When a fan Gaurav Chandna outshines the star Aryan Khanna in a film, you know that an actor called Shah Rukh Khan is killing it. Maneesh Sharma’s Fan scores big on three fronts.
One: It’s a songless, thrilling, tense ride. Totally not what you would expect of a typical SRK film. The director sticks to telling his story seriously and builds up an intriguing cat-and-mouse drama.
Two: You see glimpses of SRK the real-life star in clips, photos and his home Mannat yet Gaurav and Aryan dominate. Maneesh and SRK have resisted the temptation of using the superstar’s persona in the movie.
Three: Shah Rukh the actor is simply outstanding. Not a speck of the famous charm is evident in any frame. The switch between the star and his fan is effortless. Gaurav is one of the most memorable characters he’s played in recent times and the actor absorbs it like a sponge. Look out for his heart-stopping stage performance, starry-eyed entry in Mumbai and the first meeting with his idol. The declining star Aryan is toned down to a dry note, keeping it functionally real.
Fan is not a perfect film. Some editing glitches and a meatier story would have taken it to another place. And it does test the viewer’s suspension of disbelief to limit in some scenes. But it will still rank high for its fresh concept and SRK’s performance.
It captures poignantly the passion of a fan for a star. We all know there are millions out there, living in suspended reality. Imitating or worshipping their favourite star. Living off their persona. Waiting hours outside their home, trying to catch one glimpse. Spending their meal money on a movie ticket.
Strange is their anonymity and their obsession. Or is it? Or as Gaurav puts it, “Rehn de. Tu nahi samjhega.”
cinemaspotter rating: 3.5 out of 5