Directed by Siddharth Anand
There is no reason why any review of Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan (directed by Siddharth Anand but it’s an SRK showcase all the way) needs to be written. The two-and-a-half hour eruption of stylish action will be seen at least once by every movie patron in India, and then of course out West where Sharon Stone, I believe, has already bought bulk tickets for the entire weekend for her friends, family, fans and househelp .
Pathaan is a very slick action film. The stunts leave us open mouthed , like Sharon Stone when she saw SRK pass by.
We get to see Shah Rukh Khan more than just pass by in the title role. He is all there muscled and armed ready to take on the world to protect his country. There is a lot of stress in the rippling writing on how patriotic ‘Pathaan’ is. And if we consider the fact that the audiences do not separate the character from the actor when it comes to Salman or Shah Rukh, then the dialogues on nationalism(by Abbas Tyrewala) make a lot of sense.
The political undertones (Article 370 is the triggering point for the bullet bath) are not to be missed. The director won’t let you.
Speaking of Salman and Shah Rukh their Karan-Arjun kinship in their sequence together is winsomely rugged. Most of the film is designed to give Indian fans of Shah Rukh Khan and action cinema a run for their money.
Director Siddharth Anand has a fairly firm grip over a plot that goes all over the place. Not that there is much of it to go anywhere. The screenplay is slinky skeletal and not epic in intent content or impact. But there is always a sense of urgency built into the goings-on. So that we never get a chance to get distracted.
On the other hand, the unfolding of the surprises in the plot is a bit like doing a Santa on a child who already knows about the Christmas gifts hidden under the bed.
Visually, Pathaan is a feast of fury. The fights especially between Shah Rukh and John Abraham(the latter as a seething terrorist grits his teeth so hard we fear for his teeth) are virile and boisterous. The sound decibel drowns out all subtlety.
But then who is in this for tact? Be prepared for your senses to be attacked.