Following Happy New Year and Dilwale, many SRK loyalists (including yours truly) had seemingly stopped expecting much out from Badshah K..K..Khan, but there still lingered hope that the King of Bollywood would soon pull a Swades or Chak De India out his hat again. When the first trailer of Fan got released, the excitement was at its peak. This time, not just because it was SRK on screen, but the movie promised a thriller, something unusual, an uncommon plot. We were all hooked. Then came the movie anthem in  ‘Jabra Fan’, a song that took the entire nation by storm with SRK’s fun, casual dance moves and the upbeat music. Everyone seemed to be eagerly waiting for the movie release and today it has hit the screens.

Before I get into the review, if like me, you too have been following the news and gossip around the movie ‘FAN’ for the last couple of weeks on social media, you might have noticed that many reporters tried drawing parallels between ‘FAN’ and a 1996 Hollywood movie by the same name starring Robert De Niro and Wesley Snipes, which was based on the novel  by Peter Abrahams. The American movie was a psychological thriller, but unlike SRK’s FAN which revolves around the life of a movie star, it was about the over-dedication of a baseball fan. If truth be told, I was a bit disappointed to know that SRK’s Fan is not an original script. However, after watching the movie, I think it’s safe to say that the movie exceeds expectations.

The film is about a 25 year old guy named Gaurav, who is one of the biggest fans of a filmstar named Aryan Khanna. Interestingly enough, Gaurav is a doppleganger of Aryan. The real story begins when Gaurav sets out from Delhi to meet his idol in Mumbai to wish him on his birthday. Even though a 5-minute rendezvous is all he aspires for, Gaurav is taken aback when he finds out what Aryan Khanna is like in real life as he turns down his request to meet. Gaurav, who by now is dangerously obsessed with the star, is pushed to cross the line and now his love for the star has changed into mad hatred and the feeling of revenge has engulfed him. What happens when a fan turns on his idol is what the rest of the movie is all about.

FAN movie poster shahrukh khan

The movie can easily be called an edge-of-the-seat thriller as the audiences are kept wondering what would happen next. At times, there are some really powerful scenes, be it the chase sequence or how Aryan Khanna pulls off his bold egoistic style showing how commercialised he is. Some power-packed acting there. Also the action is very well choreographed.

While some would really enjoy the climax of the movie, I think the second half of the movie could have been much better. At times, the edgy character of Gaurav felt a bit over the board, but I don’t think I was expecting any thing otherwise after I had seen the trailer. One thing that really irked me in the movie is that Gaurav seems to be really the next-door simpleton guy in the first half and he magically becomes almost a resourceful goon in the second half. Where did he find all those resources to plot against Aryan is a mystery left unestablished? A little more detailing on that front would have really made the plot wholesome and definitely much more believable.

The love, the emotion, the drama, the suspense that keeps you glued to the screen in the first half, somehow wears off post-interval. What still makes the movie a winner is the absolutely brilliant performance by King Khan. The madness is kept alive till the very end.

The FAN theme song by Vishal-Shekhar lingers on your mind for a long time after you’ve watched the film, there’s some amazing cinematography by Manu Anand and the enthralling background score by Andrea Guerra forms one of the many factors that keep the movie entertaining from the very start till the end. Minor roles offered to Sachin Pilgaonkar’s daughter – Shriya and Waluscha D’Souza have been carried out well.

Directed by Maneesh Sharma and Produced by Yash Raj Films, ‘FAN’ can be given many labels – ‘Gripping’, ‘Fun’, ‘For the fanboys’, ‘Engaging’ and what not. But I think, there’s only one thought that will linger in the minds of SRK fans and that is ‘The King is Back’. I am already rooting for him and eagerly waiting to watch his next film coming out this year – Raees.

As for the film, when Gaurav pledges that every time Aryan’s name is spoken, his own name will be affiliated to it, he strives to make his point. On similar lines, we believe that when people look back and try to name Shah Rukh’s best movies, FAN would be a title that features in the list.

The heavy claps at the end of the movie meant something, and were totally justified.

Overall Rating – 3/5