We want to thank the makers for showing us a glimpse of South Indian mass magic and channelize through our Hindi film industry by celebrating the aura of our Badshaah
Bollywood Meets South Indian Magic
When Shah Rukh Khan officially announced his lineup of movies releasing in 2023 one after the other, everyone started formulating about which movie would resonate the most with the audience.
While most of us are pinning our hopes on Dunki to be the most effective film in terms of both quality and mass appeal, Jawan has just entered the club by announcing its arrival with an absolute bang and there are no two ways.
When it was announced that SRK would be joining hands with Atlee, there was a certain anticipation on how would the celebrated South Indian action director package probably the most revered Bollywood superstar for the big screen experience.
Your anticipation will find its answer when you go for the movie and it is more than satisfactory.
Jawan – Synopsis and The Return of A Star
Jawan revolves around a mysterious individual who takes matters into his own hands by bringing about change in societal and political issues in the country through crooked ways. Getting his hands dirty by locking horns with an influential businessman and a no-nonsense lady cop in his way forms the basic plot line of Jawan.
Although the plot does not seem anything exceptional, it is the signature style of Atlee that we Bollywood fans have craved to witness in our cinema as South Indian mass magic is infused with the magnetism and charm of an actor like SRK.
There is an exceptional craft of South Indian directors to present their stars in the larger-than-life form that causes pandemonium in theatres. They have aced this craft throughout these years, and the Hindi film industry has just got a piece of it right now.
And considering the hype of SRK’s return this year, there is absolute madness all over the country presently. It is an experience to watch a beloved star presented in an avatar that lives by the line ‘no guts no glory’ as he kicks ass, especially when you see him wounded and fallen at first.
That is why mass entries feel so personal for fans in theatres. Certain stars who are revered as Gods have a hold on their fans’ emotions like no other. And in Bollywood, it is SRK.
The Atlee Problem
Anyone who is familiar with Atlee’s filmography would easily identify his tropes, including certain social and political issues in his story that act as a motivating factor for the protagonist to embark on his journey throughout the film.
It is the same problem of him trying abruptly to integrate different backstories of SRK’s girl army that explore themes like farmer suicide and insufficient medical attention in small towns.
On one hand, they do provide a strong reason for why these girls have joined hands with SRK in his mission. But the point at which they are placed in the screenplay brings about an extreme tonal change in the course of events taking place, which does not feel organic at all.
The Supporting Cast Of Jawan
Talking about the performances of the supporting cast, Sanya Malhotra and Priyamani are the standouts from SRK’s girl gang. Both put forth their best effort when their backstories are explored. Sanya Malhotra performs her scenes with such ease, especially in the dramatic moments of her character falling prey to the incapability of the medical sector in India.
Deepika Padukone has a short but extremely effective cameo that serves as a strong motivator for SRK’s character, shown in a flashback. You will wish for the same in Priyamani’s case as well but her backstory is not explored at all apart from a short montage of the tragedy her character had experienced.
In terms of impact, the same goes for Vijay Sethupathi as well. He does what is required of the script but a movie of this scale required a more intimidating villain for SRK’s character. Vijay’s character never seems to carry the necessary danger a mass villain should possess. In most of the parts, his character comes off as comic relief, both intentionally and unintentionally. It works in some parts and vice versa.
What is more underwhelming is that all of it does not pay off well in the end. And this factor is not just restricted to his character. The revenge arc that ties Vijay Sethupathi and SRK together falls flat due to the way their altercation ends in the climax. It leaves you wanting for more but not in a favorable manner.
Nayanthara is served with some badass moments for her no-nonsense cop character who is definitely a force to be reckoned with for SRK. But she has no stake in the matter in the concluding moments of Jawan due to the main reason why people are flooding into the theatres.
What is absolutely clear for hardcore Tamil cinema fans is that one can only expect bangers in an Anirudh music album.
Sadly this time, the music album does not have the same punch as we are used to in movies like Vikram (2017). Chaleya and Zinda Banda are the only two songs that actually pack a punch. The former has more of a ‘chilled vibe’ tune that sounds sweet to the ears…
…and the latter is a clear-cut celebration of SRK’s stardom in India and his tryst with our women. The other songs fail to evoke such emotions that accompany certain portions of the movie.
King Khan Himself
It is no surprise why fans are flooding into the theatres. Shah Rukh Khan films this year are being celebrated like a festival and have brought back the euphoria of buying a movie for the FDFS, only screaming in unison to mark the return of your favorite superstar.
It happened with Pathaan earlier this year and the expectations have certainly exceeded with Jawan. With every look in the film, Shah Rukh portrays the angst, cheekiness, and swag of his character with utmost ease.
Atlee has left no stone unturned by presenting SRK in his most massy avatar ever, which probably has not been the case for any other Hindi actor in my opinion. All of his entry scenes scream mania and you won’t be able to resist cheering when he enters the frame.
Another crowd-pulling aspect, which was also present in Pathaan, is that Jawan is self-referential of SRK’s previous filmography and the recent outrage against him and his family in the past couple of years. His dialogues like “Jab mai villain banta hoon na, toh mere saamne koi bhi hero tikk nahi sakta” or ” Bete ko haath lagane se pehele, baap se baat kar” will take back to his early days exploring characters with grey shades and the recent controversy his son was pulled into.
His comeback films are extremely personal for fans who have been desperately waiting for King Khan to rise from the ashes and silence the naysayers. There is a monologue by him towards the climax of the film where it seems like he is actually reaching out to the audience watching the movie, where he urges the public to question the government and its intentions on how they plan to improve the lives of the Indian citizens.
The mass hysteria in the theatres is probably reminiscent of our elders of the time when Bollywood was ruled by Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s when he held the title of the ‘Angry Young Man’. SRK brings the feeling of someone who is there to represent us regarding the atrocities faced by all the classes of society and how one should stand up and demand their rights from those in power.
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