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Nirmal
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Pathan Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback film is more on action, less on logic.

Entertainment NewsPathan Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan's comeback film is more on action, less on logic.

Pathan is fast, furious and about missions that are impossible. Bringing perhaps the last superstar of our generation, Shahrukh KhanBack on screen in a full-fledged role after four years, Pathan is worth the wait and all the hype. And best of all, no time is wasted in introducing us to this man in all his glory. ‘Zinda Hai’, as Pathan says in the trailer, is surrounded by armed bloodthirsty men, a scene that unfolds within 10 minutes of the film and is a bonus. The film is a perfect addition to the ambitious Jasoos universe that previously saw Salman Khan’s Tiger and Hrithik Roshan’s Kabir. Director Siddharth Anand, who has previously directed action thrillers Bang Bang and War, once again portrays his characters in the most charming avatars, giving you plenty of heartwarming moments. From Deepika Padukone’s dresses to John Abraham’s chiseled muscles to Shah Rukh Khan’s CGI-enhanced six-pack abs — Pathan has so much in store that you won’t complain, even if you want a meaningful story or logic. So it doesn’t look too deep. (Also read: Pathan releases live updates.)

It revolves around Pathan (Khan), an ex-army man-turned-secret agent who gets caught on a mission. Now he’s back to save his country from Jim (Abraham), a former R&AW agent who has gone rogue after oppressing his own people. The film introduces its characters with solid backstories. A former ISI agent, Ruby (Padukone) joins the mission and her loyalty is questioned on several occasions. And that’s pretty much it. The why and how answers are interspersed with a lot of in-your-face action over time and go from one beautiful point to another with ideas that sometimes distract from the actual action at hand.

(embed)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqu4z34wENw(/embed)

You’ve seen Khan sipping chai chai atop a train, but Pathan gives you so much more. He’s fighting on top of a Hummer, then somewhere in mid-air on a rope strung between two helicopters, and then jumps onto a truck. Basically, there’s very little action on the ground and you’ll see the men in Pathan mostly flying through high-octane action sequences. Plus, when you have Khan and Abraham fighting on the big screen, you don’t really need anything else to get that adrenaline going. And yes, the train is not forgotten. Perhaps, the best and highest point of the film is when Pathan meets Tiger (Salman Khan) and the two have a rather elaborate action sequence inside and then on top of a moving train. It was hard to focus on what was happening on screen with all the loud shouting, screaming, yelling and whistling throughout the duration of this scene. It was nothing less than a celebration of true stardom with two superstars in their best possible avatars in one frame.

At 146 minutes, Pathan doesn’t bore you but it does in the second half when you’re longing for the climax. There are some dialogues that you find laughable or too heavy, but the overall writing is not impressive enough to leave a mark. Pathan is full of action but it’s best not to question the logic behind the gravity-defying lifts and falls because there isn’t any. They are a visual treat and a spectacle that immerses you effortlessly. It gets a little too surreal at times, but that’s what you get when filmmakers try to mount a movie on the scale of a Hollywood actioner. The action is top-notch but some of the VFX felt weak and you could easily make out a green chroma screen in these settings. Another thing that confused me for most of the first half was Shridhar Raghavan’s screenplay and non-linear narration. The speed with which it kept jumping from one timeline and one continent to another became very confusing after a point. It is at the pre-interval block, that the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place.

It may have taken more than three decades to play an out-and-out action hero, but it’s never too late to pack a punch. He is charming, charming and lets his eyes do most of the talking. The wit he brings to the screen is straight from his #AskSRK sessions and even in the most intense and deadly scenes, Khan makes you smile with his hilarious punch lines delivered with a straight face. . Padukone is amping up the glam quotient so effortlessly in her hot and sultry avatar. She gets her share to perform and shine despite the men taking the bulk of the screen time. With the kind of finesse she brings to the action sequences, her own, flushed-out action flick wouldn’t be too much to ask for. Abraham makes you look like a baddie in love with him. Forget the muscles, because you can’t take your eyes off his bulging veins through his tattooed arms. Adding gravitas to the story, Ashutosh Rana and Dimple Kapadia provide a worthy addition to the cast and have their own light-hearted moments to shine.

Pathan is your true-blue commercial, masala entertainer that is not trying to send a message or make a social commentary on the current state of affairs in the country. It’s fun, non-fussy and awesome all at the same time. Watch it for Shah Rukh Khan and you’ll just come back with a smile, and maybe a little trepidation. Don’t miss this scene before the end credits because it’s not every day you see two superstars joking about their stardom.

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