“I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people,” says Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s biggest star. In this charming, funny talk, Khan traces the arc of his life, showcases a few of his famous dance moves and shares hard-earned wisdom from a life spent in the spotlight.
As Fan movie is being watched by lovers and haters alike, I need to write this honest write up on my connection with Shah Rukh Khan. Seems pointless that my nemesis Ritz is gone, no one has fan wars on the comments page, Naachgaana is defunct and so my favorite SRK fans no longer found.
When I was about 8 years old, I would get so involved in film scenes that I would cry, or laugh out aloud while watching movies. Particularly for the awkward scenes, when main character gets caught or teased or does something goofy. Thats what happened to lieutenant Abhimanyu Rai, he monkeys around during training session, gets caught and punished – is asked to stand under the sun until trainer chooses to let him go . His trainer forgets the punishment till late in the evening. About the time, trainer rushes to relieve him Abhimanyu Rai is about to faint, the girl he has been wooing catches him. Then he winks and says something cute. Thats the earliest memory of watching SRK.
Over the years I developed a strong connection with this actor, got to know more and more about his personal life, watched his interviews, Read his interviews (knew some write ups by heart), scanned for his name mentioned in film magazines, kept secret stash of photos, cutouts, stickers etc.. I pretty much learnt hIndi because of him. I started watching cricket so that I catch his Pepsi ads. Later I became cricket crazy. Recently I read an article in which someone had claimed that SRK used to his first e-mail password. Even I had Raj as my password. I even wrote Ram and Simran as the sender and receiver for mock money order in my English exams. Through him I learnt many things. My taste, my beliefs, my individuality all had some connection with SRK. In some sense, he was an integral part of my childhood. Hard to ignore doing f-l-a-m-e-s with his movie characters.
Donning a never before seen avatar takes a lot of effort by experts. To play the role of a 25 year old FAN – Gaurav Chandna, Shah Rukh Khan went through some rigorous make-up sessions, done by the Hollywood make up genius Greg Cannom. The commendable VFX done by Red Chillies VFX team took his look an altogether new level. Watch how Shah Rukh Khan became the FAN Gaurav.
FAN is the story of Gaurav (Shah Rukh Khan) a young man, 20 something, whose world revolves around the mega movie star Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan) or God as he refers to him. From the by lanes of Delhi, young Gaurav embarks on a journey to the city of dreams, Mumbai, in order to wish his God on his birthday. After all, he is Aryan’s biggest FAN and even has a striking resemblance to him – how difficult could it be for the world biggest FAN to get an audience with the world’s biggest Star. When things don’t go according to plan, Gaurav’s love and passion for his God turns in to a dangerous obsession that crosses the fine line. In an edge of the seat thriller, FAN will peel away at both Gaurav and Aryan’s personalities and characters as the two men discover people within themselves that even they didn’t know existed, and we’re left wondering who to sympathize with and whom to root for – can we really pick a side, after all, Superstars are also human beings but each one of us is also a FAN.
There are some scenes which are good like the scene where Gaurav is outside Aryan’s house the first time with his trophy or the scene where Gaurav burns all of Aryan’s pictures or the scene where Gaurav holds Aryan’s wife hostage and breaks all of Aryan’s awards.
In Bollywood our writers and directors have to speak twice in their narration. They have to build momentum for first half, then break it with an interval, and then reestablish it for second half. Clearly Maneesh Sharma is grappling with this interval culture since his first film. From “Band Baaja Baaraat” to “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl” to “Shuddh Desi Romance” to now “Fan”. Even though Band Baaja Baarat had lot of content going in its favor that salvaged the film from dipping, the next three films clearly tapered off.
FAN is Sharma’s weakest piece of work and its evident from ever since the second half plays on. The screenplay is down in dumps – some of the cinematic liberties are laughable to loudest degree. The drama between the Fan & star never reaches to a point where we can emotionally indulge into proceedings. The biggest disappointing element is that the film relies so heavily on the plot idea itself that it rests its second half entirely on it. What a shame!
The first half is fairly likeable. The energy of a middle class fanboy is affectionate and you end up liking his earnestness. But as soon the film turns grim it starts falling apart like a pack of cards.
What happens when the object of dedication fails to respond to the demands of an obsessed fan? What happens when fanatical devotion of the fan turns into abhorrence and vengeance? And what happens when the fan — who has revered his idol all along — grows to be a stalker, becoming a nightmare for his idol?
Fan has a very good start at most places registering around 45-50% occupancy on average at multiplexes. The morning occupancy are lower than Dilwale but the film has far more screenings than that film and with the added advantage of a holiday, the multiplex business should easily surpass the Dilwale multiplex business.
The opening in mass centres is average but that is expected as the film is devoid of music and certain other commercial angles. Even here though Dilwale had all this, it was hugely affected by the intolerance angle at that time and mass centres could not collect as they should have.
The last real opening was Dilwale four months back and its taken another Shahrukh Khan film to get the initials going. In between that time only two Hollywood releases Batman v Superman and The Jungle book took an opening and both were dubbed films. The best opening has been the multiplexes of West Bengal followed by Pune.
The key for Fan will be that the presence of Shahrukh Khan and holiday factor will enable mass centres to good to decent collections on day one and then can these places sustain as the film has no music and the thriller genre which does not work well in many circuits. If the likes of Gujarat, CPCI work the film will be unstoppable.
Imtiaz Ali has created a niche for himself in Bollywood. No wonder all stars are ready to give their arm and leg to work in his film. After Tamasha, he’s all set to roll his next and this time he has none other than Shah Rukh Khan in his film. Shah Rukh Khan plays a turbaned Sikh tourist in the yet-to-be-titled comedy. His interactions with the locals and his adventurous return to his home country forms the crux of this laugh riot.
According to reports, Anushka Sharma will be seen opposite SRK in Imtiaz’s next. This is the third time Anushka and SRK will star together. Anushka started her career with King Khan in Rab Ne Bana De Jodi and later they came together in Yash Chopra’s swan song, Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
This is the first time the two will work with Imtiaz. The two will start shooting for this one after they complete their respective film shoots. SRK is busy shooting for Gauri Shinde’s next and Anushka is completing last leg of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and YRF’s Sultan.