The film is directed by Maneesh Sharma.
Fan is Shah Rukh Khan's first release in 2016, followed by Raees in July, and perhaps the Gauri Shinde film if we are very lucky. The film brings him back to same production who made him a superstar with the iconic DDLJ, and with whom he last worked with in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. We have tremendous expectations about the film, but naturally. So let's see if it meets those gargantuan demands of ours!
What's it about
Gaurav (Shah Rukh Khan) is a Dilli ka Launda just like his idol, Aryan Khanna. From his childhood, he has been such a Jabra fan of AK that he knows every minute detail of his life. Though he has a cyber cafe of his own and also a one way love interest, Gaurav's only obsession is with Aryan Khanna. He wishes to meet AK on his birthday, and with the prize money he wins from the local star fan contest, he goes to meet his idol with his trophy and mom's halwa. However, as expected, when he reaches AK's residence, he realises he is just one of the millions of fans AK has. Determined to meet him at any cost, he takes a very crooked way to get AK's attention. He succeeds but not in a nice way, as AK gets very pissed at what he does. Gaurav finally gets his face time with Aryan Khanna, but things go WRONG, and the conversation also doesn't end in the way he wants. Insulted and miffed, Gaurav decides that from here on, whenever Aryan Khanna's name is taken, people will also take Gaurav's name. Thus begins a cat and mouse game between the star and the fan, as the fan decides it's time to rattle at the superstar's cage and make him pay for what he had said and done!
Definitely Shah Rukh Khan! After his last couple of films only cruised through thanks to his superstar image and the love his fans have for him, this time he makes a film that almost uses the above two advantages he has to great effect. After a long time, we have seen Shah Rukh Khan in a double role, and he rocks in both roles, both as the superstar and the fan. As Gaurav, he is very believable as the obsessive, psychotic fan who runs after the star in the first half, and later makes the star run after him in the second half. Yes, in a couple of sequences, I did have a feeling that he goes a bit overboard, but thankfully he restrains himself soon. I, especially, loved that long one take scene where he lets out his frustration in AK's study room in front of his wife, and also the scene where he cries his lungs out. While I liked him as Gaurav, it was his Aryan Khanna persona that connected with me well. Aryan Khanna may be the real SRK on many levels, though the film doesn't want us to fix on that. As AK, SRK is totally in grip of his character, and we get to see the actor's real feelings and views for the first time. He even lets the director poke fun on his life and career, like his dancing at parties for money, his brawls, and how his recent films have not been working well. Maneesh Sharma also handles some scenes brilliantly. When Gaurav sees AK for the first time in flesh is one of the most powerful scenes filmed in recent times. Other brilliant scenes that come to my mind are the one when Aryan finally meets Gaurav at the police station, and even the culmination (though very long drawn). And of course, when Gaurav dances to AK's steps at the star fan contest, matching steps with the videos of the real AK (which are SRK's real song)...that was a pure paisa vasool sequence!
Fan's biggest faltering, however, was the makers' decision to not keep the film grounded. The movie began paying ode to Hrishikesh Mukherjee brand of films, you know like Guddi, but ended up like a Sanjay Gupta film, while also playing with the Rohit Shetty realm. I would blame the misleading promotions first; no way it portrayed that the film would be so dark. Though I was able to guess that when the trailer came out, I am sure there would be people who came to film expecting it to be another Guddi or Do Dooni Chaar, but finding it to be something totally different in tone! The Jabra song, released in so many versions and languages, is nowhere in the film, not even a single line. We do applaud the makers to have the guts to make a songless SRK film (something we never thought we could write in this life), the song could have lightened thing up. While the first half is totally believable (except for one dragging 'wall-climbing' sequence), the second half is where it goes a bit haywire. Many sequences here expects us to suspend our sense of belief, like when Gaurav suddenly becomes this high-tech stalker who follows AK in London and Dubrovnik, and even gets into his personal residence easily. The film harps on the fact that both AK and Gaurav have similar facial characteristics, and thus becomes another Duplicate. The action sequences are also stretched and totally unrealistic, especially when we are given the impression that these two are real people. All the three ladies, Waluscha De Sousa, Shriya Pilgaonkar and Sayani Gupta don't have much to do in the film. Although the culmination impacts you deeply, the climatic portions need a lot of editing!
What to do
Make no mistake, this is SRK's best film in the last five years, especially after the likes of Happy New Year and Dilwale. However, this could have been a much better flick, if the makers could have toned down certain sequences and made it a more realistic one. Nevertheless, watch the film because you wanted SRK to do something different, and he delivers exactly that! SRK, you have made us your Jabra fans once again with your versatility!
3.5 out of 5
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