Thugs Trailer!!!!! Amitabh Has a SWORD!!!!! Aamir Has a Mustache!!!! The Women Have No Dialogue!

Well, this is exciting!!!!  Amitabh has a sword, Aamir does NOT have a beard (thank goodness), and Katrina has no dialogue.  Nor does Fatima, so I guess it’s a woman thing.

Well great, I suffer through 40% of the almost unreadable source book Confessions of a Thug, and then the trailer comes out and shows that they are basically rejecting the entire book and just doing a Hindi version of Pirates of the Caribbean.

I’m not even sure this makes sense?  They are pirates but also have a bandit hide out somewhere and they are fighting the British or something?  I like that it is in 1795, there isn’t a lot of Indian pop culture from back in the early days when it was still the British East India company.  And I suppose that means they can make up whatever they want, because it’s not like there are a super large number of records from back then.  But still, pirates?  Where were they based?  How did they work?  Did they try to stop British ships before they left the ports and then bring everything back to their caves?  Or did they have their own ships that they hid in their caves?  Or am I possibly thinking about this far more than the scriptwriters did?

Anyway, characters and plot and stuff.  Amitabh is a noble leader of a pirate/bandit group.  Fatima is his protegee, a young girl who he taught to shoot arrows and hate the British (presumably).  Aamir is a spy and a British collaborator hired by the evil British.  Katrina is….sexy?  I really have nothing more than that on her character.

 

Now, the one twist in the novel (well, semi-twist, it’s literally in the first chapter but the main character doesn’t learn it until later even though the reader does), is that our hero was kidnapped as a small boy by the bandits who killed his wealthy family while they were traveling.  He was raised as the son of the bandit leader and his wife and has no memory of his original family.  And then late in the book (I skipped ahead a little) he ends up killing his own biological sister at which point it all comes rushing back to him and he is devastated, which leads him to turn informer for the British.

This is a Vijay Acharya movie, so I am assuming there will be a massive mindblowing twist somewhere at the interval.  One of those twists is going to redeem Aamir (fun to watch him be a double agent for the British, more fun to watch him be a triple agent with his own motives using both the British and the bandits).  But maybe the other twist will relate back to Fatima’s origins.  If she turns out to have been kidnapped by Amitabh, that opens up all kinds of possibilities.  She could be the daughter of the evil British, she could be Aamir’s daughter or sister, she could be almost anything.

 

In other news, the visuals look fun and exciting and the performances are nicely over the top.  My only concern is that it might turn the corner from “sincerely fun” to “too mannered, feels like someones idea of an adventure movie instead of an actual film”.  Vijay Acharya is usually very good at pulling that back, Tashaan and Dhoom 3 both stood firm on an emotional grounding in addition to all the style.  But Dhoom 3 had a lot less of the emotion than Tashaan did, and I fear the progression means Thugs will have less than the previous two.  If this is just ships and accents and costumes and swords, it will be fun for 20 minutes, and then rapidly become boring.

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36 thoughts on “Thugs Trailer!!!!! Amitabh Has a SWORD!!!!! Aamir Has a Mustache!!!! The Women Have No Dialogue!

  1. I think the trailer looks spectacular and I’m not just saying that because it’s Aamir. Of course, trailers lie (side-eye to Fanney Kahn) but the movie looks expensive in a good way. Amitabh looks really bad ass and I know he has trouble moving so kudos to the director for skillfully staging the fights and editing around that. I hope that Fatima was silent because she is supposed to be a mystery and not because she’s a zero. Katrina, sigh, why do you take these roles at this stage of your career? You’re bigger than this. Finally, I love that Aamir is playing a traitor, I wasn’t expecting that.

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      • Aamir is always “all the eggs in one basket” with his movies, and it can lead to some terrible falls. I am sure he has stopped sleeping again and must be replaying the Mela and Mangal Panday disasters over and over again in his head.

        The nice thing is YRF never takes a loss. Even if the movie flops, I am sure they structured their product placement and branding and satellite sales in such a way that their budget will be covered. So Aamir can breathe easy on that score, his partners will make their money back no matter what. It’s just his career and Fatima’s career he has to worry about (Amitabh will always be fine, Kat looks like such a small part that it won’t affect her).

        On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 9:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s the south Indian factor that is the most exciting to me. He’s opened a new market with each of his films, China and Turkey and before that Dhoom 3 essentially redefined the American market. And now the market he is going after is South India, the impenetrable one for Hindi films.

            And he’s doing it really really well, just offering dubbed and subtitled versions for that market is something major Hindi films don’t seem to think to do. Plus reaching out to Kamal Haasan and Rajamouli to give their seal of approval on it. If he manages to break through there, that could be a game changer for Indian film.

            And of course he’s the one best positioned to do it, along with Amitabh. Shahrukh and Salman feel “northern” somehow, but Aamir already feels all-Indian somehow, less connected to a particular identity.

            On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 11:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • The trailer looks really good, thank goodness. It’s not like 2.0 where we were all thinking “where did the money go???” The money is right there onscreen, and it looks really good considering the budget was comparatively small.

      I really like that Aamir is playing a traitor too! It’s a smart use of star power too, setting him up against Amitabh instead of putting them on the same side. So we get to wonder who will win out and (I am guessing) enjoy the way the script ends up letting them both win somehow. And it sets up a tension between all the characters, maybe Katrina is a patriot who hates Aamir until she learns he is secretly working for the natives, maybe Fatima is torn between Aamir and Amitabh as mentors.

      And I am like 98% positive that it will turn out Aamir is working against the British somehow for his own reasons. Which means Aamir gets to play a subservient British fan, turned British spy pretending to be a bandit, and then a final flip when we learn he is an Indian freedom fighter/burning for revenge/trying to rescue Fatima. That is very much the kind of performance Aamir enjoys and excels at, playing multiple layers at once, so many even the audience won’t appreciate it until watch 2 or 3.

      I’m guessing Katrina gets 1-2 big dance numbers, and maybe a couple big fight scenes, and almost no dialogue.

      Also, sometime before this comes out, you HAVE to watch Tashan!!!! Actually, come to think of it, I have to review Tashan, I haven’t done that yet.

      On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 9:46 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I’m surprised at the positivity here. I think this trailer looks god-awful and the VFX is so shoddy that a lot of it looks animated instead of live action. In fact, from what I can tell, YRF is deleting negative comments on youtube and has even pinned a positive comment to stay at the top. I remember when the Race 3 trailer came out, SKF’s youtube channel was deleting all the negative comments that were popping up. Tips also put the trailer up and they were not manipulating the comments and the difference was very stark.

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    • I didn’t even know you could manipulate the comments section like that. Why doesn’t every studio do it???? It’s crazy if they aren’t. Especially pinning a good comment.

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      • Yes, the owner of the channel can basically do whatever they want. The first time I noticed it clearly was with the Race trailer where negative comments would quickly get hundreds of likes and suddenly they would be gone. The whole thing was filled with praise eventually.

        Similar is happening with Thugs though obviously the negativity is not as mean-spirited as it was for Race. It’s mostly just people making fun of it for being a second-rate POC and having very bad VFX.

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        • If you look at the comments on Twitter with the thugs hashtag, all the top comments are bad ones there too.

          I definitely think there is a possibility that this movie might go the Mangal Pandey way.

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          • Or, it could be that it is aimed at the people who wouldn’t comment on twitter or youtube. Folks who don’t closely follow film news and will just come because the poster is fun and the trailer is big. That’s the most elusive audience, but Aamir and Yash Raj have both been very good and bringing it in.

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          • YRF always gets the big openings. Part of their “no matter what, we make a profit” system. But yeah, it’s growth on day 1 and 2 that will matter.

            On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 4:24 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I’m surprised by the reaction to the VFX because in general Indian movies don’t have the best effects, especially compared with Hollywood films. Are there Indian movies with better VFX that I’m missing or is it that this trailer is being compared with Hollywood films and not measuring up in comparison?

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      • What really stands out for me with Indian special effects is the imagination with which they are used. Bahubali has a few clunky moments, but mostly the special effects are used so imaginatively that you don’t care if they aren’t perfect. When a man is single-handedly stopping a massive golden statue from falling and crushing thousands of people, you don’t really care if the gold of the statue is shining just right.

        And then the Red Chillies’ productions really set the standard for CGI, but are completely unpopular and the CGI is barely noticed. Ra.One has almost perfect special effects, but boring direction. Fan has world-class ground breaking special effects, but they are so seamless that no one noticed them. I suspect it will be the same with Zero, really groundbreaking work in service of an unpopular movie.

        On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 1:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Is anyone not getting Pirates of Caribbean + Mangal Pandey vibes from this trailer? I hated it. Since I disliked Tashan and hated Dhoom 3, will definitely not be watching this. Have to say Katrina was most annoying in the trailer – or the way they presented her.

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    • I had to read your opening sentence a few times before I understood it, but I think I got it! So the answer would be “yes, everyone in the world is getting a Mangal Panday+Pirates vibe and no one is NOT getting that vibe”. I would also add on Dhoom 3 in terms of the overly stylized look, and Tashan in terms of the elaborate dance of loyalties among the leads.

      I was okay with Dhoom 3, and really love Tashan, so I still have hope.

      On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 1:51 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Speaking of Mangal Pandey, I’m having a twitter conversation where I said that I thought Mangal Pandey and Mela almost destroyed Aamir’s career and someone strenuously disagreed with me and said it was more analogous to RaOne for Shahrukh. What do you think? Is there some hazy nostalgia at play or was Aamir’s career still on solid ground after those films?

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        • Well, you can argue that Ra.One destroyed Shahrukh’s career! So I would say it is analogous. A massive embarrassing public failure followed by a reassessment, change of direction, and desperate struggle to recapture the audience.

          Aamir was always going to have a certain position in the industry, be respected and well-known and powerful. But his ability to pick good movies and ensure a box office took a hit with each of his big flops. I don’t think either Aamir or Shahrukh by at least 2000 were ever going to run the risk of becoming a Viviek Oboroi or one of the other also-ran actors who fade into obscurity. But they could have lost their real power at the box office, still can, and therefore their real power to control things in the industry.

          The biggest difference is that Shahrukh ended up delaying Ra.One for special effects and so on with the result that it released barely two months before his next film, Don 2, which is one of his biggest hits. So the affect on his career was blunted (although still a painful and embarrassing chapter) while Aamir didn’t have anything after Mangal Panday for over a year.

          I don’t remember people saying “Aamir is down and out” after Mangal Panday, but there were certainly a lot of jokes about him and not much respect. That was also before the Khan Death Watch was at the peak level it is now, so there wasn’t as much meta commentary about if this would be the last hit film for him. But yes, he was a bit of a joke at that point.

          On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 3:13 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I love Tashan! I approach it as kind of a meta-commentary on movies, it’s not bad because it is bad, it is trying to make us see how all other movies are ridiculous by escalating the ridiculousness even higher. Almost a spoof, but not quite.

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          • Just because it has pirates does not automatically mean its going to be like pirates of the Caribbeans like gosh India had pirates too, and the word thugs originates from India, but I do agree adding in items songs does make the film appear cheap Kats part was so unnecessary and could have been left out but not no she literally had to complain to Adithya Chopra and beg for a role cause Aamir did not want her to be in it acting wise just for the songs since she can’t act but since Adi is friends with her he squeezed in a small prostitute role for her so she’d stop complaining Lol

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  4. You know what I like the most in the trailer? The fact there are so many different subtitles – I was sure it will be in english, but after few seconds I was like: hey it’s italian!
    There are polish, russian, thai, turkish, german, spanish and others too. I like it! They are saying: we know you too watch our movies, and we want you to watch it. Finally!
    Other things – I couldn’t care less about the story (I haven’t even seen the original Pirates of the Caribbean yet because I find pirates boring), but Katrina looks good and Aamir looks good too. And you can count on the fingers of one hand the times I liked Aamir’s look, so it’s something special. The white guys are so Mangal Pandey. I didn’t hate the VFX so it’s good.

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    • I love that “Mangal Panday” is now an adjective!!!!

      Fascinating point about the subtitles! It’s the kind of detail I am used to from Aamir and YRF and I love it. When they try to break into a new market, they don’t do some kind of half-thought out plan like hiring an actor from that market or putting out a few posters. They do the research and the follow through to really make the films inviting.

      On Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 3:59 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. When the richest production house in the country is making a movie with the biggest stars & releasing it on the most festive occasion with through-the-roof ticket prices, the audience would expect something more than clunky video game like ships & yawn inducing dialogues. This may have passed off as the best Indian films can do ,had we not seen Arundhati, Baahubali etc years back. I’m okay even if it’s a desi POTC but having seen Tashan, Dhoom3 & Tiger Zinda Hain(better director than this guy, but same production house), I don’t think YRF or the director can deliver on the promise of ‘big’ or carry a decent storyline.The imagination is just not there. I mean accented British villains is so last decade. And a sword fight between an aged super star & slightly less aged superstar can go only in so many ways. Katrina in sexy costumes(was the best part for me) isn’t enough for 2500₹+GST/ticket. I would be curious to see how Aamir’s Chinese audience would receive this as this is more YRF than Aamir Khan productions. The opening day collections are sure to hit records & then it would join the list of forgettable films like Padmaavat & TZH.

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    • I wouldn’t be surprised at a TZH style box office either, or Sultan. The per-screen on those as average, no more. It only did well because it released so widely on a holiday weekend. On the other hand, YRF bean counters must have figured that out and this is coming out in imax which automatically raises the individual ticket prices so they can still make a “record breaking” box office even if they can’t sell out the hteaters.

      On Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 2:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Thank you for breaking that down. I had a feeling there was some context I was missing for why Desi audiences were reacting so badly to the trailer. This explains it all very well.

      Aamir is popular enough in China that the opening weekend will be huge but it’s not the sensitive emotional drama that they are used to seeing from him so it may not have the same staying power as his previous films.

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  6. This has race 3 written all over it.
    There would be multiple illogical twists (aamir being a spy,fatima being counter spy )etc.
    Also cg looks dated especially after bahubali ,fan etc.
    The story didn’t connect with me or my friends .
    Also fake British accnents has been done to death.
    The film will break all the records etc but will be forgotten like krrish 3

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