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Foreign Film Friday: Thugs of Hindostan is Bollywood's biggest production yet


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Two of Bollywood's biggest stars, the Godfather of the industry Amitabh Bachchan, and the face of its innovation Aamir Khan, have come together to star in Bollywood's biggest production yet: Thugs of Hindostan.

The trailer for the film was launched yesterday at the BFI IMAX in London as part of a four continent wide launch, and audiences were blown away.

The action-packed epic is based on Philip Meadows Taylor's contemporary colonial fiction novel 'Confessions of a Thug,' about notorious thug Azad in early 19th century India, rebelling against British rule.

The word 'thug' itself might seem anachronistic, but in fact originated from the Hindi ठग्गी, ठगी, ठग (ṭhaggī, ṭhagī, ṭhag), which referred to roving gangs of thieves and cutthroats who robbed travellers. Under British colonial rule, 'thug' became one of the many words which were adopted into English.

The thug in question, Khudabaksh, is played by the legendary Amitabh Bachchan, who has been starring in films for almost half a century. While his gang fights against East India Company representative John Clive (Lloyd Owen), it's the fickle Firangi (Aamir Khan) who plays both sides to his advantage.

The film has clearly taken a lot of inspiration from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, both visually and character-wise, with Khan's character clearly emulating Captain Jack Sparrow, but it'll be interesting to see how it tackles British Imperialism. After all, Khan's Oscar-nominated Lagaan (2001) famously did so brilliantly, and to critical acclaim.

British Indian superstar Katrina Kaif stars as the mysterious Suraiyya, and Fatima Sana Shaikh (Dhangal) plays the fearsome Zafira.

The trailer promises sword-fights and sea-battles aplenty, with a soaring score holding it all together. We can't wait for the film!

Thugs of Hindostan is released on November 9th, distributed by Yash Raj Films.

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