Shah Rukh Khan New Movie Pathaan Review, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham

Movie Review 

Before Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan was absent from the big silver screen for nearly four years. He had a few make-up cameos here and there, but we all missed seeing the superstar in a central, larger-than-life role like he undertook in Pathaan.  

 The thing about big-budget Bollywood movies is that they are tailor-made for traditional Indian cinema consumers. By traditional, it means that the quality of the story or logistical possibilities do not prevail for that audience. They pin all their expectations on the image of a star who sells tickets; seeing him beat up the bad guys, save all the impossible situations, and look damn good doing it all. Shahrukh Khan definitely does all of these perfectly. But unfortunately, this is not enough.

  In Hindi cinema, the topic of interest to the masses recently has been the proud representation of patriotism and intelligence agencies. Every other story involves either an agent who goes rogue and plots against the country, or an exceptional agent willing to do anything to save it. The experience of watching these movies and web series has reached saturation point. So when Shah Rukh's Pathaan did the same, one can easily understand the frustrations. Pathaan clearly falls into the latter category of intelligence agents and faces a formidable foe, Jim (John Abraham), who falls into the former.

  They are cut from the same cloth, but they engage in a fierce battle for ideals. But it's not just about that. Pathaan's mission is to recover a secret Russian formula before the ISI or Jim get to it, figuring out how to stop the spread of an incurable, deadly disease in India's capital. The agent travels across the continent of Europe in pursuit of his enemy. With the essence of time, Pathaan cannot be faulted for its speed. The change in scenes and emotions is quick and quite sustained, despite the Bollywood masala caveats.  

 Bollywood masala is an acquired taste. Cinema has served a large audience who enjoy this brand of movies for decades. And true to the essence of this brand, there is nothing nuanced, subtle or subtle about Pathaan. Everything is larger than life and done to enhance its central protagonist.

  All the weaknesses for Pathaan come in the form of established Bollywood paradigms. But the film can't be blamed for including them, because that's entirely its purpose. Pathaan was supposed to mark Shahrukh's blockbuster comeback as the iconic action hero every big superstar aspires to play in front of packed theaters and salivating audiences.

  And indeed, the euphoria of seeing Shah Rukh back on the silver screen in an action hero avatar is undeniable. There is a timeless aura that a superstar carries with him. His chiseled body, lean muscles and unkempt hair are not typical of the neutralizing dimples and boyish charm we associate with him. Shah Rukh is empowered and strong with something we haven't seen before. But even then, watching him reminds him of when we first fell in love. All of Abraham's scenes with Jim remind one of his first major action film, Mai Hu Na.

  And only if you enjoy such loud Bollywood fanaticism. These movies are only meant to be watched on the big screen with the noise, whistles and occasional chants of 'bharat mata ki jai' keeping you in the air. After exiting the theatre, Pathaan is as unforgettable as the next big Bollywood action film. There is nothing permanent about it. Pathaan won't give you any food for thought or confront you with complex emotional dynamism. It hardly reflects everyday life. In fact, the movie has nothing to do with real life.


  It exists and disappears in its own surreal cinematic universe; a popular setting where the hero can do no wrong and has no limit to what he can do right. Pathaan lacks the depth, brevity, subtlety and intelligence that make for good cinema. However, it will be the biggest hit of this year and remains a treat to watch for many Shahrukh Khan fans including yours truly.

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