Every year for Diwali, Hinduism's fall festival of lights, Bollywood pulls out the big guns and this year is no different. Thugs of Hindostan is a film many years in the making, starring numerous massive Indian movie stars in a swashbuckling adventure story. The film is among the biggest budget gambles in recent years and is likely to make a ton of cash at the box office irrepsective of quality, but I am cautiously optimistic because when Bollywood goes all out, there no industry to match them for pure escapist spectacle.
Thugs of Hindostan stars Amitabh Bachchan, arguably the world's biggest film star, as the rebelious pirate Azaad (which translates to "Freedom") attempting to thwart 19th century British rule in India. In response, the British decide to employ Firangi, played by Aamir Khan, who also starred in the massive international hits Dangal and Secret Superstar. Firangi translates to "foreigner", and the character is something of a traitor to his Indian roots in attempting to assimilate and take advantage of the British Raj. Many fights, songs and dances follow and the whole thing looks like it could possibly be fun if it doesn't pull any punches.
If you get a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe from this trailer, you're not alone. It is all over the imagery, of course with a marked difference in quality of the computer generated shots and effects. Amitabh Bachchan's Azaad is a clear surrogate for Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow, only about twenty years older and surprisingly, more spry. The whole thing looks completely ridiculous, but coming from the Vijay Krishna Acharya, the director of the equally ridiculous Dhoom 3, it's still potentially very entertaining.
Take a look at the trailer below and prepare yourself for nautical action nonsense on November 8th!