Maneesh Sharma is back with his 4th outing as a director. After 3 rom-coms, this is his first attempt at a thriller. So is SRK, after his last outing with the forgettable Dilwale. Can this new combination present this unique concept well?
Inspired in bits by the 1996, Tony Scott directed, The Fan, the usp of this film, as we all know, is that in this film, both the star and the fan are played by Shahrukh. That is unique. With Greg Cannom (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, A Beautiful Mind) in charge of the prosthetic look for the young Gaurav Chandna, this feature puts a new feather in the film’s cap. Plus an added responsibility on the star’s shoulders, since he has to carry the film and the entire screen time on his shoulders.
So, this is a story of a Dilliwala fan, who also looks like the star he adores, worships and lives. Winner of the local society’s talent competition for 3 consecutive years, Gaurav, ably supported by his parents, decides to pay his GOD, Aryan Khanna a visit on his birthday and present him the trophy along with his mom’s son halwa.
Upon reaching he realises that he is only one in a million, who throng to seek their star’s wave. Finding it difficult to reach his idol, Gaurav does something in order to help his idol out (this is the similarity with the 1996 film), but instead of getting appreciation, he gets reprimanded. The resultant meeting between the 2 leads to Gaurav being heartbroken and vengeful. The post interval is about how he devises a unique but short-lived plan to get this star to apologise to him, without any clarity on what the endgame is going to be. That’s where the writing by Habib Faisal and Sharat Katariya falls and fails to live up to the brilliant first half written by them.
The issue here is that once the novelty of the 2 SRK wears off, the idol fails the fan, was expected and known to all. The point was always going to be how the fan makes life hell for the star. Some of the cinematic liberties, like the Bond-ish roof top chase in Croatia, seems way too farfetched for a normal dilli ka chokra and a hoity toity superstar. Also, the star is not without his issues, why does Aryan have so much attitude issues with everyone besides his core team? Also, you do not get to relate to Aryan’s character ever, thus tilting the bias in Gaurav’s favour all the more. This is what my fear always was, that they will falter in the second half because of the realistic/ theatrical imbalance.
Besides SRK, there is no one who gets much onscreen time and justifiably so. But Yogendra Tiku, Deepika Amin as Gaurav’s parents are simply adorable. Shriya Pilgaonkar, as Gaurav’s ‘one way’waali girlfriend is good too. Sayani Gupta is brilliant in her role. Poor Waluscha De Sousa doesn’t have much scope either.
Cinematography by Manu Anand is very good. So is the editing by Namrata Rao. Music by Andrea Guerra is brilliant.
The film, rightfully so, belongs to SRK and besides him, no one would be able to justice to the script either. His excitement, irritation and the ultimate shocker as the die-hard fan(atic) is what drives the film. Unfortunately as the star, there is not much for him to do. But, yes, the film might not be brilliant, but it is one of the better films of the year to watch and this is exactly what superstars like Shahrukh Khan should be doing now. Kudos to him and Maneesh Sharma to present this ‘hatke’ subject in a delightful manner.
By: Yusuf Poonawala