Hoping to continue the personal rebranding begun in 2015’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan and seduce the Chinese audience at the same time, Salman Khan’s latest is a cold-eyed sentiment-wringer

Three years ago, few could have predicted that Salman Khan – Bollywood’s somewhat incredible hulk, then mired in career controversy – would eventually devote himself to issuing humanitarian statements in film form. This curious turn into mid-career community service began with 2015’s summer mega-hit Bajrangi Bhaijaan, in which the star sought to build bridges between India and Pakistan; it continued through last year’s biopic Sultan, where an ageing action man pondered how best to use his muscle. In new release Tubelight, the charm offensive stutters: with its pitifully glib pleas for peace, this 1960s-set mushfest makes Culture Club’s low-barring The War Song sound as though it was written by AJP Taylor.

Related: Salman Khan: ‘I have no interest in doing Hollywood films’

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