King Khan regains his crown : The Tribune India

King Khan regains his crown

Pathaan by no stretch of imagination is an emotional ride, only a roller coaster blitzkrieg of gravity-defying action

King Khan regains his crown

Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in Pathaan



Nonika Singh

Drop dead gorgeous Deepika Padukone, perfectly chiselled (abs in place) hero and anti-hero, Shah Rukh Khan with swag intact, exotic locales and relentless spectacular action…that’s Siddharth Anand’s spy world for you. If you are looking for an intelligent spy thriller, let you be informed that Pathaan comes riding high on superstar SRK’s eternal star charisma, which we were missing for four long years. So, you can look elsewhere.

Sure, the film begins in the year 2019 when Article 370 was scrapped, an act that can only rile our neighbours. And they are an angry lot or at least one Pakistani general almost on death bed is.  When asked about his khairiyat, he wants kehar. So, he contacts Jim, an equivalent of shaitan…. But if you think Pathaan is another excuse for Pakistan bashing, sit back. For, the antagonist here is not a Pakistani terrorist but an Indian agent gone rogue. His outfit X knows no religion or nationality. Clearly the story written by director Siddharth Anand does not break any unusual ground, even as it goes globetrotting. What does is, its scintillating action moving from one beautiful country to another. From Dubai to Russia and then there is Afghanistan too where our dear Pathaan has loyal followers, who incidentally have given him the name Pathaan. For convenience sake, he is an orphan. But what he doesn’t get, a back-story that is, others certainly do. John Abraham as Jim has every reason to turn over his allegiance and Deepika’s chameleon ‘now friend now foe’ act as Rubina Mohsin, has motives too, noble ones as well. Amidst them stands our Pathaan and can there be King Khan without a heart. So, here he may be in action avatar in which he delivers kickass sequences, his heart, you bet, beats not only for Rubina but also his lady boss played by Dimple Kapadia. Dimple gets a meaty part as the mission head of JOCR (Joint Operation and Covert Research) and stands her ground, even makes you a tad emotional in the end.

But Pathaan by no stretch of imagination is an emotional ride, only a roller coaster blitzkrieg of gravity-defying action. If John and Shah Rukh are perpetually locked in combat, Deepika too emerges as some action queen. The long-limbed beauty wows with her killer looks and her killer action moves. A bomb, she is enticing not just SRK but viewers too to have a blast.

In the constant chase and fight sequences, lest we forget there is a story too. A tad predictable, with some twists and convoluted bends as well. To sound highbrow, there is mention of Japanese art of Kintsugi and Raktbeej to drive home Indian connect. Spanning several years, going back and forth, there is a heist, biological warfare, missile attack and dash of patriotic fervour and pinch of melodrama. In this India’s answer to Mission Impossible, action is everywhere. In the air, atop trams and trains, frozen lakes, crumbling houses… you name it and our heroes and heroine too are ready to fight it out on any ground and delight you with their action chops. In the breath-taking, breathless action, there is only scope for style and we get it aplenty.  

If you are fan of genuine slick spy-verse the kinds OTT has made you familiar with, simply stay away. But if Indian variant Bollywood style replete with tadkas of chutzpah, charm and glamour works for you, be Pathaan’s guest. And of course, if you are a diehard SRK aficionado what are you waiting for? He regains his crown with aplomb and is both sassy and delightful. For Sallu fans there is an additional icing on the cake and a tantalising promise that Tiger, Kabir and Pathaan could be seen together in future. For now SRK, John and Deepika make it worth your time. Go meet Pathaan, the spy who it seems will never stop charming us.  

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