Guys before I start off with this review I would like you all to know that in this review I am going to get in depth into this film and hence it will be filled with spoilers. So for all those of you haven’t watched the film yet, I urge you to stop reading this review, watch the film first and then come back to this review if you feel like it. However I have also posted a spoiler free review for this film which you may check out before going in to watch this film.
Fan begins with the montage showing Gaurav and his craze for Aryan Khanna which we have come to know from the “Introducing Gaurav” video that came out a few months ago. As the montage progresses the credits roll. At the end of it we get our first look at Gaurav. He is running a cyber café in Delhi and has a crush on a girl who is planning to embark on a tour of America. In this sequence we see that Gaurav is someone who is not afraid to get into a fight with three well-built men when they try to break his policy. He is innocent and chirpy but he is also strong enough to take a stand.
Following this sequence we are taken into a show where Gaurav emulates Aryan and wins the first prize for his performance. We are made aware that it is the third time that he is winning the prize giving us a clear idea that his passion for his star has only increased over the years. Post his victory he sets his mind to go over to Mumbai, meet Aryan and hand him over his trophy as a gift and mark of respect to him. Gaurav embarks on his journey and decides to travel without ticket as that’s how his star reached Mumbai. He gets caught but literally blackmails the security into submission and allowing him to travel to Mumbai. Another episode which shows us Gaurav’s nature and his ability to take extreme measures when need be. I will come back to these points and make it clear why I am bringing up these issues.
He reaches Mumbai and even after trying a lot, is unable to meet Aryan but he does get a glimpse of him. That night while having his dinner in a hotel, he sees a news item which shows that another fellow actor is in logger-horns with Aryan after Aryan slapped him publicly. Gaurav sees this guy as a means to impress his star. The next day he uses his antiques and makes his way into the actor’s van after making his acquaintance and telling him that he was his greatest fan. He later tortures the actor and extracts a speech out of him apologizing to Aryan. He then uploads the same on “YouTube” and sends the unedited copy of it to Aryan wherein he shows himself torturing the man. Another example that showed Gaurav’s extreme traits and his “jugadu” tendencies that made him reach places that were far beyond his reach.
He believes that Aryan will be impressed but Aryan instead gets him locked up and tortured by police. He comes to meet him in the lockup and tells him that he was the one who got him arrested and tortured and tells him that he is a phony fan. Gaurav is crestfallen. He is released soon enough and he vows to make Aryan run after him the way he ran after his star. Post interval, we are quickly taken to London where we see Gaurav in the guise of Aryan get into Madame Tussaud’s museum and create havoc. Aryan is implicated and imprisoned. Similarly he travels next to a billionaire’s daughter’s wedding where Aryan is supposed to perform and impersonates him again and this time molests a girl. Aryan is implicated again and this time he receives flak from him fans too.
He hurries home to India but before he can reach, Gaurav reaches his house again impersonating him and wrecking his study. What does he want? He wants his star to apologize to him publicly! Aryan now loses his cool and goes all out after him and lands up at his house. Soon the two meet for a final duel where Aryan tries to talk some sense into Gaurav who feels that he has lost it all and commits suicide jumping from the top of a building. Aryan clears his name from all the allegations but Gaurav’s name gets entangled with his past and present permanently as the news reader towards the end suggest.
I will start off with the pros. The film has SRK at its helm and he never disappoints for a second. His act as Gaurav as well as Aryan is electrifying. While Gaurav is a nice and happy go lucky guy with a knack for doing crazy and unexpected things, Aryan is a suave and accomplished star who has that attitude of being superior to the others lingering in his mannerism. When the two come face to face, they each reach a point of no return. While Aryan feels what Gaurav deed was wrong, Gaurav is enraged by Aryan’s total lack of empathy and warmth for him after what he had done. SRK beautifully brings out these nuances of the characters in his act. The scene where he hugs the cop before leaving with a smile on his face and then suddenly turns grim is an excellent example of the point I am trying to make.
In the second half when Gaurav goes all out against all odds and keeps crashing into Aryan’s life may seem a tad bit improbable for many but now I would like to sight the previous examples of Gaurav’s “Jugadu” nature that he put to use to reach places where he shouldn’t be from before to explain him being able to reach the places that he does. Thus the director from the very beginning was building up the momentum and reasons that would explain him being able to make his way into places which are extremely difficult to get into.
On the flip side, I was a bit taken aback by the amount of similarity that the two characters have and the total lack of attention that Gaurav got from people around him in Delhi. However that same person easily sold himself as Aryan when he reaches London and Croatia. This was a little bit too much to fathom and really exposed the poor writing. Also the makeup of Gaurav is inconsistent if you look at it closely. I was watching this film like a hawk to find out the flaws and this was one of the downers, technically speaking. In some of the scenes his face is properly rounded off but a few shots later it turns out chiseled. Example would be the molestation scene if you look at it closely. When Aryan takes the girl’s hand, he is Aryan but after a few twists, his face is again rounded off and his teeth protruding out letting us know that it was Gaurav.
The film boasts of great cinematography. The great wide takes of the foreign locales are just wow! One of the chase sequences through these locales makes you wonder whether to see the chase or enjoy the locales. In the first half, the city of Delhi is captured in all its vitality. Kudos to the DOP for bringing to life the sensational chase sequence atop a hotel where Gaurav is chased by the cops. The editing however leaves a few nooks here and there particularly in the chase sequences in the second half with way too many cuts. That I understand was as much to hide the inabilities of the star and extensive use of the body doubles as to convey a feeling of breathtaking tension. That’s not the right way to build tension.
To sum it all up, Fan has its share of flaws and some gaping holes in the script but all that gets overshadowed by the spirited performance of its leading man. SRK hasn’t acted this well in years and he gives it his all. The film attains new value through his essays and you are so hooked to his act that you ignore many of the short comings. The visual effects are well done and the action sequences are decent but the makeup could have been better and more consistent. I will retain my rating of the 4 Stars out of 5 for the film. This is definitely a must watch for the Fans of SRK as well as one and all. It’s a refreshing change from what we are dished out in the name of cinema week after week after week.
Rating : 4/5 Stars (4 out of 5 stars)