Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Movie Review: FAN

 FAN: 'Never Fan an Angry Fan' 

Image Courtesy: wikimedia.org
The Story Frame:

Maneesh Sharma's film FAN is a story about a die-hard fan and his encounter with his Reel Star in real life. It is a story of love, adulation, and  obsession which leads to hate and proving who is more of worth - the Fan or the Star.

Shah Rukh Khan acts as the protagonist (Aryan Khanna, the Mega star) as well as the antagonist (Gaurav Chandana, the Fan a boy from Delhi) in this movie. Both Aryan Khanna and his look alike Gaurav Chandana keep the viewers engaged through their love-hate relationship. FAN offers  SRK fans a young as well as a much evolved SRK together on screen which make the viewers reminiscence the SRK of Anjaam, Darr, and Bazigar.  

FAN is the new entry in the list of Yash Raj Films banner produced by Aditya Chopra.

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan (Aryan Khanna/ Gaurave Chandna), Waluscha de Sousa (Gauri Khanna), Sayani Gupta (PA to Aryan Khanna), Shriya Pilgaonkar (Gaurav's Girl Friend Neha), Deepika Amin (Gaurav's Mother), Yogendra Tiku (Gaurav's Father), Megha Gupta, Indraneel Bhattacharya (Aryan's Lawyer)

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Direction: Maneesh Sharma

Produced by: Aditya Chopra

Production Company: Yash Raj Films

Cinematographer: Manu Anand

Music: Songs: Vishal - Shekhar; Background Score: Andrea Guerra

Lyrics: Varun Grover

Film Editing by: Namrata Rao

Distributor: Yash Raj Films

Theatre Release: 15th April, 2016

Language: Hindi

Duration: 138 minutes
Image Courtesy: infomovies.in
Reviewer's Thumb Mark

Aryan Khanna: "Whatever I am today, it's because of my fans, thank you!"

Aryan Khanna: "Who are you?"

Gaurav Chandana: "I am your Fan, can't you spare five minutes of your life for me or what? "

Aryan Khanna: "It's my life, why should I even bother to give you five seconds of my life"

Gaurav Khanna: "You are a liar. I am your Fan... Forget it, you won't understand..."

Gaurav Khanna: "I am going to change the game, till date the Fans followed their heroes and now onwards I will make them follow their fans"

The above mentioned conversations between a celebrity and a fan forms the plot of the much awaited and recently released Bollywood film FAN by Director Maneesh Sharma. FAN scores well in the box office because of many reasons: 1. It's a Shah Rukh Khan movie, 2. It offers two SRKs for one ticket, 3. It comes from the stable of Yash Raj Films and Aditya Chopra at the helm of affairs, 4. Maneesh Sharma has some fairly good movies like Band Baaja Baarat and Shudd Desi Romance in his profile, and above all 5. It is about every Jabra fan of SRK.

To understand the mindset of a FAN doesn't require much effort because each one of us have an idol,  a hero, a celebrity, or an achiever whom we follow closely and relate to -  be it  politicians, film stars, social activists, writers, poets, sports players etc.  But to understand a fan's mindset who can go a bit overboard is bit difficult and challenging. We have heard and read many stories of such fan frenzy in the media like attempting to commit suicide, slashing wrist, writing letters with blood, getting married to a photo, fasting on 'karva chauth' for heroes and what not.
Image Courtesy: i.ndtvimg.com
Gaurav Chandana (Shah Rukh Khan) a middle class boy from Inder Vihar, Delhi is one such fan of Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan) the Bollywood Mega Super Star. His world is designed and influenced virtually by the presence of AK (Aryan Khanna). Gaurav Chandana aka Junior AK is known for his obsession for AK because every act of his daily life makes it evident. He ensures that the mark of AK is there around him, be it naming his Chat Cafe as 'AK Chat Cafe', his bedroom's wall plastered with AK's photographs and cutouts, his mannerisms and style imitating AK makes him the most sought after local hero in his neighborhood. Gaurav Chandana is a known artist who has won consecutively all the local annual Sitara Acting Competition prizes enacting AK on stage amidst whistles, cheers and hoots of laughter from the local audience.  

This year, Gaurav Chandana bags a whopping amount of Rupees Twenty thousand as cash prize by emulating AK on stage. His long cherished dream to meet AK personally gets a fresh ammo and he manages to get  permission from his much reluctant  parents to travel alone by train without ticket to Mumbai following AK who did the same to land in the city of dreams.  The train bound junior AK had least expected and may not have even imagined in his wildest dream that his journey to meet his 'Reel God' would change the course of his life forever.

As thousands throng the sea-facing mansion of AK on his birthday, Gaurav too push hard to reach the front to wave at his demigod  with his prestigious Sitara trophy to gift AK as his token of love and his other hand struggling to keep hold of a pack of sweets bought from the famous Halwai of Chandani Chowk to present it to AK on behalf of his dear parents. Pushed, trampled, bruised in the stampede and in his failed attempt to hoodwink the security guards of AK's mansion to have a glimpse of his demigod, Gaurav retires to his hotel room no. 205. It's the same room, which the mega star used to stay and frequent as a struggler in the tinsel town.
Image Courtesy: images.indianexpress.com
Not ready to be shooed away by the security personnel of the well guarded mega star, Gaurav finds Sid Kapoor's, a rising Bollywood star, controversial statement and accusation against AK as a window to display his love to his hero.  Sid Kapoor is manhandled in a party by AK because Ak find the upcoming star's advances towards his wife inappropriate and objectionable. What followed is a series of press statements, video footages and police complaint from Sid Kapoor that catches the nation's attention. Gaurav Chandana's interaction with Sid Kapoor in his vanity van lands him in jail and his wish to meet his idol AK does takes place inside the cell but not the way Gaurav had expected and dreamt to happen.

Disillusioned, disheartened and wounded the fan in Gaurav is back to his home town less talkative and less vocal about his love for AK. After an year of silence and anonymity, Gaurav unleash havoc in the life of AK. Wherever AK reaches he finds the sinister footprints of his scorned fan Gaurav Chandana present. AK keeps finding himself in tricky situations and clearing up the mess created by Gaurav.Love, adulation and blind faith that marked the life of a fan is filled full of hate and hurt which leads to a cat and mouse chase between the Senior AK and the Junior AK.  
Madame Tussauds, London, Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Mumbai become the battle field for Gaurav and AK to vent out their anger and settle their score with each other.

Image Courtesy: brandsynario.com
Shah Rukh Khan's Aryan Khanna seems to be more familiar because he is in his natural SRK mega star style but what catches the fancy of the viewers is Shah Rukh Khan's portrayal as the young vibrant free-spirited Gaurav Chandana. SRK as Gaurav surpass the imagination of a 48 year-old playing the role of a young boy that too half of his age with such conviction and ease is definitely praise worthy. Gaurav as an innocent fan and as a tormentor is stupendous. SRK as Gaurav brings back memories of his movies like Darr, Baazigar, and Anjaam. It is indeed a treat to watch the yesteryear's young SRK and the much evolved present day's SRK together sharing the screen.

SRK's colossal presence throughout the movie in every single shot makes the other actors appear dwarfish and nothing much left to do. Deepika Amin and Yogendra Tiku as Gaurav's parents are good. But their anxiety and their shock of coming to know about what their foolhardy son is getting into doesn't come on screen well and therefore, much of the last scene acts seems to be very superficial and doesn't connect well with the audience. Especially, the last scenes are too unrealistic but then when you have two SRKs fighting each other you tend to ignore the flaws and get carried away by the moment.  Sayani Gupta as Aryan Khanna's Personal Assistant tries to put her best foot forward.

The scene at Madame Tussauds' gallery, the cat and mouse chase in the bylanes of Dubrovnik and the dare devil act of hoping from one parapet to another parapet of an already dilapidated residential building by an ordinary boy and Gaurav seemingly  emerging as a well trained rogue is hard to buy. Gaurav's encounter with Gauri Khanna and the security personnel and his entry into a well guarded mansion are too unrealistic. What makes me wonder is what happens to the scriptwriters and to well established reputed production house to approve such scenes. Is it their overconfidence that having a superstar in the film they would be able to easily pull it off successfully, is it that they take the audience for granted, is it that there is a creative block that make them overlook such foolish and unrealistic scenes? Not incorporating in the film a song like Jabra Fan which was overly hyped and publicized and promoted is not doing justice to viewers who also had come to watch the same on a bigger screen. What is the reason not to incorporate the song even at the end when the  credits rolls is only known to them.

FAN cannot be stated as a well-crafted, brilliant movie of Shah Rukh Khan. It is a good watch because SRK has many other great movies to thump his chest like Chakde, Swadesh, Veer Zaara, Devdas, and Dil se. Fan is definitely a relief for SRK and his fans after a series of non performing movies. The character of Aryan Khan is not fleshed out properly.

The message of FAN is loud and clear - 1. Stars need to always remember their beginning and need to be humble and value the presence of their fans in their life. They are because of their fans who made them celebrities. There are ways which are more humane to convey and claim once own privacy when a fan goes overboard.  2. Fans need to understand that what they often watch on the screen may not be real always. Their stars and demigods are  like them who would love to have their own space and privacy and therefore to let them be what they are. 3. It's good to express your love and even get inspired by whom you adore but then carve your own image that comes from hard work, commitment, discipline and dreams.

In short, go and watch FAN for Shah Rukh Khan and not for anything else. 

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3/5