Fan Movie Review: Meet Shah Rukh Khan The Actor

Fan is the only Shah Rukh Khan film without songs – they didn’t even use the promotional song ‘Jabra Fan’ anywhere, not in the beginning, not in the end credits. Despite this, the film stands tall and emerges victorious – that itself is a triumph.

Fan Movie Review

Let’s start the Fan movie review with its story. The plot of Fan is simple as a friend explained it – SRK’s fans are watching SRK’s Fan..where SRK is SRK’s fan who tries to kill SRK’s fan coz SRK’s fan tried to kill SRK, Fan is Indian ‘Inception’. Jokes apart, you already know the story – Shah Rukh Khan plays Gaurav, a die hard fan of superstar Aaryan Khanna, played again by Shah Rukh Khan. That’s two Shah Rukh Khan’s for one ticket – a treat for his fans.

So Gaurav, our fan, goes all out to meet Aaryan and spend just 5 minutes of his time with him. But Aaryan is snobbish, stubborn and indifferent, and ends up only hurting Gaurav at an intensely emotional level, and yes some cops beat him up physically as well. So the pain is immense, and this is where the anti-hero or shall we say anti-Fan arrives. And now Gaurav’s mission in life is to make Aaryan apologize for what he’s done, and show some respect and love for his fans, who have “made him whatever he is…” in Aaryan Khanna’s own words. The revenge-thrilling-drama starts from hereon, taking the film into a totally different tone and direction.

Is Maneesh Sharma paying a tribute to Yash Chopra’s Darr – the iconic film that “made Shah Rukh Khan what he is today,” as Shah Rukh Khan himself once said. Yes and No – Fan is not about an obsessive lover who’s favourite past time is stalking – it is about a Fan who’s hurt to the deepest core, as his beliefs are shattered and admiration rejected. So in a way the hurt is even more than an obsessed lover here. As this hurt is not just about an individual – but the whole core of a fan’s existence. And if you take that away from a Fan – what is he left with to live for.

That said – the film is brilliant in narrative, editing, screenplay and dialogues till the intermission point. The last scene before interval is when you see a shattered and shocked Fan Gaurav crying in pain, expressing his heart’s devastation. This is vintage SRK at his best – a performance that will stand out even after decades. Habib Faisal as the writer has done a commendable job in the first half.

The second half is laced with loopholes and story jerks – yet the thrilling ride continues, and interest in the film is still intact. Yet Fan is a few steps away from a classic or a masterpiece, just because the second half didn’t do enough justice to the story and its potential.

The film has some elaborate chase sequences, and one of them does get stretched a bit too long. But these chases are probably one of Indian cinema’s best, if you view them different from the film.

Some thoughts:

  • Why is the superstar Aaryan Khanna and not Aaryan Khan? Guess Khanna is a safer option, as a mainstream hero in a generic Hindi film is never a Muslim. He’s a Muslim only when the story demands him to be a Muslim, as his religion plays a key role in the script.
  • Gaurav was more sad than angry – if the writers and makers would have focused more on the pain rather than revenge, Fan would have been a landmark film in representing the whole community of celebrity fans, and the way they perceive their idols. How they base their entire lives upon this one devotion. Sadly that is not the case.

The last 10 minutes of the film stand out as one of the best climaxes in Indian cinema, ending with a strong and real conversation between the superstar and his fan.

So let’s end it by saying that Fan ends the ‘acting’ drought his fans, shall we say some of his fans have been facing for some years now. While it’s easy to reject a Ra One, Chennai Express, Happy New Year and Dilwale – even those characters need acting, and Shah Rukh Khan delivered a knock out performance in each one of them. Yes, the films failed him at certain levels. And ‘that’ missing level has made a comeback with Fan.

And if you still can’t get it after watching Fan, let’s just end with Gaurav’s response to the superstar’s haters and skeptics – Rehn de. Tu nahin samjhega (Let it be, you won’t understand).”

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