Free Press Journal

Movie Review: Fan – Crazy does it!

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Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Waluscha D’sousa, Yogendra Tiku, Shriya Pilgoankar

Director: Maneesh Sharma

Rating: * * ½


Runtime: 150 mins

If only Bollywood stars set their ego aside when taking up a movie we would have far better movies to enjoy. ‘Fan’ certainly is not one such movie. This is a movie where the star plays both roles, that of the star and his unhinged fan. So while one looks real and egoistic to boot, the other , meant to be a doppelganger- looks shorter, lither, rubbery with bulbous cheeks and eyes. It’s quite obvious that Digital masking and prosthetics have done the trick in creating the fan body mask. And it’s not a very convincing life like one.

Bollywood superstar Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan) has had a heady run in tinsel world, so a recent series of flops should not faze him a bit. But it does and a tiff with a rising young star gets the gossip mongers in a twitter. His die-hard fan, an uncanny lookalike, Gaurav Chandna (Shah Rukh Khan) from Delhi has already embarked on a journey to wish him on his birthday. His hopes are crushed when he only gets to see the superstar waving from the makeshift platform within the perimeter of his well guarded residence. Gaurav is not fazed one bit. He comes up with a plan to garner attention from the superstar himself. But the plan backfires. The Superstar is not amused and has him imprisoned for a couple of days for his daring-do. When he learns about this from the superstar’s mouth, Gaurav sets to wreak vengeance on the star by selling off his business and embarking on a sojourn that could well be his last flourish. Well aware of the superstar’s itinerary, he manages to sneak up before him and indulge in raucous, criminal acts in order to defame the star.

It’s all very well to ape Hollywood (also titled ‘Fan’) but there must be more substance in the telling for it to be believable. Director Maneesh Sharma cuts out the traditional song and dance masala elements, so that is welcome for sure. Having Shah Rukh Khan sing and dance synchronically with his onscreen avatar on a stage, to a medley of his hit songs, makes for an interesting opening no doubt. But the characters seem pretty much interchangeable. There’s no clear demarcation between the star and his alter-ego Fan. They look the same and behave interchangeably so as a viewer you never get close to either. The fan has more screen time but there’s just no conflict in his life. His parents dote on him and his crazed antics and the cops conveniently think the star is to blame. It feels weird when you see the lookalike moving through high security zones without incidence even when there is an all-out alert in search of him. These kind of fake scenarios can mainly be seen in the Bollywood masala where the star must always look and act like himself even if the story needs him to be different. If you ask me , the story would have been better served if one of those numerous SRK lookalikes had stepped into the shoes of the fan. The writers would have felt more challenged to come up with a credible scenario and plausibility might have borne better fruit. The lack of tension is also quite damaging. The scene where the Fan tries to give the cops the slip could have been orchestrated in a crisper, more fulfilling fashion. SRK’s trademark performance, tics and all, makes both characters lean towards caricature. There’s really not much conviction in the telling either. The dialogues sound downright stupid. ‘Fan’ plays out like any other star powered vehicle that is much more interested in keeping the star in high spirits rather than telling a credible, relatable story. This Yashraj film is just a glossy shell that hides the hollow core within.