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FAN  : Guddi Meets Darr
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Friday, April 15, 2016
Maneesh Sharma
Shah Rukh Khan, Ileana D'Cruz, Vaani Kapoor, Joelle Koissi, Mariola Jaworska

Guddi and Darr were highly successful films, so it’s a heady cocktail we’re talking about here. Middle class Delhi boy Gaurav Channa worships superstar Aryan Khanna. But after an encounter with his idol which is far from a dream fan moment, Gaurav sets out to demolish the superstar with the same obsessive intensity he had as an admirer.


The thrill is in wondering where and how Gaurav will strike next. We track him as we move dizzily from Madame Tussauds in London to Dubrovnik in Croatia with stopovers in Mumbai and Delhi.


Director Maneesh Sharma is in his element with Gaurav and the Delhi milieu like the scene where the parents help their son backstage. But the director derails in his portrayal of superstar Aryan Khanna. Aryan’s unnecessary arrogance and the sneering reaction of tycoons, top cops and diplomats to a superstar, are synthetic moments. The lack of security detail around the superstar or his family at crucial points of the film also looks more convenient and less authentic. Aryan Khanna moving around all the time with only one lady secretary and hardly anybody else around him, is again not a realistic portrayal of a superstar’s entourage. Finally, in getting superstar Aryan Khanna to do everything himself, Habib Faisal’s screenplay slips.


For instance, when the group realises that Gaurav is the one dancing with the business tycoon’s daughter, anybody could have stopped him there and then instead of waiting for Aryan to dash in from a distance. It’s the same element of the unbelievable with two long chases between Gaurav and Aryan where no third person or local authority steps in. 


But do go and watch Fan for three important reasons.


Top of the line is that Shah Rukh Khan redeems himself as an actor especially as Gaurav. This would rate as one of the most nuanced performances of his career.


I also liked the strong takeaway from the film that fans may admire an idol but they must have an identity of their own and not obsess over living as shadows of a celebrity.


The third point is that while it’s not static or dark, this is a no-trimmings thriller. There is elbow room for some feisty music but Maneesh doesn’t succumb to it. In fact even Jabra isn’t in the film. That way, Maneesh departs from formula and concentrates on the genre.


For being a pure thriller that presents Shah Rukh Khan the actor after a long break, Fan gets a 3.5* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author



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