Well, the opening salvo of Thugs promotions has been fired. It’s no longer just the ramp up news stories teasing things, it’s the actual official motion posters. To be followed by teasers and then song teasers and then a trailer and then a barrage of interviews, and finally the film just as we become completely sick of hearing about it.
Lloyd Owen as John Clive, the “evil” British officer. Now, in the original book/real life story Confessions of a Thug, the British only appear as the narrators, having captured the lead character and taking his confession. This is on purpose of course, the hidden message of the book is that all this anarchy and violence and so on only happened in an India before the British. The British arrive waaaaaaaaaaaaaay at the end and act as police officers more than anything else, merely taking evidence and arresting people.
Clearly not going to be the case here. The British have a massive army and wear fancy dress uniforms and so on and so forth. The Thugs are clearly the underdogs. Which, hmm. I’m not sure if I like that. I understand the need to cheer for the underdog, but I don’t like the rewriting of history to make the British so powerful and entrenched so early. It was the Thugs and other stories like them that helped the British worm there way into the country, not big armies and big uniforms (that came later).
Oh, and I looked up the actor. A regular working British actor type, primarily a stage actor but also does the occasional film and TV role. I mostly know him as a guest star on Coupling and Midsommer Murders. So, we will have to see if he is able to throw himself fully into over the top villainy or not. The stage training makes me optimistic.
And then there’s Fatima. Who is mentioned as “the reason for TOH”. What’s that about???? Is she the wild card young person who inspires them to do something different? Or the damsel in distress (seems unlikely) that they need to rescue? There is no character I can find in the book who could possibly be the basis for this. Our hero has a wife, of course, a young woman he kidnaps from an unhappy marriage when he is on his first mission. I suppose he could have a daughter at some point, or a son rewritten as a daughter, I’m only a little over a third into the book. But most likely Fatima’s character is completely made up.
And then there’s Amitabh. On a boat? What the heck? The Thugs are supposed to be roadside bandits, plus northerners. and so far as I know North India isn’t know for it’s ocean going vessels. Oh, and Amitabh’s look is good, about what we all could have expected just from the casting, long beard and crazy hair and wise leader kind of look to him.
Katrina’s image was just released today. Naach girl type, so I guess Fatima is the adventurer part of the gang and Katrina is the sexy one. Too bad, I like Katrina when she does action. But it is nice that there is no “good” woman in this film, they are sticking with the whole “Thugs” concept of being wild and dangerous and so on even with the female characters. And also with ridiculous costumes, that tiny little choli and skirt along with the courtesan style henna is super silly.
I am also wondering, having seen this director/star/actress combination before in Dhoom 3, if Katrina’s part will end up being written down to mostly dancing. Let Fatima do the heavy lifting and have the story arch, Kat will just be there for eye candy and the required love object for the hero.
Aamir, presumably will be another Thug looking guy. Whenever his first look poster comes out, soon no doubt.
So, essentially, this is Pirates of the Carribean messed around and slapped with an Indian title. Boats, which make no sense. All powerful British, which makes no sense. And borrowing the female adventurer idea from those movies because we all love female adventurers. No sarcasm, we really do, I don’t know why it took directors so long to discover that little girls want to pretend to be sword wielding freedom fighters just as much as little boys. Some little girls also dream of being naach girls, but I think the Katrina role might be put in more for the big boys than the little girls.
As for plot, I think we can assume Amitabh is the captain, Aamir is the hero, Fatima is the young protegee, and Katrina is the love interest. And Lloyd Owen is the villain. And the plot is going to be all these people chasing each other around with swords and arrows and fancy dress costumes.