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.