July 8, 2016
Director: Maneesh Sharma
The film is the first ever to be shot at the Madame Tussauds in London.
Whenever I tell people I am a Bollywood fan, most of them just look at me like I am suddenly infected with Spattergroit (a deadly disease in the Harry Potter series). One particular friend compared watching Indian movies to being gay in an intolerant environment. Despite the bad press they have around here, I still find them fascinating and of excellent craftsmanship. Like most Hollywood movies, a lot of money, ingenuity, time, and most importantly love is poured into these Bollywood projects. FAN was no different since debutant director Maneesh Sharma impressed everyone with this piece of art that was not only a critical success, but also a commercial blockbuster that is currently the third highest grossing Indian movie of 2016. Sharukh Khan also known as “King Khan” plays a double role of Gaurav and Aryan. His performance was mind-blowing, and most critics have asserted that it is his best performance so far. FAN follows the life of a young man named Gaurav who worships, adores, and idolizes a megastar called Aryan Khanna. Later, this infatuation with Aryan makes Gaurav the star’s most dangerous enemy.
I really enjoyed watching FAN because the movie was so authentic. The movie contained footages of Sharukh Khan’s journey to stardom and how he became such a household name in India. Since the movie portrayed the life of a successful movie star, those footages did the trick and I believed that Aryan Khanna was just another real superstar who could be compared to Tom Cruise. Moreover, since Sharukh Khan himself is a superstar, he had no trouble conveying how claustrophobic and demanding the entertainment industry can be sometimes. Depicting the highs and lows of a megastar was a piece of cake for Sharukh Khan, since he had experienced them firsthand. The fact that I could believe the stardom and grandeur of one of the main characters made me a fan of FAN.
Until I watched FAN, I had not quite understood the sentiment that ‘all was fair in love and war” with an emphasis on love. In FAN, Gaurav blurs the lines between good and evil in attempts to impress his idol where he terrorizes Aryan’s young rival. No doubt Gaurav thought that Aryan would be awed by his act of valor on Aryan’s sake. What Gaurav couldn’t have predicted was that Aryan would be revolted with his boorish behavior done in Aryan’s name. Obviously Gaurav felt betrayed, unappreciated, and humiliated by the person he cared about the most since he was acting out of love. The way Aryan dismisses Gaurav unceremoniously makes him a vengeful maniac. While I was watching Gaurav’s transition from a hilarious, family-honoring, carefree man to a bitter dangerous psychopath, I had to agree with author Rick Riordan who said in his book “House of Hades” that “love was the most savage monster of all”. A monster capable of turning innocent, kind people to conniving, heartless animals.
Although much of FAN kept me on my toes anticipating what Gaurav’s next move would be, it was also a heartwarming, hilarious movie. A movie that reminded me strongly of how our families support our ambitions with no reservations, even when those ambitions are “meeting superstars.” A movie that was incredibly funny, without digressing from its somber nature.
Watching FAN was a real pleasure. The movie gave me an amalgam of emotions: joy, fear, sadness, and mostly heartbreak. As the infamous John Lennon sang “Give Peace a Chance”, I urge you guys to “Give Bollywood a Chance” by watching FAN. Those two hours spent watching the movie will be memorable ones. I promise.