Pathaan Review (No Spoilers): Hits the Spot Again and Again and Again and Again for 3 Hours of Pure SRK Magic

Woot!!! A good fun silly entertainer, with SRK charm bringing it to a WHOLE new level. The King is BACK!!!

I am an SRK fan, hardcore. I’ve seen every movie since Don first day-first show, just seeing him on a movie screen gives me a crazy high. And this is a movie that took what makes SRK intoxicating and figures out how to hit that spot over and over and over again.

Sidharth Anand did the same thing for Hrithik in his last two movies, and I thought it was just a Hrithik thing, he really got the appeal of this one particular actor and crafted a film for it. But now I think it i just a star director thing. That is, a director who is really REALLY good at working with movie stars and getting out of their way. He puts SRK in just the right places and then let’s him do his magic.

I hadn’t thought about it before, but watching this movie made me realize SRK is one of the best action actors in the world. The same total dedication he brings to following dance choreography, he also brings to fight choreography. And the same shockingly limber-for-his-age body works just as good for fights as it does for love songs. There’s only two song-songs in this film, but every SRK fight scene gives the same high as watching an SRK dance.

And if the action scenes are the songs in this movie, then they are also where we get the love moments. The Shahrukh-Deepika romance takes place mostly as bullets are flying and hands are meeting and wordless communication is happening, just like watching him dance with Kajol in the rain. And Dips matches him in action better than she ever did in dance, her athletic background shines with kicks and flips and punches, perfectly in rhythm.

The verbal dance between SRK and Dips is even better than the physical. As in all best SRK romances, she is the aggressor (intrigued by rugged older legendary SRK), and he is all flustered and unsure (this young woman is into me? I don’t know what to do!). It leans right into the SRK age issue and turns it around into a bonus, a reason for SRK to be all shy and resistant which is the best romantic Shahrukh.

And here is the heart of the film, how do you deal with an old action hero? The answer is, head on. SRK is playing mid-40s at the least, and a rough mid-40s. That also means he’s more experienced than the young ones, tough enough to survive longer, and passionate enough to just keep going and going. The most emotional moment of the film, for me, is when SRK and Salman have a conversation about how they hurt and they are tired and they are old, but they have to keep going because there is no one else who can.

4 years of SRK drought, and we’ve learned that lesson. There’s no one else. Beat him to the ground, rip his heart out and spit on it, and he will put himself back together somehow and rise up and keep fighting for the same people who hurt him. He’s gonna do his best to single-handedly save the theater industry and we had better get out of his way.

15 thoughts on “Pathaan Review (No Spoilers): Hits the Spot Again and Again and Again and Again for 3 Hours of Pure SRK Magic

  1. Watched yesterday in Jaipur India with fan club and other SRK fans. All seats sold at 1000+ seat Raj Mandir Cinema. No subtitles, but able to follow the movie. Was a fun, exciting and engaging movie movie and so happy for SRK, his team and fans. Your review is spot on. In a recent “ask SRK” on Twitter, when asked ab romance with DP, SRK said “I don’t kiss, I kick.” Was not intended to be romance film. And DP was amazing. Loved that she had such a strong role. John A was perfect as cold hearted villan. And Salman, whole theater went big crazy when he showed up. The fans made it even more over the top for me. After first show distributors added even more theaters in India and world wide, calling it a “box office monster.”
    Now can’t wait to see with subtitles.
    Great review, Margaret. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So excited that the film is getting SO MUCH LOVE. Damn SRK needs it. Indian film needs it. I was super excited wating Deepika in the trailers, she really looked like she was owning it, and I love a female action star. I haven’t even seen the film and I feel like it is my birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dips is definitely giving female action star vibes! It’s making me want to watch her one American action movie finally and see how she does in that!

      Like

  3. We’ve all learned the lesson and how! It’s reminded everyone what superstardom looks like. Putting aside the film for a moment, I wasn’t sure this kind of response was possible anymore, especially within the Hindi industry. Even jaded critics who usually look down on Hindi films are expressing joy and relief like they’ve been waiting for something to revive the industry. Of course, at this stage it’s still his stardom that’s getting people to theaters, but it seems likely that’s going to sustain and it’ll become a clean hit. I’m seeing people’s reactions on Twitter and as someone said, it’s like people collectively took an exam and are now celebrating passing with flying colors!

    I’ll comment on the spoiler post later, I’ve so many thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! I’ve been ignoring the reactions because a) I wanted to go in clean, and b) usually it’s depressing. But this is GREAT!!! It reminds me of the response to War, but more so. Even the most cynical reviews took to War because it was so clearly just a big fun silly movie without pretentious, you couldn’t get mad at it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I got to experience cheering and whistling after so long! Off the top of my head, some of the scenes which got reactions were John’s intro, the entire sequence of Deepika dropping the wrap and pool reveal, Salman-SRK sequence.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I went to watch it again today and after walking out it just clicked for me that perhaps there are no charismatic super stars coming up because there aren’t people with strong character these days. Salman radiated on screen alongside SRK. Wonder why I feel nothing when I see the newer men on screen?!?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was thinking something similar, more along the lines of maybe social media has killed that kind of stardom? Every actor who has started out strong has just been worn down by social media, made small, and retreated. It’s only the Giants who can stand up against it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They just don’t seem to have the strong character that is built by winning over adversity, working hard, rising above frivolous things – not their fault but E.g. the struggle with Mafia in the early years and SRK standing in front of Karan – I can’t imagine Ranbir doing that for anyone. Similarly Sanju, Amitabh and his accident, Salman’s struggles with family and health, can’t think of anything for Aamir.
        When I think of the current generation, I can see Alia having character. Others kind of don’t even register on my radar as a blip. 🤷🏻‍♀️

        Like

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