Fan Movie Review : The Story of Gaurav Chandna and Aryan Khanna
There’s something called as the “Curse of the second half”- a phenomenon where a film is simply outstanding in the first half raising your expectations to a pinnacle only to dash them to abysmal lows after the interval. It’s more prevalent in bollywood than hollywood as those guys avoid intermission point even for their lengthy movies. Fan – SRK’s latest wannabe blockbuster suffers badly from the second half curse syndrome.
The film starts like a home video of SRK’s past achievements – montage of his films, awards, interviews etc. SRK is called Aryan Khanna – an aging superstar on a career downslide who still has enough crazy fans to cause a minor stampede outside his home (exteriors of Mannat). So basically, Aryan Khanna is SRK. His doppelganger fan is dilliwala Gaurav Chandna (SRK again with prosthetics) who considers him God and mimics him to win the “Kaloney wala competition” every year.
Encouraged by his parents (Deepika Amin- Yogendra Tiku, both adorable), Gaurav travels ticketless to Mumbai to meet Aryan, stays in the same motel as the superstar had during his struggling days and seeks only 5 minutes from him. He does get the opportunity but this meeting with Aryan leaves Gaurav totally disillusioned and angry. It’s a very interesting scene which turns the graph of the film completely and director Maneesh Sharma nails it till here. It’s interval time.
Next, Gaurav travels to London, creates a ruckus at Madame Tussauds and gets Aryan (who’s shooting in the city) behind bars for his act. More, Gaurav infiltrates a wedding ceremony where Aryan is performing and gets him humiliated in front of all and sundry. Truly, it’s by this point that the proceedings start looking fake and unreal. While in India, no one mistakes Gaurav to be Aryan but the moment he lands abroad, everyone assumes he’s the superstar. Howzzat!! Also, Gaurav seems to know the entire work schedule of Aryan right to the minutest of details. Highly unlikely to happen!!
It’s these glaring cinematic liberties which rob the second hour of its grit and realism. Admittedly, the two chase sequences are well choreographed and Aryan’s advice to Gaurav in the violent climax highlights the pertinent point that a superstar should only serve as an inspiration for individual hard work and not as a blind obsession. Stars are also ordinary humans like us. In fact, Aryan Khanna is considerably humanised throughout by making him bear with a rude firangi cop or getting reprimanded by a rich businessman for arriving late at a performance.
Performance wise, the film belongs to SRK and he makes both Gaurav as well as Aryan memorable. In a welcome departure from his repetitive acts witnesed in his recent outings, SRK has actually “acted” after quite some time. No spreading of arms to demonstrate love, no silly banter bordering on hamming – Fan definitely ranks amongst SRK’s better performances in recent times though it’s nowhere close to the benchmark he’s set for himself in the past – “Baazigar” (1993), “Darr“(1993), “Swades” (2004) or “Chak De India” (2007).
Of the supporting cast, only Shriya Pilgaonkar leaves a mark in her small role. There are no songs in the film; even the popular “Jabraa Fan” number is missing. Editing by Namrata Rao could have been tighter in the second half. Ditto for Habib Faisal’s sagging screenplay.
All said and endured, Fan is an average fare but SRK – the actor elevates it to a cut above the commonplace. His fans will be happy for sure; those who aren’t will also not mind.
Watch the trailer of Fan: