Shahrukh Khan’s Jawan Lacks Depth But Is a Grand Mix of Bollywood and Tollywood

   

by Fahd Khan

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SRINAGAR: With elections around the corner, Shah Rukh Khan’s latest flick Jawan has an important message for the voters. The film’s plot sheds light on the underlying challenges that a common person encounters as a result of the corrupt practices of politicians and capitalists.

Bollywood super-star Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan.

Earlier this year, Shah Rukh Khan made a triumphant return to the silver screen after a four-year hiatus with his film Pathaan, which became an all-time blockbuster. The film resonated well with the audience, raising expectations for his next titled Jawan.

Jawan has been generating significant buzz among cine-goers ever since its announcement, as it brings together the best of both Bollywood and Tollywood cinema. Notably, this film marks the directorial debut of South director Atlee in Bollywood. With advanced bookings already creating a sensation, Jawan has now graced the screens today amidst an unprecedented wave of fan excitement.

The Plot

The film tells the story of a Jawan, a solidier named Vikram Rathore, played by Shah Rukh Khan, whose reputation has been tarnished and is believed to be dead. His son, Azad, also played by Shah Rukh Khan, is driven by a purpose to clear his father’s name, fulfilling a promise made to his mother. Azad is determined to be vigilant and seek justice for the oppressed. Azad is a jailor and employs unconventional methods to benefit the society. His actions range from hijackings to kidnapping a minister, with the support of five girls that are working with him.

Subsequently, he presents his demands to NSG officer Narmada, portrayed by South Actress Nayanthara. His demands include the waiver of farmers’ loans and improvements in hospital facilities.

To start with, the story is hackneyed and utterly predictable at moments. The writer could have done so much with the content and the themes he wanted to convey to the audience but, sadly, he lets go of this golden opportunity. Instead he prefers to write a typical Bollywood masala film, the father-son reunion and father-son taking on the villain together, the idea that has bored people already.

Nevertheless, the story does feature some emotionally charged moments, particularly in the first half like the touching scene involving a farmer who takes his own life in an attempt to secure ex gratia compensation to fund his daughter’s education.

Shahrukh Khan

However, the storytelling loses its grip as it progresses into the second half. For a long time in the second half, the audience wonders what is going on. The excessive number of action sequences becomes tiresome, leading one to divert your attention to your phone rather than staying engaged with the screen.

There are number of illogical things in the movie such as confirming Aishwarya’s pregnancy by merely checking her pulse and portraying a child growing up in a jail environment. The screen play is loose and predictable at many points.

The interval point gives the vibes of Don and keeps you captivated into the story. Interestingly, the film has a fight sequence between the male and the female lead, Azad and Narmada where both are shown equally powerful without the later succumbing easily.  The villain also proves to be very powerful and in the end we can say it took two Shah Rukh Khans to defeat Vijay Sethupathi.

The film also conveys a vital message that explains the importance of votes, as it is crucial for voters to cast their votes thoughtfully as elections have significant impact on the next 5 years of governance.

The Pathan Success

After the humongous success of Pathan, the craze for Shah Rukh Khan’s next skyrocketed and Jawan became the talk of the town. When the prevue of the film was released a month ago, it took the hype to the next level as film promised to be an out an out action film. No matter, the film delivers the high quality action sequences that it had promised.

Jawan features Shah Rukh Khan in a never seen before avatar with a cigar in his mouth, his entry both as Vikram and Azad are outstanding and would not be wrong to say if it is his best in the action genre.

Coming off the box office record smashing Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan returns to the big screen in a span of just seven months. Shah Rukh Khan who has been the heartthrob of the Bollywood for his portrayal of Rahul and Raj in the romantic Yash Chopra and Karan Johar directorials finds his new place in the masala action genre. The genre that has been liked most by the audience in the recent years. Shah Rukh Khan in a massy avatar and the action sequences manages to salvage the predictable story.

Talented Khan

There is no match, when it comes to the talent of Shah Rukh Khan, he has played both his roles with utter perfection. His performance is testament to him as an actor. He has multiple looks in the film and has managed to execute every look with his brilliant acting. He is looking more handsome than ever at 58. People can easily connect to his emotions and dialogue delivery.

Nayanthara couldn’t have asked for a better Bollywood debut. She is already a superstar down the south and can pose a tough competition to the Hindi actresses in times to come. She is at her hottest best. She shines in every department and her action moment with Azad is a delight to watch.

Vijay Sethupathi has done a brilliant acting as Kaali. He poses a tough competition to the both Azad and Vikram. Sanya Malhotra, Sunil Grover and other girls have also done a decent job. Deepika Padukone lits up the screen in her extended cameo as Vikram’s wife. Sanjay Dutt’s cameo as Madhavan Naik doesn’t add much to the films plot.

Impressive Debut

This marks the directorial debut of Atlee into the Bollywood and he too couldn’t have asked for more with such a huge star cast. He has done justice to his job and has made a typical south Indian film that focuses more on the action rather than story.  Since he too is co-writer, he tries to deliver the message on some important underlying issues but creates a mess; instead, he could have made a film talking about one such theme like the farmers issue or kept the screenplay watertight.

Anirudh Ravichanders music is a big letdown. When he was roped in for this project, expectations were skyrocketing, but the youngster is not in a form this time. The song Chaleya and Zinda Banda are the big hits but doesn’t give the feel of Besharam Rang or Jhoome Jo pathaan. However, the background music supports the film and keeps you hooked.

Since the film is mostly shot in India and there wasn’t much scope for the cinematographer GK Vishnu.The editor Ruben should have done a better job by editing out the unnecessary action scenes in the second half.

A Body Without Soul

Shah Rukh Khan’s on-screen presence alone is enough to draw audiences to the theaters. Jawan tackles themes that resonate with contemporary issues, including the challenges faced by farmers, a strong sense of patriotism underscoring the vital role of soldiers in safeguarding the nation, and with the elections around the corner. These elements make Jawan highly relatable and engaging for viewers.

Overall, Jawan offers a cinematic experience, yet it feels somewhat lacking in depth or substance – a body without a soul. A onetime watch for those who enjoy action packed drama. Given the success of action films in the past, coupled with a stellar ensemble cast hailing from North and South and a multi-language release i.e. Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi, this film possesses a broad pan-India appeal. It holds the potential to surpass all previous box office records

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