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Thugs of Hindostan: Critics sink Bollywood's 'Pirates of the Caribbean'

Thugs of Hindostan is set in 19th-Century India with a noble guerrilla leader, played by Bachchan, and his ragtag army, led by a fierce female archer, attacking mighty English ships to avenge their lost kingdom and assassinated ruler. The 76-year-old Bachchan plays the role of the elder general, leading and mentoring his army. Khan plays a cocky robber with shifting loyalties. His duplicitous schemes include robbing local maharajahs and milking rewards from representatives of the East India company which was transformed from a trading enterprise into the rulers of India - to whom he also plays informer. He infiltrates the gang of rebels led by Bachchan and wins their confidence. However, he later has a change of heart and joins them in defeating the British.
Complete with kohl-lined eyes, Khan looks like a poor man's Jack Sparrow - the lead character in Pirates of the Caribbean, the Disney franchise to which Thugs has been compared. Khan swigs rum and takes part in a risqué song and dance routine with a local dancing girl, all the while pursuing his double deception with both the guerrilla leader and a British general, played by British actor Lloyd Owen.The female lead is Fatima Sana Sheikh, who plays the archer and is in many of the action scenes. But Bollywood star Katrina Kaif, playing the dancing girl. lacks a substantial part.

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