Pathaan Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan’s movie hit the screens on 25th January. The film, directed by Siddharth Anand, is full of high-octane action sequences. However, there are a few glitches, says our review.
Mumbai,UPDATE: January 25, 2023 13:02 IST
Pathaan Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan’s movie is worth your money.
By Tushar Joshi: The justice of a poet is his glory. He has the body of a spy, but it’s the eyes that do most of the talking in Pathaan. After a gap of four years, Shah Rukh Khan is back on the big screen doing what he does best – charm your pants and remind us why he is part of a fading breed – the true stars . Director Siddharth Anand, who is known for glamorizing his stars and presenting them in gorgeous set piece looks inspired by Hollywood films, Pathaan does not deviate from his signature style. If anything, it’s reminiscent of his previous work – the bromance-filled War and the Mr and Mrs Smith tribute Bang Bang! Here, Anand sings to the audience with scenes and images that are a direct tribute to some iconic Hollywood films.
Shah Rukh’s Pathaan is a shadow of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. He may not be as rich as Stark or have a superhero spacesuit, but his game with women and one-liners are a perfect ode to him. Similarly, Deepika’s Pakistani ISI agent action has a shadow of Scarlett Johansson in her action flicks. The climax and several other action scenes also feel like blueprints chosen from Hollywood films like Mission Impossible, Fast and the Furious and others.
But Pathaan is not an aspiring film. It doesn’t even try to masquerade as a Vin Diesel or Tom Cruise offering. Pathaan’s story is the first chapter in India’s first vernacular spy verse. If the West has MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), India has its own SCU led by the three Tigers, Kabir and now Pathaan. The plot is full of patriotic feeling. A rogue agent, Jim (a very good John Abraham), is about to seek revenge against India. The timing of his revenge comes at a time when India is abrogating Article 370, thus furthering the sinister design of neighboring Pakistan to capture Kashmir. Pathaan is now on a mission to stop Jim, but trust issues emerge for Pathaan when a sexual attraction emerges in the form of ISI agent Rubaiya Mohsin (Deepika Padukone). Is she friend or foe? Her own backstory reveals her purpose and gives the story a much-needed boost ahead of time. Heavy on action scenes and smart dialogues, the film looks sensual and sensitive.
Here’s the trailer:
Pathaan’s second half got his first. The action pieces lack logic and reason, but then again, this isn’t a documentary. This is also the first time you have seen SRK doing hard action scenes. And the reason it works is because Anand has given him decent hand-to-hand combat sequences with John. It’s not just jet planes moving through the medium or Ferraris sliding on ice, the action in Pathaan is bold and fearless.
Shah Rukh is at the heart of Pathaan and is a constant reminder of why we love seeing him on the big screen. He sells the rarest straight-faced plotter cars and is a pleasure to buy. Deepika Padukone needs a bonafide action film on her own. Her body and behavior really make Tomb Raider. John Abraham as the bad guy is a great casting choice. Once you get beyond how good he looks in Pathaan, you will understand why he is one of the greatest action heroes of our time. John has never got his role in many of his films. Fortunately, in Pathaan, he not only holds his ground opposite SRK but also shines with grace. The climax that everyone is eagerly waiting for in Pathaan, which is also the highlight of the film, is the ‘Pathaan meets Tiger’ moment. Watching Salman and SRK in the same frame throwing digs at each other while hitting some twigs is a real treat. This will go down in the annals of cinema as a perfect tribute to the fame of these two actors.
The main problem in Pathaan is the action blocks, which are sometimes tiresome. Some shots look like they have a stunt double and others make it too obvious that they were shot with a green mat. Recently, the Hollywood actor Tom Cruise has stopped in his latest film Mission Impossible which will go down in history as the greatest love an actor could have for his craft. The 60-year-old actor made his own bicycle dive from the edge of a cliff. No chroma, no body double. Just Tom on a bike doing his thing. This makes me understand that when it comes to action, we have to put an element of realism into our choreography. The other glitch with Pathaan is with some of the dialogues, SRK gets flirtatious with Deepika and calls her a ‘bombshell’ while admitting that he is ready to ‘explode’ because her waist is grazing seductively. In another scene, he tries to use his funny side to rhyme Russian currency rubles with the word ‘boobles’ while referring to a woman who flashes her clothes. . A smarter writing would have definitely saved Pathaan.
Pathaan is unapologetically fun. It does not attempt to send a public service message or report on the current situation. Instead, it sets the clock back to a time when a Shah Rukh Khan film at the cinemas was a time to celebrate. In a recent #AskSRK session, the actor revealed his unfulfilled wish. He wrote, ‘Itni shakti rahe mujh mein ki aap ke bacchon ko bhi entertain kar sakoon’ (I hope I have the strength even to entertain your children). It’s for sure – SRK is not going anywhere. This Pathaan is a great opening for India’s own Spy Universe.
3.5 out of 5 stars for Pathaan.