Shahrukh Khan was the man of dreams, the charming dreamy guy whom everybody unconditionally adored. But I’ve always felt that his action side was too unnoticed and a proper pay off was long due. Siddharth Anand shapes Pathaan as a gift for King Khan whom with all force makes a grand comeback to the big screen to reclaim his throne.
For a film like Pathaan that is designed to cater to a larger section and SRK’s hardcore fans there are a large chunk of cinematic liberties and commercial adjustments and Siddharth Anand sticks to his winning formula. Pathaan is high on steroids and unlike War the staging and action is much more grandeur with a majestic Shahrukh Khan frontlining it with great elan. One could easily crack the code of Pathaan and predict the shortcomings due to the familiar trope and largely unstable writing. Sid treats the films to be a mix of fan service and commercial masala which at times consume too much and is confused about its intention. After a thunderous opening act Pathaan wanders in circle and the writing seems to be stuck in between the protagonist’s emotional arc and his mission. The nature of Pathaan was evident from its promo materials, it’s larger than life, over the top and defies logic but Siddharth Anand packs it exquisitely so the detours should not damage the experience. It’s rich in patriotism and the occasional punchlines about the glory of Mother Land fits into the narrative, thanks to a neat staging. What disturbs Pathaan’s smooth journey is the extremely pathetic vfx that ruins most of the action sequences that were meant to be spectacular. Sid’s vision of creating fancy action set pieces is commendable however the vfx is so substandard that most of the punches don’t land well.
Pathaan’s staging operates in a level that matches the swag of King Khan, at least in the action episodes. Shahrukh Khan who’s back after a hiatus delivers an explosive performance as the unflinching patriot whose tour de force presence creates enough euphoria to celebrate in movie halls. His beefed up avatar is extremely fitting during action scenes and the star is having a total blast throughout the film. John Abraham is menacing and the confrontations were staged well. He is indestructible, ruthless and a worthy opponent to Pathaan. Deepika Padukone was neat and performed stunts with perfection but the character deserved a better arc. Dimple Kapadia & Ashutosh Rana did their parts effectively. Salmaan Khan in a cameo lifts the film and his camaraderie with SRK will definitely make the audience hoot and whistle.
Being an action film the punches and the kicks should create a rush sadly due the haphazard cuts to match the shoddy vfx most of the stunts failed to create an impact. The ambitious ‘Hollywood-ish’ concept was fine until the lack of conviction accompanied by the bad visual effects killed the fun it had till then. Pathaan is a resurrection material for SRK and the star hits a sixer in every ball but I wished it had a better screenplay and emotional quotient. It’s just passable at best mainly due to the SRK factor and the mindless quality of the film. The damages are too severe yet this potboiler offers moments to cheer for the fans and others.
Review By© Rahul Babu