There is a crucial scene in ‘FAN’ when Gaurav (Shah Rukh Khan) gets caught on the train for traveling without a ticket. After a lot of drama, he tries to explain the matter to the ticket-checker and the police, which is nothing but a burning desire to travel to Mumbai and meet his Godly figure, Superstar Aryan Khanna (also Shah Rukh Khan) who also traveled without ticket when he first came to Mumbai. The Ticket-checker amusingly asks, “Lagta Kya hain tu Aryan Khanna ka?” (How are you related to Aryan Khanna would be the rough translation). To which, Gaurav replies with a broad (somewhat evil) grin on his face, “Fan.”

The theater erupted in cheers & whistling. The fanboy inside me got goosebumps while screaming his heart out.

On a very much related note, this is a country where certain Bollywood stars (and cricketers) are treated like God. People worship them, and some of those people are so much obsessed with Idols that they can actually do anything for the love of their stars. Tons of people actually travel without ticket to meet their heroes, which is clearly a very stupid thing to do if you go by logic. FAN, as a film, addresses this thing and tons of other familiar things that are related to worshiping Silver Screen superstars of our country.

Along with that, it also plays with the gossip, controversies, and clichés of our Hindi film industry. There is this subplot where the media starts to compare Aryan Khanna, the superstar, with a much younger new and rising star named Sid Kapoor (sounds familiar, eh?), and Sid Kapoor is miffed with Aryan because the elder Superstar has supposedly mistreated and threatened him. If you even have casually followed the things that happened outside the 70mm, then you can surely connect the dots here.

FAN, as a whole, is a triumph. It is not exactly what you call a great film as there are many loopholes in the screenplay. While the first half is beautiful, the second half is often predictable and somewhat inferior to the fantastic first half. But even then, the film works fine as it never bores you. And the ending, especially, is very effective. A brilliant commercial entertainer is how I would describe it. Oddly though, there are no songs and a conventional heroine in the movie, which is a very rare thing. The approach is grounded yet over-the-top and Maneesh Sharma, the director (who has quite a decent filmography so far), handles it very well.

I won’t go into the story as you already know the gist of it if you have seen the trailers. This is a movie about a fan’s obsessive love for his favorite Superstar, both the roles being played by the same actor, interestingly. This, in my opinion, was a masterstroke. The film wouldn’t work if an SRK lookalike played Gaurav instead of the man himself. Only SRK could have pulled it off, and boy, he did it in style.

Speaking of which, FAN is SRK’s one (actually two) of the finest performances of his entire career. The ease with which he plays the two characters, which are very different from each other and the way he switches from one character to another like a chameleon is quite commendable. I have always felt that SRK, the superstar, has overshadowed the actor in him. Ironically, in a film that centers around the stardom of a Superstar is where SRK got the opportunity to show his acting abilities. Along with him, the supporting cast plays along fine, doing their respective bits. But this film is really a one-man show from start to end.

There is another aspect of the film where it plays very cleverly. The film talks about how the fans make someone a Superstar, and the Star is nothing without those fans, but at the same time, it addresses the point that the Star deserves the amount of credit for all the hard work he does, the effort he puts in to become what he is. The fans exist because of the star in reality. The film subtly talks about it without taking any clear side.

At the end of the day, FAN was a satisfying and very emotional experience for me. The fanboy inside me was elated after a long time to see his favorite Superstar doing something substantial. If you are a fan of Shah Rukh Khan, then you will definitely love this film, as in a way, it plays out as a testimonial from your Matinee idol to you. Even if you are not a fan of SRK, you might like it as it is a very good, entertaining commercial film.

Of course, as art is subjective, you might not like it as well; in that case, as a fanboy, I have five words for you: “Rehne de, Tu nahin samjhega.” (“Leave it, you won’t understand”)

Also Read our Fan Review: Only SRK Could Have Done It

Fan (2016) Links: IMDb, Wikipedia

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