Tubelight trailer exploits Salman Khan’s larger-than-life off-screen image. Salman’s innocent, man-with-a-golden-heart shtick seems to be easily picked from his other films including Bajrangi Bhaijaan and placed in a different scenario. There are scenes that seem too familiar irrespective of the backdrop of the movie. Salman is seen surrounded by people in the town. They love and adore him. He is a nice guy with good intentions and can do no harm to anyone.
Sounds familiar right? Replace that little girl from Bajrangi Bhaijaan with Salman’s real brother Sohail Khan here and the actor has got somebody to take care of. Instead of ‘Selfie le le’, now tap your foot on ‘Sajan Radio’. If you were charmed by Bajrangi’s staunch honesty, now get ready to see his ‘Lakshman’ act of a loving, caring brother.
But it’s not the similarities that bother you, it’s something else. No matter whether you like the trailer or not, you can’t shrug off this nagging feeling – that you are coerced to buy a particular Salman Khan’s image – this nice guy-who-can-do-no-harm and who can also give you some tips on family love. The trailer begins on a promising note with shots of blue skies and soldiers prepping up for the war- until you see the superstar himself and people cheering for him.
Salman’s unusual name: Bajrangi Bhaijaan wasn’t just a coincidence in Kabir Khan’s last film. One would want to ask why Kabir chose Lakshman-Bharat for Salman-Sohail’s characters. Their names could have been anything. Do makers already want you to buy their sibling love so that they don’t the have to pu an effort in building characters from scratch? It seems film wants you to buy everything on its face value. Or it can be an effort to utilise Salman’s pan-India popularity.
Remember how Aamir Khan and Salman Khan played Ram-Bharat in a short scene during Andaz Apna Apna. It was used as an irony on the never-dying love between two brothers.
There is no harm in using an actor’s stardom to promote a film. But what happens when you use a film to promote or sell a star’s image? Is Tubelight a tailor-made film to suit Salman Khan’s personality and lure his thousands of fans? If that’s precisely the case then it undermines the whole purpose of cinema. If you happen to be a Salman Khan fan, lucky you. But what about the rest of us who want to watch cinema before getting hooked to a star’s charisma?
When Salman Khan plays a Bajrangi or Sultan, you instantly find the trappings of a star in these roles. It’s may be because our ageing superstars don’t want to experiment with different characters. Maybe that’s why Tubelight trailer has a little glimpse of Chinese actor Zhu Zhu. It’s all about Salman and his love for other people.
But doesn’t the same thing disappoint a cinemagoer from watching the film? Tubelight can be an entirely new experience for a viewer if he forgets about Salman’s real life stardom. But can he do that? How much will Salman’s stardom be a disadvantage for Tubelight?