wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
“You want real acting from me? Here! Take that! And some more!” an emphatic announcement by Shah Rukh Khan in a not-bad thriller.Read more
A fan who he is absolutely obsessed by the star he is a fan of can't handle it when the star is put off by the fandom. If I didn't know it was a Shah Rukh Khan film, I would have been intrigued right away. But, as soon as you have Shah Rukh Khan's persona attached to a film in which he plays a 'star', I became skeptical. The skepticism only multiplied when the fan is a look-alike of the star, that is one more Shah Rukh Khan.
Why does the fan have to be a look-alike? The rest of the trailer looks like any other action film, chase sequences and all – which seems like a genre shift for director, Maneesh Sharma. That is always something to look forward to.
“Fandom versus Stardom” seems to be the theme of the film. Let's hope cinema, that makes either possible, wins.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Are there any limits to obsession? You might mull over that, but the obsessed knows no boundaries and is okay with you 'not getting' it. In fact, that you don't get it, makes him an even greater 'obsessed' even if only in his eyes. Oh what am I going on about! I can talk about a Shah Rukh Khan film without mentioning him for only so long! However, this time the reasons are all good. This is one astounding performance, even if he is playing himself for a good part of the film.
Let that register - Shah Rukh Khan plays himself, and yet, it doesn't get to you, doesn't annoy you. In fact, you empathize with the character despite his smugness.
Him as Gaurav Chandna though is a different level of act. From frame one you forget the actor and are intrigued-amused by the character. Of course, the prosthetics are amazing. But you are forced to admire the character who quickly morphs into his idol. And you smile at how the actor 'gotchya' because well, he is only playing himself!
I wouldn't be surprised if many of his self-proclaimed die-hard fans actually believed that they were getting a sneak peak into the real Shah Rukh Khan's life, especially in the first half of this film. The cooing by the two young ladies sitting by both my sides is certainly testimony enough for me. But hey, even if I wasn't cooing, I was in complete awe all through the first half too.
The story is sort-of predictable once you get a hang of the characters but the execution isn't what you'd expect. There is no lead lady, no romantic track and there are no song sequences. No romance and no songs in a Yash Raj-SRK union. And it is not certainly for want of situation - the characters are performing in award shows and weddings, for goodness sake. I don't mind songs in my films, but there is a time and place for that, which most mainstream cinema seems to forget. It is a bold commercial move to not serve the hardcore Bollywood fan their staple.
In fact, there is a moment of contemplation. A pause for thought and consideration. The focus is on the two characters and the face off. Which as admirable as it is, gets a tad repetitive after a bit. The second half slacks with one chase sequence too many and there isn't much happening otherwise. That's not to take away anything from the first chase sequence. Camera gimmickry aside, the action choreography and conceptualisation of that chase sequence is worth a portion of the ticket price. So is some camera-framing in a scene or two.
But then, post-interval the film gives way to run-of-the-mill roof-top and middle-of-busy-street chase sequences. Except for one scene with a lashing comment in a press conference, it is more of the same. Also, the things Gaurav does are rather predictable and thus not jolting enough. But then again, that is a comment on how fickle star image is. Media, fans, haters alike don't stop a second and consider, “Could this celebrity have behaved this way?”
Then we have the borderline sermonisation. It actually reminded me of Shah Rukh Khan's publicity appearance in the pre-match (IPL) show. He was introduced to who the show producers thought was his biggest fan. He gets a 100kg cake every year on Shah Rukh's birthday and books the whole theater to take his friends and family for every Shah Rukh film. And yet, Shah Rukh Khan the actor seemed a little awkward. Maybe it was all an act or maybe it was genuine worry of meeting a real-life Gaurav Chandna.
Even if we think he is a little out there, does the fan in us identify a little with him? Of course, Gaurav Chandna clearly needs help. And thankfully not every fan is like that. We might not be an Aryan Khanna fan or even a Shah Rukh Khan fan, but we admire someone. We want to meet that someone. We won't go to 'any' extent to meet them, but what extent would we go to? Do the people who would go further than most others see a part of themselves in Gaurav Chandna? Do they say, “you won't 'get' it” to people who point that out to them? Do they get an insight into how crazy it is?
For bringing these thoughts, maybe for not making me want to tear my hair out, for giving me 2+ hours of a solid performance, without taking anything away from the decent film that Fan is, even if I won't want to watch it again, I, a Shah-Rukh-non-fan would like to see more of this Shah Rukh. Maybe in a film that that will take our mind of his performance.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Though Fan is far from being perfect, it urges us to think about issues relating to stardom, fandom, idolatry and public expectations from famous people without overtly appearing to do so. It is suspenseful without beating drums and clanging cymbals around its many twists and turns. Much of its appeal lies in the fact that the central characters are not stereotyped. Besides, when Shah Rukh Khan decides to go real and understated, it always makes for compelling viewing. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Aashi Gahlot, Bolly Spice : ...Director Maneesh Sharma hasn’t given any filmi songs, just good performances and some questions for us to ponder. Fan is a winner. Highly recommended.... full review
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, FAN has a brilliant first half, but loses track in the second hour, only to pick up again towards the pre-climax. The writing should've been tighter, while the absence of music [it's a songless film!] may also prove a stumbling block, but what works, and works big time, is the terrific act by SRK as the fan. And that's enough reason for you to watch this thriller! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sreeju Sudhakaran, Bollywood Life : ...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! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mehul S Thakkar, Deccan Chronicle : ...Gaurav rules the film through its various twists and turns, its emotional crests and troughs and even in its ending. He makes you believe how it's good to be a fan but superstar Aryan Khanna justifies how one must have their own identity. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Smita Vyas Kumar, Desi Martini : ... Fan is a definite watch. The amazing make-up that transforms SRK into a young Gaurav, the high voltage emotion and SRK at his best deserve your attention. Go for it.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sudarsh Krishnan, Desi Martini : ...Overall, It's fair to say that SRK has brought his brand value back with a interesting yet offbeat film. Fan might not please all types of audiences, but it will surely open everyone's eyes!... full review
Thumbs up, by Rakesh Reddy, Desi Martini : ...It's SRK show all the way. His hard work and effort he had put for the FAN character was simply outstanding and commendable. I was happy to see the star putting his heart and soul for a character. Other supporting characters were pretty fine too. overall, Fan is a good movie, where you can see SRK finally acting, but it fell short of becoming a masterpiece. The point is that it had all the potential to become a great movie. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Mohit Patil, Desi Martini : ... No one but Shah Rukh could have pulled this off, giving the premise much of its force because he's often associated with both narcissistic self-adulation and the duality of identity. As a result, each scene is a double edged sword, taking on both the star and the fan in the dizzying hall of mirrors that is this film.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sidhant Shori, Desi Martini : ...The supporting cast had their task cut out for them, matching his performance, but thankfully they were up for the challenge and acquitted themselves well. The plot is interesting, but drags on a bit in some scenes and gets a bit preachy at times as well, which really doesn’t suit this film at all. However, these are minor blemishes in a film that is a must watch... full review
Thumbs up, by Yatharth Chauhan, Desi Martini : ...So while you figure out if Fan indeed is worth your time and money, consider these points and be the judge yourself. If at all Fan deserves anything, it’s our viewing! If you’re wondering why have I only talked of the positives here, I also have deleterious views to give but I’m in no mood to do that today! ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...SRK is on top of his game and so is director Maneesh Sharma. Some of his decisions are real aces. The no song-and-dance approach really adds to the film's experience. The background score as well as the cinematography add to the director's vision. Even though the film is two and a half hours in length, it feels breezy. This is definitely a taut film. It takes a fresh concept and adds the right amount of zing to it. You could argue with the formulaic approach, but the usual thrills and spills don’t rob the story of its impact. Both the star and the fan have their grey shades. And that’s what makes Fan a smart film. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...SRK’s trademark performance, tics and all, makes both characters lean towards caricature. There’s really not much conviction in the telling either. The dialogues sound downright stupid. ‘Fan’ plays out like any other star powered vehicle that is much more interested in keeping the star in high spirits rather than telling a credible, relatable story. This Yashraj film is just a glossy shell that hides the hollow core within. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Zehra Abbas , Fully Hyderabad : ...Fan is certainly not a perfect film, but it's a unique, performance-oriented thriller that explores the twin themes of obsession and identity, more so the latter than the former. Shahrukh Khan fans will watch it anyway to see him essay the roles of the person and the mirror reflection. Viewers who aren't his fans should go to see him push this swivel mirror and confuse you with the revolving images into doubting what is real, and what isn't. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...As a whole, Fan delivers what it promised in the trailers. Logic may not be its strong point, but Shah Rukh most definitely is; he’s back in his element after a long time. Watch it for him. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Ananya Bhattacharya, india today : ...In all, understanding exactly what goes on in the mind of an obsessed fan or a troubled superstar is not easy. 'How can someone do this for a star?' is a question that has plagued a lot of us at several points in our lives. Maneesh Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan hand-deliver that mindscape - of both the fan and the star - on the screen. And brilliantly. ... full review
Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Shah Rukh Khan’s best and most uninhibited performance in ages as Gaurav Chandna The action scenes are brilliantly choreographed The dialogues and milieu are very Delhi and very realistic The editing is crisp The first half is stellar Yogendra Tiku and Deepika Amin as Gaurav’s parents and Shah Rukh as Aryan Technically brilliant, the VFX is top notch. Credit to the entire team behind the film. Cons: The second half almost feels like a letdown because it works on an unrealistic terrain The life of Gaurav before he reached Delhi should have been shown a bit more The background score is too mellow and doesn’t emotionally stir at our heart strings... full review
Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...It’s been a while since Khan did anything that involved the switching on of one personality, let alone two. Fan is a welcome correction. Gaurav, who carries in his voice the hurt of a jilted lover, is a fascinating creation, but Khan also plays Aryan beautifully as a wearier, warier version of himself. The film bears little resemblance to what audiences have come to expect from a Shah Rukh vehicle: There are no songs, no heroines romanced. It’s difficult to imagine what his fans, jabra or otherwise, will make of a film that spares neither them nor their hero. In the world of Fan, both parties are entitled to smash up each other’s worlds. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...Right from the beginning of this thriller, which undoubtedly boasts of one, oops, two of his best performances, it is evident why Shah Rukh Khan is needed for a film of this sort, and why only someone in his position and with his caliber could do it too. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...Sharma's Fan is delightful and dark in equal measures and the film would have been much better had it been infused with some realism, especially in the second half. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...This film goes against the construct of a Yash Raj film. It has Shah Rukh Khan, but not a single song. It has a shaadi, but it's only peripheral to the story. It has a psychotic stalker but he doesn't believe in self-harm. It feels like a tribute to King Khan but SRK hasn't been more unlike himself in any other film. So, should you invest in such a risky watch? If you're an SRK fan, you don't care for approval. But even if you aren't, this one's a thrilling watch. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Fan works for the most part because it has the fabulous SRK act as a 'young' star-struck boy. His energetic performance is worth the price of the ticket - if not more. It is fascinating to watch the actor making the transition from a gawky movie-crazy youngster to a swaggering Bollywood star mimic on stage to a psychologically unhinged stalker who pulls out the stops... full review
Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Of course Shah Rukh Khan is his own biggest fan. It’s a rule that comes with the megastar territory, the need to believe in your own legend. What a film like Fan makes evident is that the rarified view from high up there may not always be the most pleasant. Especially when you’re looking at the fan in the mirror. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...And that is the most intriguing, interesting part of Fan - the layered personalities of our two central protagonists, and the troubled equation they share. For a superstar perhaps, nothing can be more delightful and distressing than an obsessed fan. Especially when the fan turns fanatic.... full review
Thumbs up, Sify Movies : ...What Fan ultimately says about the star's equation with his admirers is that tragedy awaits any attempt to break the barrier that divides the heroes from their followers. Every star who thinks he and she must mingle with the fans and "belong" with them must see this film. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Having said that one thing is quite clear: SRK couldn’t have found a better vehicle than Fan, both as an actor and as a celebration of the highs and the lows of his own stardom. A stardom whose enormity he’d himself find difficult to wrap around his head. As Gaurav tells him: “Rehn de. Tu nahin samjhega (Let it be, you won’t understand).” Will stars ever understand their fandom? Not quite. Nor will some logical journalists like yours truly. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Srijana Mitra Das, Times of India : ...The action's glorious but stretches while the naivete of Gaurav's parents (Deepika and Yogendra), unaware of their only child's feelings, seems slightly unbelievable. Yet, ending with a Baazigar-esque twist, Fan makes you feel Darr all over again. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...It’s a shame that such an awesome plot suffers from such inept execution. Alas, that too in a film where Shah Rukh Khan has outdone himself as an actor. Whether you are a fan or not, watch this one for a side of SRK you have never seen before.... full review
So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Fan, instead, turns into a preposterous thriller. And it doesn’t have the pace to make us swallow the ludicrous contrivances. Like the fact that a superstar feels the police in India are not going to protect him. Like the fact that Gaurav can transform, overnight, into a globe-trotting, Ethan Hunt-like master of disguises. Like the fact that no one seems to be able to tell that Gaurav looks like Aryan. Perhaps the point is that the film is itself as much of a double-role player as its protagonist – one half meek and mild-mannered character-driven drama, the other a comic-booky superhero saga, one half an ode to the Shah Rukh of Chak De! India, the other a nod to his Chennai Express-es and Dilwale-s. But it remains a conceit, and the director cannot pull it off. The two halves never cohere, though the two Shah Rukhs certainly do. This is one of the actor’s finest hours. He’s terrific as Gaurav, and he’s even better as Aryan, a man who has everything, and whose ego will not allow him to apologise to a man who wants nothing more than a “sorry.” Who’s to say how much of Aryan is Shah Rukh not acting but being? After all, who better to play a super-entitled one-percent-er than a super-entitled one-percent-er? ... full review
So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...In short, if you are a FAN then you are sure going to cherish watching your beloved star back in form after a long time. And in case you are not, then the man will force you to do so praising his flawless act of GAURAV as a true appreciator. However I seriously wish the team had somehow worked upon the second half, turning this mediocre film into a classic for the sake of Hindi cinema. ... full review
So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...As this vengeful Gaurav, Shah Rukh Khan channels his own youthful avatar in films like Baazigar and Darr, The scenes are not too convincing, but they lead to the inevitable showdown. Khan plays the star with a kind of weary resignation, so his real challenge is to make Gaurav likeable, devious and tragic at the same time, and he does that brilliantly. Shah Rukh Khan does not need to prove that he still has a true actor’s fire in his belly, but Fan does that anyway, even if that means no other actor in the film has much to do. ... full review
So-So, Free Press Journal : ...Of nothing else, Fan demonstrates why SRK’s appeal is so enduring. Even in a film that has more than its share of flaws and loose ends, he can stitch together a performance that is both riveting and crowd-pleasing. ... full review
So-So, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...Waluscha D'Souza has no role. Even when she is being terrorized by Gaurav in her own home, the camera shows the back of her head. Sayani Gupta as his PA is top notch adding weight to her character, simply by her presence. ... full review
So-So, by RAJEEV MASAND, IBN Live : ...As I left the cinema having watched the film, I found myself conflicted about my feelings. There is so much to admire here, but it’s evident the filmmakers think they’ve made a smarter film than they actually have. Still, Fan works for the most part. And anyone who – like me – had grown tired and disappointed with Shah Rukh's unwillingness to step out of his comfort zone will have reason to be a fan again. I’m going with 3 out of 5. ... full review
So-So, by Saumil Gandhi, Upper Stall : ...As a film, I found Fan to be short of drama. This was meant to be a thriller, but that edge of the seat buildup is missing. Much of it can be attributed to the lack in detailing of the story. This is not necessary a slip as much as a deliberate decision by the producers and the director to make the film in a specific way. But it had tremendous potential to be a darker, grittier film. Darr has a visceral impact that probably will never date. In making the movie an ‘entertainer’ for today’s times – which it is, no doubt – the makers may have lost the chance to make it timeless.As a film, I found Fan to be short of drama. This was meant to be a thriller, but that edge of the seat buildup is missing. Much of it can be attributed to the lack in detailing of the story. This is not necessary a slip as much as a deliberate decision by the producers and the director to make the film in a specific way. But it had tremendous potential to be a darker, grittier film. Darr has a visceral impact that probably will never date. In making the movie an ‘entertainer’ for today’s times – which it is, no doubt – the makers may have lost the chance to make it timeless. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Kris Shripada, Desi Martini : ...The movie is neither a thriller nor a comedy with the only adorable bits coming from the parents of Gaurav with Deepika and Yogendra pulling off a good act. The screenplay has too many loopholes and shortcuts as the director desperately tried to preach what a fan should be and shouldn't be without really affecting SRK's fan base. He pretty much took the easy way out to show that a fan no matter how crazy he is, is still important. The sadness in SRK's eyes in the end as he waves to his fans in a way vindicated Gaurav's obsession and that was the movie's greatest compromise! ... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.