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FAN - What begins as an impressive Maneesh Sharma film with an outstanding SRK, turns into a disappointing routine thriller in its second half. (Review By Bobby Sing)
15 Apr, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / F

Looking at the extremely low profile promotion of a reputed YRF-SRK film was nothing less than a mysterious act for many before the release of FAN. And I personally could only think of following three reasons why the film was being released with such an unexpected promotional strategy in a holiday weekend.
1. Due to the negative social networking campaigns being run against the star for the infamous reasons.
2. May be the film was so strong in its content & execution that it didn’t need any promotion at all.
3. May be it didn’t turn out to be as entertaining as expected and they wished to keep the expectation as low as possible playing it safe.
Honestly I really wished the second point to be the positive reason behind the film’s quieter release, but unfortunately it turned out to be the third that probably forced the team to opt for the silent strategy.
However the good news is that this time we don’t have a complete downer as the icon’s last few attempts like HAPPY NEW YEAR and DILWALE. Thankfully in FAN we have a new Shah Rukh Khan, who is finally willing to move out of his set acting patterns and successfully plays a character of 20+ with a completely different body language and a slightly dissimilar face with a commendable ease. And mind you, it’s much difficult to play a character half your age than an old person adding some grey shades in your hair and few wrinkles to the face. So in performance terms, FAN gives us a fresh, charming Shah Rukh, we last met watching his films such as CHAKK DE INDIA, SWADES, OM SHANTI OM or MY NAME IS KHAN. And since the first half of FAN entirely talks about this new lovable SRK alone, so it can easily be rated as a clear winner that only dips slightly towards the intermission making a rock solid impression on the viewers.
In other words, beginning from their favourite city Delhi and its enjoyable feel, both director Maneesh Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan strongly deliver the novelty in their first half and that too without getting any support from the otherwise essential music or dance in a YRF-SRK film.
But unfortunately its once again the second half that completely fails to match with the excellence shown in the first and falls simply flat with nothing but the routine, predictable, seen before obsession of a stalker, reminding you of SRK’s own films namely DARR and ANJAAM without offering any entertaining moments till the climax. Therefore if someone gives me his opinion that with FAN, Yash Raj Films have actually tried to re-make their own DARR with the look-alike twist inserted, then I would not be able to deny thinking about the film’s second half.
Putting it differently, here we have a film where its lead hero tries real hard coming up with a career best performance (of a double role) playing himself and a difficult character of half his age so impressively with all distinctive body movements and a highly believable makeover of a young fan. But its his writers and director who truly let him down, conceiving a pretty awful second half ruining his entire hard work put in for last many months. In fact even the cinematography and background score decently supports the film in its 142 minutes of duration. But who is interested in the technical brilliance when nothing engrossing is happening on screen in a film’s final 70 minutes.
Further, (before moving on to the details of its inspired status), would like to mention some major faults in the vision of its writer-director that actually harm the film quite brutally.
(Spoilers Ahead)
A. FAN has such a pathetic portrayal of POLICE in both India and abroad that you begin thinking that how they could present them in such a careless manner like a typical B grade film.
B. In one sequence SRK as the STAR reveals to his fan Gaurav that, ‘Police has brought you here in the Police Station on MY ORDER’. Now would like to ask the writers that how can one put it as ‘on MY ORDER’? How the Police was supposed to take orders from the Bollywood Star? In fact this was one thing that should have been pointed out by the censors changing the word from ‘My Order’ to ‘My Complaint’. But strangely neither the writers considered it objectionable, nor the censors did, and the dialogue goes on disgracing the POLICE as well as the system functioning on the ORDERS of a Hindi film icon.
C. Post KI & KA, this is yet again a Bollywood film deliberately portraying Delhi as a city of goons and sex maniacs, who keep watching blue films in the cyber cafes. Here, I personally would have appreciated if the director had gone for an image-makeover of the city instead of shattering it further. A city, that has contributed so much in his films becoming their integral part.
D. If you keep aside the brilliant portrayal of SRK as both Gaurav and Aryan, then the characters remain hugely flawed right till the end written carelessly. In specific words, not even once do you feel sympathy for either Gaurav or Aryan in the film’s second half due to this very reason.
E. Logic goes for a toss in the film’s final hour like anything. Gaurav keeps flying to various foreign cities without any legal hassles at all and even gets his crew I-card made with a false make-up as the writers were not even interested to give you the required details.
F. In the entire film, its confusing to judge that who actually can spot the difference between Gaurav and Aryan, and who cannot. For instance, where the British Police & the visitors of Madame Tussauds fail to spot the imposter, our Indian Police can readily do so. Moreover it was really bizarre to see that in the beginning of the film the local ‘Mela audience’ who clearly know about Gaurav and his physical appearance, are not able to recoganize the real Aryan standing on stage without any added make-up in the climax (and they go on assuming him to be Gaurav quite weirdly).
G. A complete film actually needs a great support from its additional cast. But in FAN you really miss the supporting actors given some decent space as required. Moreover I fail to understand that is Yogendra Tiku the only person left in the entire industry to play the father of our heroes and heroines. Has Mukesh Chhabra (the ‘numero uno’ casting director) gone for a long holiday?
H. When a single JABRA FAN song was so well promoted in different languages sung by all known regional singers in their own styles, then why it was not included in the film or at least in its end-credits becomes a very valid point to raise.
I. A young boy dies in the end in an unintentional accident; but the film doesn’t care to talk about the impact of his sudden death on the family and how they react to the incident knowing that it was a result of his fight with the Star on the roof top. Also the Star has no explanations to give to the Police for that deadly accident and the film ends right there like the typical 80s film (the most forgettable era of Hindi Cinema) where no such questions were supposed to be asked by the viewers.
J. Lastly the most important point that kept annoying me throughout the film was that ideally a concept like FAN should present its superstar in an extreme positive light as a hero. But why Manish didn’t present the actual persona of his STAR in a highly optimistic manner building an image? Why he chose to portray the real life personality of Aryan as someone highly arrogant, uncaring and so rude, who cannot even say a Sorry? Why he didn’t portray him as a thoughtful, compassionate and positive person as Dharmendra was shown in the exclusive 8 minute sequence (with a similar look-alike fan theme) in film SOORMA BHOPALI (1988).  
Coming to the inspirational sources,
if you would like to read about all the foreign and Hindi films based on the similar STAR-FAN theme, then please check the following link:
And here are the specific references that are quite close to the actual story progression in FAN.
1. The sequence of Gaurav waiting outside Aryan’s house with the large crowd, straight away reminds you of Anurag Kashyap's section in BOMBAY TALKIES featuring Amitabh Bachchan and his Sunday fan-darshan outside his Juhu bungalow.
2. Where the basic plot reminds you of several films related with fans or obsessed lovers seen in the past (including the double roles focusing on switching identities), few specific insertions in the film have some direct resemblances with Robert De Niro’s THE FAN (1996).
As shown in FAN, in the English film too, Robert De Niro is a mad follower of a Baseball star player and when he comes to know that his icon is not getting his famous form back missing his lucky jersey number 11 worn by another player, then he goes and simply kills the rival player and then expects his icon to express thanks to him for the timely help provided.
So both attacking the rival/competitor and expecting a Thanks (here Sorry) are right there in THE FAN superbly enacted by Robert De Niro.
3. Films based on such complex themes can ideally end on an identical note with the terrifying fan dying, settling everything for once and all. So the same finale of FAN was earlier seen in DARR and ANJAAM. Plus it is also there in the Robert De Niro film too where the Police does the ‘honours’ of shooting the fan.
Summing up, Maneesh Sharma’s FAN is certainly not a great film. But it still has one big worth praising merit like the bright silver lining in the dark clouds. And it’s the splendid, admirable performance of Shah Rukh Khan playing Gaurav, looking so amazingly young in his physical appearance and superbly enacted mannerisms creating a new identity. As a song less venture without focusing on any female character, it is a bold film too breaking the set romantic format of a typical SRK film that could have been a lot better with an extra care taken of its second half.
In short, if you are a FAN then you are sure going to cherish watching your beloved star back in form after a long time. And in case you are not, then the man will force you to do so praising his flawless act of GAURAV as a true appreciator. However I seriously wish the team had somehow worked upon the second half, turning this mediocre film into a classic for the sake of Hindi cinema.
Rating : 2 + 1 / 5 (with the additional 1 just for SRK’s astonishing transformation as the young Gaurav)

Tags : Fan Review By Bobby Sing, Fan Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Inspired films from the west, Copied Films, Similar concepts borrowed from West, Inspired Films list by Bobby Sing
15 Apr 2016 / Comments ( 12 )
Piyush Pande

I disagree. I liked the film . I think it's his best performance till now. And the film is also good. Apart from some loop holes. But I am not surprised by the negetive reviews as the Indian audience is used to masala and item dances which is missing from this film. Also if the person does not like the film then , the dialogue from the fan film suits them the best - " tu nahi samjhega"

Bobby Sing

Disagreements help both to grow Piyush Pande. 
So they are always welcome and they should be there too as that keeps the passion going.

However as said my review the film has a winner in Gaurav and no one can deny the fact at all.

Thanks for visiting and writing in.
Cheers! 

Mohit

My Comments to the “Spoilers Ahead " sections i.e. B, H and J.
B.The Star is portrayed as an egoistic and arrogant person. He believes that he can influence the system thru his connections or money power. So, saying “My Order" he portrays to his Fan that he is very influential and powerful. Also, in the film, he is shown having good connections with a powerful business man wherein he attends the wedding celebrations and other inferences (Police, Embassy officials etc.)

H. The Fan dies in an end and the film ends on a low, somber note. For this reason, I think the Jabra Fan song was not included in the end credits.

J. A superstar may or may not be as caring and compassionate individual, which one could think in real life specifically dealing with ordinary individuals like his fan. So, in the film, it is portrayed that an film star are not the same as we think and there are shades of grey in their character in real life.

Finally, I would like to thank you for writing elaborate and comprehensive reviews of the movies and I am an Fan of your film reviews.

Bobby Sing

Dear Mohit,
Thanks a lot for your kind appreciation and support for my honest work.
And thanks for sharing your views on few of the pointers too.

However the positive conclusion is that this time SRK has more or less satisfied his fans as well many non-fan viewers too with his flawless act as GAURAV that should turn the film into a decent performer at the box office if not a major blockbuster.

But another sad truth is that such is the cost of these big projects that even PRDP - a SALMAN film crossing 200 crores at the box office is not reported to be any decent earner.

Cheers!

Neel Trivedi

Bobby,

I agree with most of your plot holes in the movie. To me however, the biggest plot hole is the Aryan Khanna, the star himself have long chase sequences with Gaurav and even fighting bloody battles with him.

Why in the world would a big time superstar do all that himself? Wouldn't he send the police or at least his bodyguards?

To me, the London police not being able to tell the difference between Gaurav and Aryan makes a little bit more sense as they would not be as familiar with an Indian actor as the Indian police would.

Still, you're right about the way they interact with Aryan after arresting him is highly unrealistic and forgets all legal protocol.

The scene which bothered me is when Gaurav goes instead of Aryan at the wedding and harasses the girl he's dancing with. If it was established that he's much younger and shorter than Aryan, how did he convincingly change that in a matter of few minutes?

All in all, I still thought it was an entertaining movie even with the plot holes. As usual, if Maneesh Sharma and YRF films and spent just a little more time to invest in a more plausible screenplay, it would have become a movie to be remembered for ages to come.

Bobby Sing

Hi Neel,
Thanks for the agreement and yes thats a valid point too that why a STAR of this status would do that along with the one pointing towards the different age group.

Hope it does well for SRK only as he needs a big Hit that has been appreciated too.
Cheers!

 

VISHNU MAHESH SHARMA

Bobby ji!
I agree with your opinion of missing logics in the second half but you have to admit it that while logic misses thrill doesn't. Also I am not agree with your opinion to include the FAN antheme in the end credits because the movie doesn't end on a happy note and in the end the relationship between the fan and the star is not a sweet one, so including a playful song in the credits would easily have diluted the impact of the ending. I left the theatre with a feel for Gaurav.
Same feelings would have not been felt, had the song been included in the credits.
Another point where my interpretation contradicts yours, is the mention of the last scene where real Aryan is performing on the stage and colony people do not recognise him. It is an obvious fact that if a person, who is a look alike of a star, does enact like the star every year with perfection and then one day the real star enacts in place of the look alike then people will think that this is the look alike with make up.
Mind you, He (Aryan) speaks in accent which is of Gaurav. So there no logic missing there.

In the end, although logic misses but the movie is not abou how he fools the immigration departments and police but it's about what he does after fooling them. So that much cinematic liberty can be taken here with this pemise.
In the end thaks for the wonderful compilation of related theme based movies. That was an interesting read.

Bobby Sing

Dear Mahesh,
Thanks for agreeing to the review partially. But would like to disagree with a few of your logics given.

Firstly when I see same thing happening again in any film, that has been seen before more then there is no THRILL (for me at least)

Secondly, it was most illogical ending in any case as nobody damn care about the family who had lost his only son and also the STAR who just got away with an unintentional murder with no body asking him question, not even the police. So yes if they had included the song here then it would have more ridiculed the situation even more mocking the loss of a family. So they should have included in the beginning.

Thirdly, regarding the last scene, if the local people cannot make a difference then the whole business of excellent get-up and making a person look younger at least 20 yars simply FALLS FLAT. And it also means that people are not even this much intelligent to make a difference between a 40+ person and a 20+ person from just a distance of 20-30 feet. In fact this very scene makes fun of its own basic premise of the film based on two different characters of different age group and partial facial resemblance (and not exactly the same)

But still the movie gets saves by GAURAV alone and I would love if it works big time for SRK too, which at the time of writing this reply doesnt seem to be the case.

Still hope for the best.

Cheers!

mustafa
First of all this FAN was a recovery of damage done with Dilwale on my mind... While watching it a thought ran in my mind that playing nerdy roles at a difficult phase of the career bas always helped our actors and actresses.
Coming to the film, I think this is a good attempt by SRK giving a tribute to his Fans across the globe.
As you mentioned in the review, SRK is fabulous is playing 20+ gaurav and so convincingly.
Rest can't say much about rest of the film,as it's rightly explained in review.
But again a relief from last Dilwale damage and badly let down film.
Bobby Sing

Dear Mustafa,
One cannot make a film with a superstar in such a short span of time after a failure to do some damage control. That's actually not possible practically within a year or two as all projects are agreed and planned much earlier.

Regarding the content Yes this was a much better film than DILWALE,
but the absurd irony is that at the time of writing this reply FAN has been seen by much less number of people compared to DILWALE in its first week.
Certainly a fact that both SRK and the directors seriously need to think upon.

Cheers!

Arsniche

I would'nt agree with people comparing this movie to Anjaam (comparing with Darr to some extent is acceptable).
Yes you can say SRK has repeated his enactment of a character in that way.
I have not watched the movie. But ever since I came across the promos and hearing what the plot would be, it just reminded me of Mahesh Bhatt directed 1996 flick Dastak (which was Sushmita Sen's debut movie).
Reading your review just reminded me to write this.
I found some similarities in both like
1. in FAN Miss Universe is replaced by a superstar.
2. Sharad Kapoor (if I am right) the psycho fan is replaced by younger, look alike of SRK.
3. In both the movies you will find the fan following there idols everywhere possible without any, as you pointed out, logical sense.
4. Fans in both movies die in the end. And I am sure there could be many similarities.

If SRK has repeated something like Anjaam in FAN, it would'nt entice me to go and watch this movie instantly. Because I have seen him doing that in his early days. I have grown up with his Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam.

That said, I would agree with you when you say this is a better movie in comparison to all those trash he gave us in the recent past.

I would love to see SRK in an antagonist character that would outperform his Anjaam and Darr.

Still waiting for that...

Bobby Sing

Hi Arsniche,
The film has been considered close to DARR only as mentioned in the review more than ANJAAM.
And DASTAK is also mentioned in the write up as pointed in your comment. 

But since you have written such a detailed comment without even watching the film, so I cannot comment any further with a bit of amazement too.

Would like to request that please be free to discuss FILMS but after watching them at least.

Cheers!

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