Fan (2016)

There are some amazing movies out there that leave you with an incredible experience. There are also some movies that average at best, which helps you pass your evening of boredom. There are other kinds of movies that are downright horrible, and you can only wonder what the makers were thinking.

Then there are movies like Fan, that leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth, leaving you all weirded and creeped out.

After leaving the cinema, my first reaction was: what the eff did I just see? I wanted to undo the last two hours of my life immediately!

To cut a long story short: Fan is no more than an ego driven vehicle to feed Mr Shahrukh Khan’s (from henceforth SRK) own stratospheric ego; in other words, it’s his last-minute attempt to hold on to his stardom which is clearly fading away fast. Which is rather sad because SRK is indeed a talented actor and one cannot help but wonder what happened to that talent that was so evident in the 90s.
We meet Gaurav Chanda (SRK with a false set of teeth, slimmer nose and smooth skin) who run a cyber café and lives with his parents and has only one friend Neha, who fancies him. Gaurav also resembles India’s biggest movie star Aryan Khanna (again SRK, albeit trying to convince us he is Aryan and not SRK) and is his number one fan. Every year Gaurav wins the superstar talent contest in his town, impersonating his favourite movie star.

(The Psychotic Fan Gaurav Chanda)

He attempts to meet his idol in Mumbai, but when confronted with the reality that there are literally 1000s of other die-hard fans, Gaurav is left dejected. But his love and passion won’t stop him, and through a series of absurd events, he eventually gets to meet Aryan Khanna, albeit in a jail.

The movie star snubs his no. 1 fan, and thus begins Gaurav descent into madness that propels him to seek revenge (all to get an apology, and a hug!) A year later, Gaurav travels to London and Dubrovnik and impersonates the movie star in unfavorable positons, leaving the world to believe that Aryan Khanna has lost the plot and gone crazy.

(The exasperated Aryan Khanna)

Ultimately, Aryan Khan becomes Jason Bourne and goes all commando on his psychotic fan in order to end the trouble he’s caused. There are rooftop running, motorbike chases, jumping off scaffolding and so on.

There are no guesses as to what the ending is as it becomes predictable half way through the movie.

So, despite being a big budget movie, and a huge movie star, what went wrong?

1. There is no way you are convinced SRK is playing Aryan Khanna. You are instead convinced he is playing himself, with an on-screen wife and kids who look just his real-life wife and kids. Fail!

2. There is no way you are convinced that a small time boy from Delhi and a big time movie stars are also adept at martial arts and performing daring stunts. There are scenes lifted from Mission Impossible, James Bond and The Bourne Identity movies, and you cannot help but laugh at the sudden skills the two characters developed to jump, leap, run like Ethan Hunt, James Bond and Jason Bourne.

3. The absurdity of many scenes just makes you want to throw your brains out. Take for example the shootout scene in Madam Tussauds, like really, that’s how incompetent British police are? How about actually getting a forensic testing done on the video, instead of acting like an amateur detective (and yes, I am not convinced that white people would want to pose with SRK, I mean Aryan Khanna, as madly as they do in the movie!)

4. Gaurav is a middle-class guy in Delhi. He sells off his Cyber Café, and we are to believe that he’s managed to secure visas and flights to London and Dubrovnik and leading a life of an undercover movie actor, planning and executing elaborate stunts and getting away with it all! Where did he get the money and the resources? Were his parents not aware of what their son was upto?

5. The stupidity of the people in the movie who can’t tell the difference between the psycho fan and the movie star. They don’t look identical but rather different (for one, their nose shape is radically different) yet the people in the movie can’t seem to tell any difference, especially the inept police in London.

6. The characters of both the fan and the movie star are so one dimensional that as an audience member, you cannot relate to them, nor sympathise with them. So you don’t really care about their troubles, downfalls, happy moments, absolutely nothing at all!

While one can go on and on about the silliness of the entire movie, it does become very clear that the movie is echoing perhaps SRK own life and you wonder what message is he trying to give to the audience: we are superstars so don’t be disappointed in us when we misbehave or act arrogant because we have enough pressures of our own, perhaps. I would love to know what SRK die hard fans think of this movie though.

Fan could have been handled in a much better way in the hands of a better, more skilled director who could have explored the psyche of a star-struck fan, and the huge movie star, and the relationship dynamics between the two, something that was explored very well in the Robert Deniro movie The Fan.

Just so you know, I happened to see the movie thanks to the free movie tickets I won on a radio show, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it. I should also warn you all to not watch it too.

0.5 out of 5
(0.5 for the technical team in the movie who did a great job with the makeup and production values!)

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