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Detailed Review (some spoilers)

Discussion in 'Fan Member Reviews' started by Karan#1, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Karan#1

    Karan#1 Well-Known Member

    FAN is one film that leaves you with a lot to talk about, hence this slightly long review.

    First off, it's a very good film. I would place it in the tier of 'very good' films just a tier below classics like Swades (from SRK's filmography). It's a film we can really connect to on an emotional level. Honestly, you have to be a diehard fan to truly connect and resonate with this film.

    The first half was very crisp and developed Gaurav's 'connection' with Aryan really well. The majority of the first half is real but mostly light-hearted and its post Gaurav getting locked up that the film steps up a gear and takes a dark turn. Gaurav impersonating Aryan to exact revenge by ruining his image and the battle between the two makes for a thrilling second half.

    The film does drag for a bit or two in the second half and some of the chase/action sequences could have been shortened but they’re well shot and, as Raja Sen pointed out, can be viewed as pieces of satire of typical Bollywood action scenes. I also would’ve perhaps liked to have seen one more sequence of Gaurav impersonating Aryan to ruin his image (for the fun quotient).

    There were a few cinematic liberties taken in the second half but that is the case in a number of great films. Critics like Rajeev Masand pointed out why a big movie star would chase Gaurav on his own instead of putting his men on the job. It’s a spur of the moment thing (especially in Croatia when he sees a say sorry sign whilst bypassing a crowd in his car). And Aryan clearly explained it himself to Gaurav –something on the lines of having got to where he is on his own so he’ll deal with this problem on his own too.

    Critics like Rajeev Masand don’t ask such questions of Hollywood films so why here? It would be wrong to overlook everything else and diminish this film to points about logic and contrivances.

    The climax and ending (from Gaurav dying to Aryan waving at the crowd searching for Gaurav to the end credits of Gaurav's selfies) was absolutely perfect. Like Darr's Rahul's life started and ended with kiran, Gaurav's life started and ended with Aryan. A really powerful and moving ending that elevated the film to a higher level. It's still in my mind.

    Probably the most heart-rending and impactful ending to an SRK film since K3G. Should be noted, I unfortunately knew the ending already (someone posted a spoiler) so perhaps Gaurav's death would've been even more stirring for me had I not known he would die.

    I also liked their little embrace when they're done fighting with Gaurav going in to hug Aryan. It showed no matter how much damage he tried to cause Aryan, Gaurav still longed for Aryan’s affection. He doesn’t simply only want a sorry. This is also highlighted in the scene where Gaurav kicks his phone away in frustration when Aryan doesn’t answer his call and when he goes on a tearful rampage in Aryan’s study room.

    It’s true that both Gaurav and Aryan are grey characters and we can’t easily choose a side. Aryan was right to go after Gaurav when Gaurav went about ruining his image but I felt he was harsh to Gaurav in their first meeting in the prison cell. SRK said he’d never do such a thing but that’s why Aryan is his own character, completely different to SRK himself.

    While Gaurav did do wrong, what makes his death sad and me sympathetic for him is that, at the end of the day, Gaurav was just a fan whose only mistake was he loved a star too much and his obsession drove him to his death.

    The film gave a really good message, so no one ends up being another Gaurav. Be a good son/daughter, friend and partner etc, not just a fan, and create your identity to be proud of. Ironically, Gaurav was obsessed over Aryan but failed to imbibe his traits of hard work and determination that made him a superstar so he could have made something of himself - a point Gaurav’s parents brought up.

    Moving on, I feel the film handled dramatic moments really well and subtly. They weren't melodramatic or over done like many films but still managed to leave a strong impact. This is thanks to Maneesh’s direction and SRK’s acting. Take, for example, the shots towards the end of the first half post Gaurav getting rejected by Aryan that focus on Gaurav’s pain. SRK brilliantly illustrates Gaurav’s pain solely through his expressions (background music added to the effect) whereas most films would have opted for a sad song. The climax was also dramatic without being melodramatic.

    As have others, I spotted a number of cases of satire in the film and also parallels, intentional or unintentional, with SRK’s real life. They’ve been pointed out in other reviews (most prominently Raja Sen’s) so I won’t repeat them. So it’s not just a thriller but a meta thriller.

    How could I forgot about the performances? SRK is the soul of the film. It’s a highly performance driven film and one that only SRK could pull off. He gets to fully flex his acting muscles after a while and shows us why he's the best. He undergoes a complete transformation as Gaurav such that you forget he’s played by the same actor as Aryan. As SRK said, Gaurav is a beast that they created. It’s one of his best performances ever and, for me, the most impactful and moving performance by a leading man in years.

    Not to be overlooked is his performance as Aryan Khanna. It’s a subtle, nuanced and gritty performance. He may be a superstar who looks like SRK but you never at all feel he is SRK.

    Props must also go to Maneesh Sharma for developing these two interesting and distinct characters for SRK to play.

    Overall, FAN isn’t just a revenge thriller but a deep and layered film that poses strong questions about fame, obsession and one’s identity. It’s also a film that cannot be easily forgotten. The ending, in particular, leaves a lasting impression.
    MaryAnnK, Dea, Rishima62 and 5 others thanked this.
  2. rollercoast

    rollercoast Zindagi

    Great review Karan!
    I think time will tell if it becomes a classic. It is such a deep, layered film with such emotional impact that I feel it will end up on the list of great and landmark films for srk.

    I like your point that just "sorry" was not enough for Gaurav. He was using that as a hook to keep the connection with Aryan, knowing that Aryan would not say the word. I wonder if Aryan had said sorry whether Gaurav would have started to make new demands to continue the relationship.
    MaryAnnK says thanks.
  3. Karan#1

    Karan#1 Well-Known Member

    Let's hope so. The emotional impact of this film is huge.

    I couldn't see it ending at sorry with him. His name will be attached to Aryan's through his death so he got one thing he wanted.
  4. Rishima62

    Rishima62 Defying Gravity

    thank you @Karan#1 for your great review. I agree to every word you wrote and yes, "sorry" would have been enough for Gaurav. He also said that he would kill for Aryan and he did in a way right?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  5. rollercoast

    rollercoast Zindagi

    Good point! He did. Such a sad story.
  6. Dea

    Dea ♥SRK-Gauri♥

    actually this was a really good point u made, Karan. Lise (@tasifa ) and i were discussing this the other day- when we see Gaurav in the crowd at the end, it's clear that he still loves Aryan (irrespective if it's only in Aryan's imagination). because several times along the movie u can see that Gaurav still very much wants Aryan to like him. saying sorry is just the shortcut to that. as u've pointed out the moment when he kicks his phone because Aryan doesn't pick up. or when he gets really emotional when he trashes his study. but also when Aryan is performing at the wedding and sending flying kisses to the audience, u can see Gaurav longing for that. he still loves Aryan, and very much so, inspite of all he's gone through (rejection, pain both physical and emotional, etc). and yes leaning in for that hug at the end makes it even more clear.
    MaryAnnK, rollercoast and Rishima62 thank this.
  7. semsem008

    semsem008 Well-Known Member

    Hi karan. Loved you review. It is v thoughtful and stated exactly how i felt about it.

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