Hindi films have been developing the ‘desi’ equivalents of the Bond-Bourne franchise for some time now. Tiger has been ‘zinda’ in two straight adventures, Agent Vinod has performed his bit, BellBottom has flexed and flared, however it’s ‘Pathaan’ which has acquired the spy movie-laced-with-heavy-doses-of-patriotism bouncing off the display screen, with Shah Rukh Khan acing the motion avatar, flaunting the floppy-hair-glinting-aviators-eight packs (or is it twelve?) look.
That’s as a result of it has lastly acquired what’s wanted in an motion film — continuous motion, leavened by glamorous leads, topped by the man who can save the world, a high-octane set piece, and an emo line at a time.
Bonus: the very svelte Deepika Padukone, matching SRK stride for stride, giving stiff competitors to Katrina Kaif, who kicked severe ass in Tiger 2. There’s additionally Dimple Kapadia, constructing on her blink-and-miss-role in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’, because the cunning Moneypenny equal. And the chief antagonist, performed by John Abraham, who manages to take advantage of his strains.
The plot includes a slew of spies, sardonic RAW chiefs, evil ISI generals and gun-toting terrorists inhabiting international hotspots. Pakistan is again eyeing Kashmir (it would by no means study, will it). One among India’s personal, Jim (John Abraham) has gone rogue. Attractive ISI agent Rubina (Deepika Padukone) is as at dwelling in a bikini as she is in skin-tight spandex. A lethal virus, rather more harmful than Covid 19, is being cooked up in top-secret labs. There’s clear and current hazard, and desh-ke-dushman crawling everywhere in the panorama. However breathe straightforward, as a result of India’s finest and bravest, Pathaan (Shah Rukh Khan) is at hand.
The issue of carrying off a two-and-half hour movie is clear within the locations the place you stifle a yawn (sure, it will possibly occur even when every thing is galloping alongside at break-neck velocity). Simply so there’s nothing missed out, we’ve Pathaan and Jim dealing with off within the air (many helicopters have been damage within the making of this movie), skimming over ice-floes and beneath icy water, chasing one another down twisty roads. Plus, the third individual point out of ‘Pathaan’ begins getting tiresome (kitni baar bologe, yaar). Belief us, we acquired it the primary time.
However the slack is tightened rapidly sufficient: a complete prepare is commandeered within the service of a particular that includes Pathaan and a keffiyeh-sporting spy whose trademark strikes had the viewers roaring. After which there’s that tune which created such an argument weeks earlier than it hit the theatres. There actually is nothing in it that we haven’t seen earlier than (YRF songs-on-beaches ought to rightfully be a separate Bollywood sub-genre) however there’s no denying that Pathaan and Rubina swaying and narrowing their eyes at one another on a Spanish seashore, is extra a sizzling proposition than a potato. However let me reassure these apprehensive: nothing besharam occurs, sadly, even with nothing between them however a gun.
The movie comes at a time when Bollywood, and SRK have been beneath siege. ‘Pathaan’ is that jawaab of this beleaguered pathaan, who manages a number of feats in his comeback after a clutch of medium-bad to horrible movies: provides it these ones to the #BoycottBollywood brigade, pulls off the dishy-and-dishevelled look rippling these abs, give us a laugh-out-loud second (I gained’t spoil it for you, nevertheless it includes a line from an early SRK character, additionally in a YRF movie, which might have change into eminently meme-worthy if memes have been a factor these days) and saves Bharat Mata.
Pathaan film solid: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Dimple Kapadia, Ashutosh Rana
Pathaan film director: Siddharth Anand
Pathaan film evaluate: 3 stars