wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)

quick review:

The whistles are back in the theatres. Such a joy! So what if I couldn’t stop shaking my head at the startling shrillness and mindlessness of it all? The only exception being the film’s potent central message. Streaming partner: Netflix

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Director: Atlee
Running time: 170 minutes
Genres: Action, Social, Thriller
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Jawan’s heart beats for India’s common citizen and the many issues they face. But is this the only way to reach out to a mass audience? In a high-pitched and leave-your-brain-at-home manner? If yes, so be it. Otherwise, the film would be depressing—if not because it points to the sorry state of affairs in the country, then because it is formulaic, at least in the first half.

He carries salt-and-pepper with so much more elan than the hammy lover-boy.

The agenda is certainly a noble one, relevant and urgent too. It makes its point through farmers’ suicides, inefficiencies and corruption in the health system, defence scams, and corporate loan waivers. It also has an all-encompassing larger message that is the need of the hour in real life.

I assume the hope is that if this lesson is handed out to its viewers the Shah-Rukh-Khan way, they will take heed. They will realise the power they have. They will take note that the country has resources—money, manpower, intellect. The only thing missing is the intent of the people at the top.

Regular people versus the system is an ages-old storyline, done many times over. Fortunately, Jawan doesn’t take it for granted and writes a story around it that makes it into an action thriller instead of just an action film. It’s a decent story too.

But the details take the spectators for a ride. Logic, continuity, practicality, and, of course, physics are asked to take a hike. You know, the kind in which a man’s clothes burn, but his skin is intact. In fact, it is glowing under the rags. 🤷‍♀️ And a man who looks like he is in a coma comes back from the dead with full strength. 🤷‍♀️ 🤷‍♀️ The kind in which the hero takes over the defibrillator from a doctor with a swagger. 🤷‍♀️ 🤷‍♀️ 🤷‍♀️

In that sense, Jawan is over-produced—a constantly piercing background score and melodrama reeking out of every pore. It’s as if the makers are worried that they will lose their hold on the audience if Shah Rukh doesn’t do Shah Rukh things for a few seconds.

Just like him, the action hardly stops. For the first half hour or so, there is one action sequence after another with generic action choreography. Just when I was thinking why the action is so ordinary, given the scale of the film, there is one sequence that uses up all its slick moves. As if they wanted to showcase all the ways of stopping a racing vehicle in those 5-7 minutes. And the funniest bit was, ultimately plain ol' vandalism worked better for them.

It’s as if the makers are worried that they will lose their hold on the audience if Shah Rukh doesn’t do Shah Rukh things for a few seconds.

It is a pity that the beautiful cinematography that the film starts with doesn’t go past the first few minutes. Can’t blame them. After all, their target audience is in the theatre for a different kind of beauty. And Shah Rukh Khan knows it and owns it.

He also seems to have made a conscious effort to transition into older roles, preparing his audience on what to expect, in say, 10 years. I am quite enjoying this shift, for he carries salt-and-pepper with so much more elan than the hammy lover-boy. One of the experiments seems to be manufacturing a baritone. It didn’t work for me, but let’s see how it ages.

The rest of the cast is admirably women-heavy. However, the inclusivity seems to stop there, for the audience is repeatedly prompted to laugh at a midget. That these women are at their hero’s beck and call, is a different matter. The only other thing that stayed with me about the supporting cast is that they produce tears mechanically and on demand.

So, I came out of the theatre with mixed feelings. The cheers and hooting at every new look that Shah Rukh wore, at Nayantara’s and Deepika Padukone’s entries, were heartening. The cinema hall has missed that for too long. Jawan is out to get you back to the movies. It has a valuable message that is just right for the season. If only the details were not loud and lacking in attention to detail.

- meeta, a part of the audience

26 reviewers(?) - 21 yays 5 so-so 0 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...Jawan has brought the spine back into Hindi cinema and that is more important than any kind of box office success, records, or critical praise.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikita Thakkar, Bollywood Life : ...Jawan is a complete package that comes with a dose of action, thrill, emotions and drama. If you have been missing out on full-on seeti maar entertainment, Jawan is for you. BollywoodLife gives it 3 and half stars.... full review

Thumbs up, by Reshmi A R, Deccan Chronicle : ...SRK seems to have hit a purple patch after his last outing and keeps his superstar star status intact until next release, thanks to Jawan.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shreyas Pande, Deccan Herald : ...With its simplicity, 'Jawan' works as a massy entertainer infused with a dose of idealism. Some scenes in the first half needed better handling and some sequences after the interval needed sharper editing. However, the film manages to enthral and pul... Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/entertainment/jawan-review-shah-rukh-khan-is-epic-in-this-mass-entertainer-2677964... full review

Thumbs up, by Abhimanyu Mathur, DNA : ...Jawan is far from a perfect film. But it is an entertaining one, a film that uses the star’s aura and screen presence to full effect.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...a... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...All-in-all, watch Jawan for its entertainment value, for pure SRK magic, slick action scenes and its social messages. It’s total paisa vasool fare, alright!... full review

Thumbs up, by Murtuza, Filmi Beat : ...Overall, Jawan has all the elements a moviegoer wants in a film. It's a perfect massy entertainer and you should surely enjoy it in theatres.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Free Press Journal : ...SRK’s last Pathaan, although with a weaker plot, and not so believable screenplay sailed through his charm and received earth-shattering box office numbers, Jawan is a complete film that gives wholesome entertainment.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nitin Jain, Glamsham.com : ...All in all, if you are a Shah Rukh Khan fan and want to be part of the party that started with ‘Pathaan’, you sure cannot miss this ‘Jawan’... full review

Thumbs up, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...Nevertheless, Jawan is a wholesome watch that won't give you any dull moment. Keep your eyes and mind focused on screen for there's a lot to take in and you don't want to miss the action or know why it's happening in the first place. Watch out for a climax that's one paisa vasool moment.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shruti Kaushal, India TV : ...Atlee, who gave blockbuster hits like Bigil, Theri, and Mersal, skillfully ventured into Bollywood with his bagful of elemental quirk. Also written by Atlee, the film captures the nub of each character, be they key or cameo.... full review

Thumbs up, indiaglitz : ...Verdict : Go for this racy masala entertainer with a strong female presence filled with engaging elements... full review

Thumbs up, by "Shalmesh More ", koimoi : ...On the whole, Jawan is bigger and better than Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan in terms of box office. So, we’re all set to witness history being rewritten, and it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the film will do business in the range of 600-625 crores net in India.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sameer Ahire, Movie Talkies : ...Jawan is an out-and-out massy blockbuster that we have been craving, and thankfully, it’s not as mediocre as some of the recent blockbuster hits.... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Jawan hits the bull's eye both as a movie that is out to entertain and a vehicle that demonstrates the power of a superstar endowed with a voice that is anything but ordinary. It manifests itself as much on the screen as it does outside its fictive confines.... full review

Thumbs up, by Himesh Mankad, Pinkvilla : ...Jawan packs a solid punch with action, drama, emotion and scale packaged to perfection in the screenplay by Atlee. It’s driven by Shah Rukh Khan like never before in a once-in-a-lifetime kind of heroic characters of Azad and Vikram Rathore. The action blocks are backed by emotions combined with a strong story. With plenty of mass moments, Jawan is PEAK COMMERCIAL ENTERTAINER and is headed to be a HISTORIC BLOCKBUSTER. Its vigilante done right, with Shah Rukh Khan’s touch in commercial palate of filmmaking.... full review

Thumbs up, by Mayank Sanap, Rediff : ...The second half is fixed upon the hero verus villain dynamic, but the film lags in these key moments because of Sethupathi's monotonous performance. It is high time Sethupathi does away with villain roles, or at least try to bring something new to them. Despite some gripes, Jawan works because of Atlee's total commitment to creating Shah Rukh Khan hysteria. It is filled with everything signature to the superstar.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Deepika Padukone has a superb cameo, with her character Aishwarya displaying more of a frisson with Khan than the neglected Narmada does. If Nayanthara is less than impressive in her Hindi language debut, it’s hardly her fault.... full review

Thumbs up, by Soumyabrata Gupta, Times Now : ...Jawan is an exemplary homage to both Indian and Western action flicks that inundated the industries in the early nineties. The movie could well be on its way to replicate what Top Gun Maverick did to an ailing Hollywood, in Bollywood. Slick action sequences, paired with romance, filial affections and some amazing music makes Jawan a perfect watch. That, paired with a double dose of Shah Rukh Khan is well worth the money.... full review

Thumbs up, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Jawan feeds off SRK’s stardom. It isn’t intimidated by him.Like a paisa vasool desi thaali, it has all kinds of flavour to satiate your taste buds. The reincarnation of 'action hero SRK' hits the sweet spot.... full review

So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...The film’s heart bleeds and cries for us Indians who are seem to be victims of an irredeemably corrupt administration. But the solution offered is seriously anarchic. Not that anyone cares. As long as SRK gets to pound the corroded system with his bare hands, all is well with the world.... full review

So-So, by Tulasi Neppali, fullhyd.com : ...Whether it was the recycled story, the total disregard for its themes, the so-so music, or the charmless villain, Jawan just didn't work for me. It does, however, feel like it might at the BO.... full review

So-So, by Lekha Menon, Khaleej Times : ...Jawan and while that is a tried-and-tested trope, director Atlee gives it the ultra-stylised Tollywood-meets-Bollywood treatment. It may have crater-sized holes as far as logic is concerned but what it has in oodles is Shah Rukh Khan. And that’s not bad news at all. Also, there are two fabulous cameos featuring A-listers, and a juicy possibility mentioned in the end credits. If you have the patience, wait for it.... full review

So-So, by Isha Sharma, NewsBytes : ...Atlee's collaborations with Thalapathy Vijay have proved his stories are propelled by a superstar, and Jawan, too, sans SRK, would have huffed and puffed more than it already does. If you're an SRK fan, you will cheer at the top of your lungs, but apart from that, it's an old bottle with expired wine that is high in "mass" moments but low in novelty.... full review

So-So, by Mike McCahill, The Guardian : ...Jawan will prove no more enduring than Pathaan in the Khan pantheon, but it’s a semi-fascinating display of star power, and a rollicking (if bumpy) Friday-night ride.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots and lots, and some gory too.
  • Language: A couple of curse words.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None.
  • Concept: Common citizen versus the system.
  • General Look and Feel: Crisp with some tacky bits, darkish, slick and very loud.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Jawan - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Lead Cast:
Music Director:
Running time:
170 minutes

Comments (4)

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Thanks Meetu, for such a nice review. I would surely go and watch the movie. I hope it had one catchy song number - none seem to be hummable..


Thanks for a balanced view...this is what I am taking away from your review...age-old master plot but a decent new plot, details and nuances are all over the place, promising cinematography in the first few minutes but action takes its time to go all out. Could have written better parts for supporting cast. Songs forgetful. Loudness of bg score will ensure you stay alert.

Direction 1.5. How come?

@Raj not really. None of them have stuck.

@Jeet Perfectly summarised. Re direction well, lots of cliches that got to me. I do believe it could be a lot crisper. And so on.

JAWAN is actually a Top Five hit in the United States, right behind BARBIE this week, according to THE WRAP!

::“Barbie” is in a virtual tie for the No. 4 spot with the new Shah Rukh Khan action thriller “Jawan,” which is drawing out Indian moviegoers since its Thursday release with $7.1 million grossed over four days from 827 theaters this weekend. Distributed in the U.S. by Yash Raj Films, “Jawan” set a record for the highest global opening day for a Hindi-language film with $16 million.::

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