Fan is perhaps Maneesh Sharma’s bigget film to date. The idea is a winner. Get Maneesh a canvas he understands best – a middle class west Delhi locality. Give Shah Rukh Khan a character that started his ascent in the first place – a flawed individual lacking a rational thought process (Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam). Include in the mix snippets of the journey form nobody to megastar, and you have a winner; romance and songs not required.
Gaurav Chanana (Shah Rukh Khan) owns a cyber café in Inder Vihar and is a die-hard fan of Aryan Khanna (Sharukh again), an ageing superstar. His devotion goes to the extent that his room is full of the superstar’s photos and posters. Due to his resemblance and his mimicry, he is popular in his neighborhood and even wins the local competition. He decides to meet his idol and present him the trophy. He is a little unhinged is evident from the fact that he literally follows Aryan’s footsteps in travelling to Mumbai (ticketless and staying at the same lodge in the same room as Aryan once did). In Gaurav’s mind, Aryan values him as much as he values Aryan. He gets an opportunity when an upcoming young star Sid Kapoor threatens to file a police complaint against Aryan for slapping him. Gaurav extracts an apology from Sid by force and to get appreciation from Aryan, even sends him the video of how he extracted the apology. Aryan, who is upset at some random person taking up cudgels on his behalf and that too in a criminal manner, has Gaurav locked up for a couple of days. He also meets Gaurav and coldly tells him to get lost. Gaurav’s make believe world is shattered. He feels Aryan owes him as Gaurav is his true fan. He decides to teach Aryan a lesson.
So far, the film is pretty engaging. Pace is brisk and Shah Rukh’s Gaurav has enough drama in him to keep the viewer hooked. However, the film goes downhill from here ending up as a chase between Aryan and Gaurav who tarnishes former’s reputation, embroils him in legal cases and even gets inside the star’s house.
It almost feels like director Maneesh Sharma doesn’t know how to handle the film once it leaves the bylanes of Delhi. It’s hard to imagine a lower middle class young man who runs a small cybercafé business suddenly transforming into a person capable of challenging a big star and his entourage at international locations – that too without any help. He is able to easily get in restricted places, wreak havoc and simply get away as if he has been a master criminal all his life. Also, Gaurav is shown to have slightly different features than Aryan, het he miraculously looks identical when he is impersonating the star.
The story also touches upon the insecurities of a person who knows people’s adulation is for the image on the screen, not the real person. How they have to forever project that image. Also, in the social pecking order, the stars are subservient to the moneybags (read industrialists) and have no qualms about dancing in their weddings for money.
As an actor, Shah Rukh Khan has done full justice to both the characters he plays in the film. His Aryan Khanna is sufficiently calculating, cold and full of himself as a big star could be. He has perfected the slightly unhinged west Delhi bred Gaurav in every way possible – in the walk, lingo and even in the manner of speech. There’s something in Shah Rukh that makes him a likeable flawed character. His Gaurav completely overshadows Aryan the superstar.
There’s not much for other characters in the film. Deepika Amin and Yogendra Tiku as Gaurav’s parents are impressive. This film is a treat for Shah Rukh’s fans and for those who follow the star system closely. Not so much for the casual viewer. The story has too many flaws and focuses too narrowly on Shah Rukh Khan.
Poster – By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48382659
Rating : 3/5
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Waluscha de Sousa, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Deepika Amin, Yogendra Tiku, Sayani Gupta
Director: Maneesh Sharma