Review: SRK's FAN (Hindi, 2016)

Review by J P Mandal, Edited by Asmita Mukherjee, WBRINN (newsdesk.kolkata@washingtonbanglaradio.com)

Waluscha De Sousa

Kolkata, India, April 19 (Washington Bangla Radio) - Shah Rukh Khan’s latest outing in Bollywood with ‘Fan’ turns out to be a crazy thriller which runs on a logicless yet engaging track.

The story of  the new Hindi movie directed by Manish Sharma begins in Delhi  as young Gaurav Chandna (Shah Rukh Khan) grows up watching his idol Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan) becoming bigger and bigger superstar with every passing day. Gaurav’s obsession with Aryan too grows more with every passing minute. It takes a few seconds of real time to take the audience to a reel time of nearly two decades later. These few seconds of  time travel is perhaps the most nostalgic part of the film for Shah Rukh Khan’s  fans as they relive with Gaurav the  journey of the Bollywood superstar. The wisely used of rip of Shah Rukh Khan’s films, stage performances and other public appearances makes it clear that the character of  the superstar Aryan Khanna has been strictly drawn on the King of Bollywood  himself. Aryan’s first filmfare award in the film is actually a real life clip of SRK’s first claim of the black lady in 1993. The then legend in making had received it  for the category of the ‘Best Male Debutant’ and was handed over by Rekha, another legend from Indian cinema.

Watch: FAN (2016) Indian Movie Trailer

Gaurav is now in his early twenties and has grown up into a youth who strikingly resembles Aryan Khanna.

He runs a tiny cyber café in Inder Vihar of  Delhi. He is sort of a celeb in his locality as a lookalike of Aryan  who can mimic the superstar, perhaps even better than the star himself. This skill has made Gaurav win a local competition which bears a cash prize of Rs 20000, not once, but for three years in a row. Now Gaurav wants to go to Mumbai to meet his idol  who also hails from Delhi. For Gaurav the journey to Mumbai should be vis a vis the way Aryan did in his first journey.

So what follows is a crazy journey of a fan. No power in the world can stop him from travelling without ticket, staying in a particular room of a particular hotel and a lot of other things, because his ‘Senior’ had done all those in his first trip to Mumbai. After an eventful journey Gaurav gets a ‘darshan’ of his god but only from a distance and amidst a mad gathering of millions of devotees. Gaurav was not among those who is contained with just a ‘darshan’ and thus keeps continuing his pilgrimage. Soon unexpected turn of events lands Gaurav in front of Aryan  or rather vice versa. What happens next disheartens Gaurav more as he realised that what stars say publicly is often not what they nurture in their hearts. Every Fan is just another fan for stars. Left heart broken, Gaurav decides to make Aryan realise that not owing a fan a few seconds is a crime for a superstar. The look and mannerism of Aryan Khanna which had won Gaurav awards in local competitions become   his greatest weapon to fulfil the objective. Game of impersonation begins and so does Aryan’s chase for the impersonator. Where this game lands the Senior and Junior comprises of the rest of the film.

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This film belongs to Shah Rukh Khan to the core. He is perfect while playing himself and is far better when he doesn’t. Shah Rukh  just needed to be himself while playing Aryan but every moment of his venture as Gaurav is a testimony to the acting prowess of the actor.  While getting into the character of his own fan, SRK surely had imagined Gaurav as someone who has watched all his movies more than ten times each. But somewhere he must have also imagined that Gaurav has watched three particular movies, namely Anjaam, Darr and Baazigar over hundred times. The result on screen is Gaurav becomes a hybrid of  Vijay Agnihotri (Anjaam), Rahul (Darr) and Ajay (Baazigar).  However the script doesn’t allow Gaurav to murder anyone.

Coming to the script, it can be said that it is often logicless yet fast, unreal yet engaging, over the top yet highly entertaining. There are very few dull moments which are ignorable if you are a Fan of King Khan of  Bollywood.

As I accuse the script of  being  less logical I should also mention a few instances where the logic have gone missing.

i)                   If someone crazily worships his movie idol does he inherit his looks too? Too much of a coincidence.

ii)                 Gaurav who is initially established as a normal next door guy suddenly imbibes smartness which can give blushes to CIA and RAW agents and goes around the world fooling everyone.

iii)               How come people not differentiate between two persons who are around 25 years apart in their age?

iv)               There is a thing called ‘fingerprint’. No one cares to verify it or asked for its verification, when Gaurav creates mayhem across Europe and even at the superstar’s home?

v)                 Shots get fired in the nation’s capital amidst a crowd and no cop turns up?

But Fan is one of those movies where the mass audience don’t look much for logic and rather seek entertainment and every bit of this movie is designed to fulfil that purpose. The  camera work by Manu Anand is superb , so are the locations. The sequences where SRK chases SRK will take the audience to the edge of their seats. The final fight sequence, though over the top and exaggerated, gives a lot of scope to cheer for your pick of Shah Rukh. But the trump card of the script is that the audience can never decide which SRK to be tagged as antagonist, a confusion they would love to indulge in.

The supporting cast of  Waluscha de Sousa, Sayani Gupta and Shriya Pilgaonkar have done a decent job but one Shah Rukh Khan is enough to overshadow all of them and this movie has two of  him.

Overall Fan is definitely an enjoyable watch if you know when and how to part with your brain. Just one final phrase to define the position of this movie in Shah Rukh’s 25 years of  Filmography : ‘Its different’.