When the first teaser of Tubelight came out, it was my editor-in-chief who told me that it was supposed to be an official remake of a Hollywood movie, Little Boy. Now I have never heard of this one, and I have seen a lot of Hollywood movies. When I say a lot, I mean a LOT. So I was quite surprised that I had been quite oblivious of the movie’s existence and looked for the trailer of the movie on YouTube. I found many scenes from the trailer of Little Boy similar to that of Tubelight, with the core difference that there was a kid in the Hollywood movie, while Salman Khan plays a man-child in Tubelight. I decided that I have to watch this movie, but it was only about a week before the release of Tubelight, that I was finally able to get to watch Little Boy. Oh boy, what a drag it was!
I wondered as to why would Kabir Khan and Salman Khan even want to make a movie that is not even in Salman’s comfort zone. Alas, when Tubelight came out, many who have seen the movie, shared the same sentiment. Tubelight became one of Salman Khan’s weakest releases in recent times and I don’t believe it will even beat the records of Ek Tha Tiger, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Sultan. All because they chose the wrong movie to remake. Here are five reasons why choosing Little Boy for an adaptation was a totally bad idea for Salman Khan.
Commercially failed and lack of visibility
Tiger Shroff has huge boots to fill when he agreed to be the lead in the Rambo remake, but at least the news got the movie enough visibility. Remakes have everything to do with how people have loved the original film. Now ask any of your friends, whether they have heard of Little Boy, and most of them will draw a blank. It is not only a little-known Hollywood product, but also one that had failed badly at the box office.
The over-sentimentality of the plot
By Hollywood standards, the premise of a little boy searching for his father, who is presumed to have been killed during World War II, and how his faith is tested by his townspeople, reeks of over-sentimentality. Also the plot has a lot of religious connotations, that may not appeal to everyone. Now when Bollywood remakes a Hollywood movie, any sliver of melodrama found in the original is amplified 100 times (looking at you Kaante, Bang Bang and Zinda). Now imagine what would happen when you remake an already over-melodramatic movie in Bollywood. Yes, Tubelight!
Rewriting the lead as a man was a bad idea
At least in the Little Boy, the idea of telling the story through a kid was okay, and invoked some amount of sympathy for the lead character. The same cannot be said when you rewrite the role with Salman Khan in mind. No matter how hard he tries, it is difficult to see that child-like innocence in Salman’s character, thereby defeating the purpose of the movie. As someone said in their review, Tubelight would have appealed better if they had cast the incredibly cute Matin Rey in the lead, and let Salman play his father, like in the original.
It lacked core Salman ingredients
Salman Khan fans expect him to rip off his shirt every now and then, beat up goons and romance heroines. What they didn’t want was Salman keeping his fly open, weeping copiously and getting beaten by Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub. While we have to appreciate Salman for veering away from his comfort zone, a complete disregard to fans’ expectations is not a favourable idea. Even though Bajrangi Bhaijaan was not a typical Salman movie, it didn’t exactly stray too far from the territory, as it gave him a few opportunities to flex his muscles and romance the heroine.
Little Boy was never a good movie to begin with
Now, not all box office bombs are bad movies. There is David Fincher’s Fight Club, The Shawshank Redemption, The Wizard of Oz, that all have failed at the box office but are now considered as classics. However, Little Boy was a really average product with good intentions but suffered from a tepid narrative. It has 22% score on Rotten Tomatoes, making us wonder why Kabir Khan and Salman chose this, out of all movies, to be remade in Bollywood.
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