Bollywood Reviews, Movie Reviews

Pathaan (2023): “The King” Returns With A Masterpiece!

Many films which were released by the Bollywood production house Yash Raj Films have flopped in the last few years. People had already started thinking that the era of Yash Raj Films is over. The chairman of Yash Raj Films, Aditya Chopra, cannot make great films anymore! Even many of the films in which the King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan had starred, had miserably flopped at the Box Office. So, people also thought that along with Aditya Chopra, the era of The King is over as well!

Starring “The King Of Bollywood” Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) in the titular role of RAW agent, Pathaan!

Many other Hindi films which released in 2022, some of which I have reviewed and praised, had flopped at the Box Office. This series of flops made people despise Bollywood even more. They thought that Bollywood is nearing its end. Bollywood can never get back on track.

For those who thought that Aditya Chopra is finished and for those who thought that King Khan is finished, Pathaan comes as a tight slap on their faces! This movie also packs a violent punch to the faces of Bollywood haters, who have been demeaning Bollywood for the past few years.

Featuring Deepika Padukone as ex-ISI agent Rubina Mohsin in Pathaan

This time, King Khan makes his electrifying return with an out-and-out action-thriller titled “Pathaan” where he takes on the “He-Man of BollywoodJohn Abraham who plays the lead antagonist. Folks, if you are thinking that this action-thriller which was released in theaters worldwide on January 25, 2023, is a hit, then you are wrong! Pathaan is not a hit and neither is it a super-hit. Pathaan is a mega-blockbuster! One among the few Bollywood masterpiece action-thrillers that is sure to retain its legacy for decades!

SRK vs John Abraham: The face-off scene from Pathaan!

Pathaan (2023) Synopsis:

When Jim (John Abraham), a terrorist leader, seeks vengeance by planning to destroy India, an exiled RAW field agent by the name Pathaan (Shah Rukh Khan) is summoned to take him down and destroy his terrorist organization “Outfit X”. As Pathaan continues his investigation against Jim along with his colleague Rubina Mohsin (Deepika Padukone), they discover that Jim is actually planning to spread a deadly lab-generated smallpox-mutated virus named “Raktbeej” across India. The story unfolds as Pathaan along with his partner Rubina heads to stop Jim on his destructive mission.

SRK with Deepika Padukone in a still from Pathaan

Pathaan (2023) Official Teaser:

Pathaan (2023) Official Trailer:

The Good:

High-Octane Action!

Featuring John Abraham as the leader of terrorist organization “Outfit X”, Jim

Be it the story, screenplay, action scenes, dialogues, performances, cinematography, editing, music, lyrics, or song picturization; Pathaan stands out and excels in every department! Like THE ROCK says, “IT DOESN’T MATTER” if the story is not new! Even if Pathaan’s story has nothing new to it, the screenplay and the action scenes in this movie are ultra-fast-paced! When you watch this movie and you see Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham blast the screens with their intense action stunts, you will surely rise to your feet and start cheering and applauding to your full potential. The choreography of the action sequences is outstanding and I have fallen short of words in praising the action scenes in this movie. This movie is flooded with raw high-octane action and is a feast for action lovers!

I am not telling that the plot of Pathaan is weak. The plot is interesting and has amazing twists and turns even if it is predictable. Along with tension and action, there are lighter scenes as well in the fast-paced screenplay which has been written by Shridhar Raghavan. Those lighter moments involve light-hearted comedy as well as romance and are extremely pleasing to watch.

SRK in a motorbike stunt scene from Pathaan

Talking of the entry scenes, where Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham make their dashing entries, and not to forget, the special appearance mega-entry scene of Salman Khan; such scenes get doubtless applause! The audience at the theater hall went crazy applauding and cheering during the entry scenes of these actors. The commotion was so loud in the theater that you may have felt that the Earth was going to explode! Neither could I hear the background music nor the dialogue they said during their entry scenes. The crowd inside the theater hall had gone completely berserk! The climax was thrilling and exciting as well. In the climax, when Pathaan “saves the day” by putting an end to terrorist leader Jim, the applause and cheering from the audience were unstoppable and went on till the movie ended.

The dialogues in Pathaan written by Abbas Tyrewala were awesome and the way they have been delivered by actors like Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham, and Salman Khan was amazing! If you are an Indian, then some of the dialogues will evoke an essence of patriotism in your heart.

Bollywood’s star power! Featuring the two megastars together on the big screens! Salman Khan (Left) and Shah Rukh Khan (Right)

Thrilling Performances

Talking about the performances in Pathaan, I would say that they are simply “wow!” Shah Rukh Khan strikes back like a wounded tiger at the faces of all Bollywood haters. I bet you will remember his performance in Pathaan throughout your life if you happen to watch this movie!

John Abraham in a motorbike action stunt scene from Pathaan

I personally don’t find Deepika Padukone appealing as an actress, but I have to confess, she looked ravishing in this movie! Nothing like what she had appeared until now! Her performance is appreciable and the best is her dance sequences in the tracks in which she appeared along with Shah Rukh Khan! Those are just mind-blowing! I have to say, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone appeared similar to Hollywood stars in this movie. They seemed to have great chemistry together even if Shah Rukh happens to be 20 years elder than Deepika. These two added such charisma to the movie that I felt as if I was watching some Hollywood action-thriller and not a local Bollywood film of my country.

King Khan returns to the big screens after five long years!

And talking of John Abraham’s performance in Pathaan, I bet you would never have ever seen him giving such a master-blaster performance ever before in his entire acting career! He is terrific as a terrorist leader Jim! Supporting actor Ashutosh Rana and actress Dimple Kapadia made their presence felt and lent great dignity to their respective characters of RAW joint secretary, Colonel Sunil Luthra, and covert operation research organization JOCR’s head, Nandini respectively. And of course, there is Salman Khan who bombarded the screens with his star power by making an action-based cameo appearance as RAW agent “Tiger” from the famous “Tiger” franchise of Bollywood films.

SRK in a gun action scene from Pathaan

Visually Appealing With Astounding Special Effects

Shah Rukh Khan has trained a lot for this role and has added extra muscle mass to his usual thin frame to appear “bigger”. And he does appear “big” on the big screens not just because of the “extra muscle mass” he has put on but because of the top-grade camerawork and visual effects presented by cinematographer Satchith Paulose. The visual effects and sound effects in this out-and-out action thriller are direly appealing and the action scenes have been shot precisely keeping every detail in mind. Even the background music is fantastic and impactful. Along with Paulose’s precise camera angles, the fabulous background music and special effects added gravity to the action scenes.

The Bad:

Has Hurt Hindu Sentiments, Really?!

The sizzling saffron bikini scene from the romantic track “Besharam Rang” in which Deepika and SRK fired up the screens. It’s obvious why this scene might have hurt “Hindu sentiments”. Looks more like a sex posture, eh?!

Pathaan has two rocking tracks, “Besharam Rang” choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant, and “Jhoome Jo Pathaan” choreographed by Bosco Caesar. Some online nuisance creators like the “Boycott Pathaan Gang” trending on social media have raised a hue and cry that the “Besharam Rang” song in Pathaan has hurt Hindu sentiments. So, they have warned the crowds that they should entirely boycott Pathaan because Hindus, who are the major section of the Indian population, won’t be seeing this movie. Maybe, they felt as Deepika is scantily clothed in a saffron bikini in scenes from “Besharam Rang”, Hindu sentiments will be hurt. However, this track came as a harsh blow on their faces. When this “supposedly Hindu sentiment-hurting” track played in the film, there was absolute chaos in the theater hall! Audiences were going crazy applauding and cheering those bikini scenes which were supposed to hurt Hindu sentiments. I was in great fear that the crowd may turn into “zombies” with their constant cheering and soon I would be getting to see people standing and dancing in their seats!

Another still from the track “Besharam Rang” in Pathaan

So in short, there was nothing “bad” about these tracks. These songs have been excellently choreographed. If anything is “bad”, it is the low-grade mentality of certain online activists who are bent upon mindlessly boycotting any Bollywood movie they come across. These people are “allergic” to bikini-clad women and whenever any film shows such scenes, they immediately raise a hue and cry for boycotting the film on the basis of their “so-called” Hindu sentiments. Don’t get me wrong because I am a Hindu myself! So, this is a Hindu telling another Hindu; take it easy man! There’s nothing toxic about these scenes. They just go with the modern-day flow!

The Verdict:

Siddharth Anand has written the story of Pathaan as well as directed the film. His narrative style is phenomenal and his direction is wonderful. The editing of Pathaan has been wonderfully performed by Aarif Sheikh, keeping all the sequences as well as fluctuating instances understandable within the run duration of 2 hours and 26 minutes.

No matter where the controversy lies; THE KING is always THE KING! And HE as PATHAAN rules Bollywood in his majestic style!

The filming of Pathaan commenced across various locations in India and worldwide. International filming locations included Dubai, Afghanistan, Spain, Turkey, Russia, Italy, and France. On account of the COVID crisis, the filming faced huge delays.

Pathaan is one such Bollywood film that features the two megastar Khans, Shah Rukh and Salman, together. This itself makes the TRP of this out-and-out action thriller huge! Salman makes his electrifying entry inside a train to save Shah Rukh from henchmen in a fight sequence. The star power of these two megastars absolutely blasted the screens!

And mind you, Boycott Pathaan Gang! This film is being enjoyed by every section of society, be they Muslims, Hindus, Christians or Sikhs. Please do not try to divide India on the basis of just one film! By the way, this is another anti-Pakistani fictional action-thriller, where terrorist leader Jim is actually an ally of Pakistan.

Pathaan is the only Indian film that, I believe, will surpass the popularity of the South Indian super-duper blockbuster action-drama KGF 2. Don’t think I am mindless in my judgment. The reason why I am giving this film a 10 out of 10 is because, as an action-thriller, it truly deserves it! You got to watch this and if possible, watch it over and over again! You will never feel bored. The charisma of this film coupled with immense star power is simply one of its kind!

 

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