At first glance: Thugs of Hindostan

Mumbai : The much awaited trailer of the highly anticipated movie was recently launched on Wednesday.

Set in the late 18th century (1795), during the days when the East India Company had started spreading its control over Indian territories, it chronicles the tale of the main protagonist KhudaBakhsh Azaad, played by Amitabh Bachchan who has taken up arms against the British. Fatima Sana Shaikh appears as one of the protagonist’s prominent gang members.

Amir Khan plays the antagonist Firangi Mallah, handpicked by the Company from near Kanpur (in what was then Awadh) to counter the threat of Azaad.

The trailer opens with a VFX-laden scene of naval warfare which honestly feels like an image taken out from a computer game. The implementation and tacit use of VFX in mainstream cinema is an art which is far from being mastered here.

The real engagement with the fans begins only when the scenes are humanized with two giants of Bollywood, Bachchan & Khan. All of Bachchan’s scenes from the trailer bear the same wooden expression though. Aamir Khan undoubtedly makes his presence felt and aces all the nuanced mannerisms of a petty thug who would make you believe that he is goofy.

However, given Khan’s range, the kohl-lined eyes, pierced nose and ears, curled locks and a jocker-esque sense of dressing feels like a shot tried too hard to drive the point home.

Katrina Kaif appears grooving as a dancer, gyrating her washboard midriff and pelvic thrusts. She ups the oomph quotient and we are definitely not complaining.

The director, Vijay Krishna “Viktor” Acharya collaborates with Khan and Kaif again after having worked with them for Dhoom 3.

With the ensemble cast so robust, expect the flaws in the storytelling to be flawlessly ironed out in this 210cr attempt to be a magnum opus from the banner of Yash Raj Films.