FAN Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan, The Made-To-Order Actor Had Me Hooked

Last week, I met actor Shah Rukh Khan for an interview. Witty as he is, he joked that God had custom-made him to be a ‘star’. Almost like, it was his destiny to be King Khan, while still in production at the hands of God. Of course, he said it jokingly. He even said he didn’t miss the ‘normal life’. He didn’t feel the need to be ‘eating sev puri at the beach’. He admitted to being very happy with the stardom and the ensuing adulation he received, almost on a daily basis.

This morning, I was at the YRF Studios preview theatre, at 10am, like a diligent audience to watch the movie, FAN.

We watched the movie in one go, not even taking a break at the intermission. Here’s what I thought of it.

Shah Rukh Khan as FAN

You already know I don’t believe in revealing plots of films I’m reviewing. The story of the film is for the audience to discover. Especially, if there are twists and turns that give away too much. Hence, I’m going to refraining talking about the story/plot as much as possible.

As has been evident from the trailer, Gaurav is Aryan Khanna’s biggest fan. Both these roles are essayed by real life actor and superstar Shah Rukh Khan. It is Maneesh Sharma’s (of Band Baaja Baaraat fame) direction and story. When the full trailer came out, the audience was surprised to learn that Gaurav, who had been portrayed as Aryan Khanna’s fan also had a twisted side to him. Aryan Khanna is a larger than life superstar, carrying an aura much like the real life SRK. It is this superstar-fan relationship that is explored in the film. But don’t be mistaken. SRK is not really playing himself and neither is Gaurav playing a negative character. The story, in fact, explores difficult situations and interactions between these two characters.

For very long, I have been saying that Shah Rukh Khan has a certain fan following because he has shown brilliance in acting in his earlier films, like Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Baazigar, Swades, Chak De! India. And his ‘real fans’ have been missing that on screen. His recent films haven’t showcased him as an actor and played off his real life stardom. He hasn’t done much besides being himself. But in Fan, it is heartening to see Shah Rukh Khan play the made-to-order actor we all fell in love with at some point of time in our lives. Even prosthetic make-up which enlarges the right profile of his face and only enhances one dimple, reeks of his acting, albeit behind a familiar mask.

Shah Rukh Khan in and as FAN

So, is the film mind-blowing? I wouldn’t say that. Shah Rukh Khan left me spellbound. Maneesh’s film left me at the edge of my seat. The action set-pieces were extremely thrilling and left me gaping open-mouthed. But it’s not an easy film to digest. They are not characters we know or come across in real life. They are figments of our imagination that have been breathed life into. And there is no song. Like SRK, I’m going to lament the lack of a song too. There is excellent background score and there is dancing and acting. But FAN has a lot of grey shades and not enough colour. I mean that metaphorically. It is a show stealing performance and an extremely thrilling ride, but FAN is not meant to cater to everybody. It is unconventional and rightly so. It is now upto the audience and ‘real Jabra fans’ of Shah Rukh Khan to give their verdict and accept the film.

Only time will tell which path it will take. As for me, I am definitely an #SRKFAN and would love to see him in this avatar again and again. Where he sheds all traces of his real life identity and becomes an artist on screen.

Psst… If you want to win FAN tickets, simply flaunt your love for #SRK and enter the #FANatGoldCinema contest on Facebook or Instagram.