DIRECTOR: Maneesh Sharma
STARRING: Shah Rukh Khan, Waluscha De Sousa, Yogendra Tiku, Shriya Pilgaonkar
RATING: 2.5 stars
Shah Rukh Khan in a song-less, romance-less, heroine-less movie directed by the poet of middle-class Maneesh Sharma seems like a perfect recipe for a hatke film. I watched the film in happy anticipation and enjoyed it too. The first 30 minutes at least.
The movie started with Gaurav Chanda’s (The Fan) award-winning performance at a local superstar sitara competition, which was executed so well that I sat there smiling, enjoying the mohallah, the middle-class maahol that Maneesh so beautifully weaves into his films.
Fan seemed like it would be SRK’s best film in last five years. Wait. What was I comparing it to? Chennai Express? Dilwale? Happy New Year? Jab Tak Hain Jaan? It’s almost like calling Rakhi Sawant smarter than Poonam Pandey or Sherlyn Chopra.
I realised I spoke too soon. The film that looked promising started to give a few ‘that’s-a-bit-much-bro’ moments that soon turned into ‘haha-kuch-bhi’ moments and by the climax, logic had stabbed itself in the eye with a blunt knife, leaving you miserable with the improbability of the situation.
Check this out:
Gaurav is the imposter who sets out to tarnish Aryan Khanna’s image. His devious plans, no matter how improbable, are delicious. You want to know what his next move would be. But the sequences lead to rather extreme irrational decisions taken by Aryan.
Gaurav’s bad behaviour is caught on camera and misread as superstar’s to disgrace him. Wait, the camera also catches Aryan at another location. Logic would prompt to reveal the footage and clear the air, right? Wrong. It’s a Hindi film.
Here Aryan Khanna plans to settle scores with Gaurav Chanda personally, sans secretary, sans security, sans common sense too.
Minute by minute into the film, you wonder:
Why would a popular actor take a cab to his home and argue with the security guard to get into his own house?
How can a fan know a star’s itinerary so well?
How can he get his number?
How can he get to his house? Vandalise it? I am sure you have a lot of money. You can afford CCTVs. You can buy common sense too. Report him to the police. Have some logic. Pay your writer. Hire one if you haven’t.
There is a clash between the star and his fan. As a viewer, I would like to be empathetic towards one, judge the other, take sides and get emotionally engaged. I couldn’t quite decide. Honestly, I couldn’t even care. All I wanted for them was to say sorry to each other, bury the hatchet, shake hands and be good boys again. Trust me, ‘sorry’ is indeed one of the most important words in the film.
Shah Rukh Khan gives a decent performance. The starry twinkle in Gaurav’s eyes when he first sees Aryan Khanna, the excitement in his voice when he first speaks to him, makes you go all 'Aww'. Gaurav is still the easier part to play. Aryan Khanna is the trickier one. They have used his real life footage, gone into his personal space. How do you disengage and distance yourself when you play a character loosely based on your life? SRK keeps it subtle, however, I wish Aryan’s stubbornness and arrogance were further explored, both in writing and acting.
Fan is implausible, unreasonable and unconvincing. And RJs don’t EVER speak the way they do in Hindi films, even if they are presenters in London. Argh.
THE RATINGS MEAN:
5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!)
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once.
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?