After months of expectation and speculations, Fan is finally here and boy it is impressive. A film without any songs and completely driven by characters with absolutely no fluff is hard to get these days in Bollywood but that’s exactly what this film is and I am rooting for it. The story revolves around Gaurav (SRK) a die-hard fan of Aryan Khanna (SRK) who travels all the way from Delhi to Mumbai to meet his star on his birthday and hand him over a coveted trophy that he has won personifying Aryan himself. But fate has other plans for him as his craze for the star makes him do some terrible things which brings him to the attention of Aryan but in the wrong ways. The fan is jilted at the way his star treats him and vows to make him run after him just like he ran after his star. The rest of the film is about how he achieves that.
The film has no songs, no song and dance routine and no unnecessary fluff or for that matter any substantial romantic angle. There are no big stars apart from SRK himself and about 80% of the film is with him alone in the frame of things. But what it lacks in the cliché department it more than makes up for in quality and entertainment. The film is not exactly fast paced but the events unfold at a pace which will let you enjoy the happenings and yet not get bored. The story captures your attention right from the start. You as a viewer invest in the antics of Gaurav and his skillfully done makeover. Yes! I have to admit that in certain places his transformations into Aryan Khanna are a tad bit too much to fathom but thanks to the wonderful way in which this film unfolds, you take that in your stride. No film is 100 % perfect and neither is Fan.
SRK alone could have made or destroyed this film and he does a hell of a job. Playing two characters who are extremely different from each other, he delivers like he hasn’t in many years. Gaurav is a jilted fan who makes his sadness heard in the lines of Aryan Khanna himself with tears rolling down his cheeks. Aryan listens to him with almost inhuman coldness. All in one scene. He plays the two characters differently and there are many layers to each one of the two. Gaurav starts off as a quirky and funny guy who is obsessed with his star but is innocent nevertheless. Aryan the star is a self-sure guy who doesn’t mind slapping his rivals in public. He is sort of an arrogant prick and you really cheer for Gaurav until the very end. But as the movie progresses, the line between good and bad, right and wrong starts getting blurry. However it must be mentioned that the film throws in the occasional humor and punches to keep the proceedings breezy and not make the narrative overtly grim.
There has been a lot said about the action sequences of the film and how revolutionary they are. I have to admit that the first sequence involving Gaurav and the police on top of a hotel was great and well edited. The cuts were just enough and sufficient time was given in between to let you soak in the action. But the chase sequence in the second half as well as the final action sequence couldn’t match the same standard. Way too many cuts spoiled the fun for me in these sequences. I believe that was done for the simple reason that the star could not do all his stunts and the close-ups and medium shots would revealed the doubles. The quick cuts were made to not let the eye linger on the face and also to convey a breakneck feel of speed and tension. But that didn’t particularly work for me. Having said that they are still riveting if you look at them as part of the narrative and if you do not pay too much attention to technical details. That’s one little thing which works as a saving grace.
The cinematography is great. Long shots are used wonderfully to accentuate the mood and beauty of the locales. One cannot say that this is a film shot vibrantly but then again that would have taken the seriousness out of the feel. But the camera coupled with some beautiful lighting creates some amazing visuals which give you a feel of the grandiosity as well as the minimalist beauty of the tale. The background score is apt and wonderfully scored. The editing as I mentioned before is great and sans some of the action sequences remains on track.
Overall, I was blown away by Fan. This is easily one of SRK’s best performances in years. As the film banks heavily on his act and he scores, it automatically elevates to a higher level. This is a very emotional film and one which doesn’t take any sides but lets the audience decide who their heart lies with. A great SRK, tremendous entertainment value and absence of the Bollywood clichés makes this a must watch. I am going in with four stars out of five for this one.
Rating : 4/5 Stars (4 out of 5 stars)