kabir Khan might seem very conventional in his approach, but he is also very effective. The film completely plays to Khan’s strength of adapting a Boy Scout onscreen.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) not only impressed critics, but also amassed millions at the ticket window. Salman played a simpleton who crosses the India-Pakistan border in all his innocence to help unite a little girl with her family. It was a character that stayed with people.
That is why when the first look of Tubelight was revealed, fans immediately identified the similarities between Pawan of Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Laxman of Tubelight. In fact, Tubelight takes it a step forward and presents him as the person who can stop a full-fledged war. Yes, you read it right, a war.
Beginning in the pre-independence era, Tubelight quickly moves to the Indo-China war. The film starts voicing its concerns from the very beginning and plays to its strength — that is, Salman Khan’s popular image as a headstrong yet benevolent celebrity.
The fight against war starts when Bharat Singh Bisht (Sohail Khan) doesn’t return from a war, and Laxman takes the onus on himself to bring his brother back. It is a roller-coaster journey that introduces him to difficulties of mammoth sizes.
Salman’s man-child act is slightly over the top, but his fans will like it.
Chinese actor Zhu Zhu and child actor Matin are his companions, who make his journey worth accompanying.