Superb special makeup effects work by Greg Cannom enables Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan to play both a screen superstar and his youthful lookalike fan in this enjoyably twisty thriller. Having won a local talent show for the third year running impersonating his waning idol Aryan Khanna, young Gaurav embarks on a pilgrimage to Mumbai to meet his supposed mentor. But after being turned away from his hero’s house, Gaurav’s adoration turns to aggression, directed first toward another actor who taunts Aryan in public, and then toward Aryan himself.
It’s a familiar story, but director Maneesh Sharma achieves a surprisingly effective balance between creepy The King of Comedy psychological intrigue and sub-Bourne/Bond action (a rooftop chase is particularly well orchestrated). The eye-catching location work takes in Delhi, Mumbai, London, and Dubrov. But there’s real subtlety in the central dual role, to which Khan brings a kaleidoscope of conflicting emotions. This is SRK’s best performance in a very long time.
A couple of quibbles : in the zeal to make it audience-friendly, long sequences are devoted to star and fan chasing each other, racing down roads, leaping up and down high walls and difficult inclines, accompanied by loud background music. It gives us a chance to see Aryan shake his tingling hand after landing a punch : aah, so a star also hurts! But it tells us that a ‘different’ film is still forced into adopting populist measures. Also, a speech delivered by the star to the fan on the virtues of being his own man, and not a me-too, seems stuffed in and stuffy, if practically ordained. There are a few contrivances which make you go hmm, and you can see the end coming too, before it does.
FAN is an absolute cinematic delight. Shah Rukh Khan is back as this film reignites the true actor within. This is a full on SRK showcase as he takes on the role of both a superstar and his obsessive fan. Shah Rukh Khan is great as superstar Aryan Khanna however when he steps into the the shoes of the ‘Jabra Fan’ Gaurav it is pure brilliance. Overlooking a few loopholes, Fan will surely be an entertaining experience.