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Photo: Pinkvilla

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the ‘Fan’ trailer. For the first time in my life, I was eagerly waiting for a SRK movie. It’s not that I don’t watch his movies. I have grown up on his films and except few films, I have never been his fan of his brand of cinema. But with ‘Fan’, I felt that Khan was finally doing something different. It looked fresh and innovative. But I have mixed feelings after watching the film.

Many people think that Shahrukh is self-obsessed (until recently, I had the same opinion). So when a film like ‘Fan’ is announced, a lot of us thought that this was perfect vanity vehicle for Khan. He plays the fan and the star. So basically, he is obsessing about himself, right :P? But I have to admit that ‘Fan’ is not about Shahrukh talking about his achievements. In fact, the movie is more about the fan and less about the star. And Khan is happy to be in the background. Also, he has done a great job as the fan (sometimes he overacts and it can be unbearable). The script is pretty nice too. But something is missing. Probably I expected too much from the movie whose primary theme is obsession. I wanted the director and the writer to get into the psyche of a mentally unstable person, but the movie doesn’t really dig deeper.

There are some nice things about the movie though. I do think it is an important film for a country like India. I mean, people just go overboard in their hero-worship here. So, if you win the cricket world-cup you are treated like God. But if you happen to fall short of people’s expectations, they will burn your effigies and throw stones at your house (this REALLY happened). The question here is this: Does a celebrity owe anything to his/her fans? Do fans make a star or the star achieves what he/she has because of hard work and luck? With film stars, we often forget that at the end of the day, they are also human beings. We somehow feel that they cannot be hurt, because they are just…actors. But no, they have their own lives, own families, own needs. In ‘Fan’, Gaurav, the fan, is CRAZY about Aryan Khanna, the superstar. He can do ANYTHING to meet him and he does do something crazy. All he wants is 5 minutes of Aryan Khanna’s life. Unfortunately, Aryan doesn’t give him time.  Gaurav says that it is because of fans like him that Aryan exists. Which is true. But then, what is equally true is that Aryan didn’t force fans like Gaurav to shower love on him. It was his free will to admire Aryan. What is also true is that fans are not the ONLY reason why Aryan succeeded. He worked hard too. Gaurav wants Aryan to apologize for not giving him time. He accuses the star for being arrogant, but what he doesn’t realize is that if star cannot exist without fan, the vice versa is also true. In the film, people from Gaurav’s colony adore him for his impersonation of Aryan Khanna. But when Aryan’s reputation is tarnished (and it is spoiled by Gaurav), people don’t want him to imitate Aryan anymore! What is Gaurav’s identity now?

Even though the movie is not great, SRK deserves praise for signing a film like this. I mean, there is no song in this movie…which is probably blasphemous in mainstream Bollywood cinema. The ‘Fan’ team must be also lauded for their courage to question the holy ‘fans’. In a country where gallons of milk is used for Rajinikanth’s ‘abhishekam’, a movie like this is a refreshing change.

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