Cast: Shah Rukh Khan
Director: Maneesh Sharma
Producer: Aditya Chopra
When you watch the work of an actor that you’ve grown up admiring all your life, there’s a certain kind of an excitement that is attached to it. But when a director decides to conceptualize a script revolving around the aspect of a Fan in a Superstar’s life, then it gives real life fans every reason to remain in constant anticipation and thrill, in wanting to know the kind of story that would culminate from it. Maneesh Sharma, has not only stretched boundaries within his own imagination in designing the character of Gaurav – the protagonist of the film, but has created a story, that will more or less, blow your mind away.
The central theme of the plot revolves around the protagonist of the film- Gaurav, who considers himself to be the biggest fan of the number one superstar in the country, Aryan Khanna. But unlike other fans, Gaurav’s love and admiration for Aryan is obsessive and psychotic. He resides from a middle class family in Delhi, who runs a local cyber cafe as a small business to earn his daily bread and butter. Apart from being very energetic and lively, Gaurav always wants to imitate and perform famous dialogues of Aryan Khanna. So in the local community stage fare that takes place every year in the colony that he lives in, Gaurav decides to give himself a complete Aryan Khanna make-over, by performing thirty second scenes and dance sequences from his famous films. And, he wins the competition. Now his only dream is to somehow come to Mumbai, stand in front of Aryan Khanna’s posh bungalow and meet the superstar face to face. In his quest to so, he resorts to violent, highly disturbing and threatening means, which in turn goes against him and begins to affect the public image of Aryan Khanna. But then after all, he’s a passionate Fan and he’s willing to do anything to get personal and undivided attention from his favourite superstar.
Ever since Yash Raj Films announced this film as their next, with Maneesh Sharma collaborating with Shah Rukh Khan, I was immensely excited to see the kind of perspective that two very different kind of individuals would bring to the table. After making his debut with Baand Baaja Baarat, Maneesh Sharma has shown considerable leaps in his style of direction. Even though a huge chunk of the film has action packed scenes, Sharma showcases subtlety and poise whilst conveying them. He discovers many layers to the side of a fan, that real life Fans could relate to. He showcases the intensity of his characters in a way that is relatable and fascinating, yet keeping in mind with the cinematic justice that he’s meant to do with them. In many ways, Fan was at par with Hollywood standards. The maturity shown through the cinematography, proves why. Even though the climax could’ve been further edited to give it the perfect end, Maneesh Sharma has given his filmography, something to be proud of.
Any film that is attached to the name Shah Rukh Khan, automatically pops eye-balls, makes hearts pound faster and creates the kind of stir and euphoria that words are just not good enough to express. His presence, aura, cinematic elegance and charm are just a few qualities that make him the mega Superstar that he is today. But when one talks about the “actor” Shah Rukh Khan, he has often been criticised for not living up to his potential and expectations of delivering what his fans really want to watch. And if that’s what you thought, then FAN will make you fall in love with him all over again. It’s one thing to roll into the skin of a character and become someone else through the nature of the story, but when you’re asked to switch ends and become a fan of your colossal image, that’s where the challenge really lies. I don’t even know the kind of mental preparation and hours of diligent observing of mannerisms SRK must have had to do throughout the shooting process, but his attempt at portraying Gaurav, was so maturely and artistically done. Not only does it make you want to applaud his genuine desire to take on a role that most would’ve struggled with, but it lets you know, that within the colossal image of Shah Rukh Khan, there is an actor that wants to impress you with a flawless performance like Gaurav.
What particularly stood out for me, was the kind of background score that Maneesh Sharma decided to use, to complement the grey tone of some of the scenes. The mesmerizing composition used to signify the gigantic image of Aryan Khanna, is haunting and incredibly infectious.
For every Fan, watching their favourite superstar onscreen is an experience in itself. But when you’re treated with the idea of watching the madness of what a Fan can do to meet the one he’s loved and worshipped all his life, it touches the heart. But we often forget, that like the ordinary fans who give celebrities and actors the status that they so comfortably sit on, a superstar only becomes huge when a fan decides to consider him as larger-than-life. And like Shah Rukh Khan beautifully concludes in the climax scene, “While it is so beautiful to be loved by so many across the globe, it’s more important to cherish who you are and chase your dreams, so that someday, you become something that the world can’t stop having enough of.” But after all, for a Fan, the only thing that matters is the connection between you and the Superstar.