Shah Rukh lends Khan’s weathered intensity, grizzly charisma and trademark wit Pathan‘s total, carefree antics, a sense of purpose that evades mindless acts of chaos, Sukanya Verma cheers.

In almost 24 years of my career, I have never seen such a tsunami of enthusiasm for a Shah Rukh Khan release – presale glut, police bandoba outside the theater etc

In view of the hype surrounding his films, that means something Asoka, Devdas, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham or Om Shanti Om is not an everyday phenomenon and the battle for its tickets in a pre-social media era is a legend in itself.

Yet even Shah Rukh couldn’t help but stagger in amazement at how Pathan‘s arrival in theaters has taken the form of a major festival.

The excitement of seeing the star come out with a new movie since 2018 zero was building all the time. Whether it was SRK’s decision to slow down and take his own time to decide on his next project, or tease us with every temporary special appearance, the countdown only gained insane momentum in the wake of unwarranted personal blows and controversy .

You messed with the wrong superstar.

SRK hasn’t chosen to embody the fairytale aspiration of every mid-range dream.

He did not volunteer to become the symbol of love against a culture of hate.

But a man is a sum of his decisions and thoughts. And both his cinematic imagery and his grace under fire convinced us he’s the champion we want to cheer for and end this gang of boycotts for good.

Pathan hasn’t been a movie for a long time. It became a fight, a festival that many rushed to support and celebrate for the sake of sanity, SRK and hit-and-run Hindi films.

Myth or madness?

Doused from head to toe in spicy masala and subversive patriotism, Pathan lives up to that notion in a pounding, thunderous way.

When we first meet SRK’s title character in Siddharth Anand’s dynamic espionage extravaganza, he is in bondage – injured, battered and abused, but his sense of humor intact.

A typical image of Down but not Out, he jokes: “Hindi only, please.”

There’s a cheeky quality to his request, given the constant conversation about the supremacy of South Indian cinema versus Bollywood’s struggle to survive.

Pathan is happier to focus on creating real spectacle through a good old-fashioned storyline, while recounting a familiar conflict with renewed vigor and astute writing.

Be it the controversial Article 370 of the perennially thorny equation of India and Pakistan, director Siddharth Anand responsibly uses current affairs and diplomatic terms without playing it safe or appearing oblivious to the post-COVID-19 world in which he is set .

Unraveling at breakneck speed around the world from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan to Spain, Russia and Dubai, PathanThe shifting landscapes and smoldering sensuality of softly combines style and substance.

If one half of the film evokes the glory of a daredevil agent (SRK) and his deadly nemesis (John Abraham), the other delivers a duel worth the wait.

Terrorist outfits, dying dictators, kidnapped scientists, doubles, bioterrorism weapons, sad backstories and betrayals and goals to save the innocent color this largely Daniel Craig-inspired era desi 007

Behind every successful hero and villain is a sizzling team of writers who know how to get audiences cheering for a good fight.

Shridhar Raghavan’s bouncy script while evoking fond memories of SRK’s best hits – the iconic stutter Darrthe betrayal Baazigarthe bromance of Karan Arjunthe unkempt ponytail in Thu 2 – and Abbas Tyrewala’s priceless dialogue makes work a whole lot easier for his hot and attractive cast.

Each looks like a perfect piece of factory-made action figure, but their interactions are far from plastic. I never thought I would live to see characters utter words like “Orbs” in a Hindi film.

It’s also such a relief to write that John Abraham is one of the best things Pathan without a hint of sarcasm. Tyrewala reserves some of the best lines -“Jo patte mile hote hain ussi se baazi khelni padti hai‘ for him Jhootha Hello Sahi Hero.

Ever wanted to see Deepika Padukone in the Bond girl avatar?

Pathan is fantasy fulfillment in its most seductive form.

Her gorgeous, rugged body language, with bikinis in *all* hues and cutouts, exudes power in a way few can. The horny, flirty exchanges between SRK and her are just as funny.

Here is a sampler:

He: Around bomb lay rahi ho.

You: Have fun!

There is Dimple Kapadia, M bis Pathanis James Bond.

The actress has the weight of a rock-solid professional, someone who can make tough decisions but is human enough to care.

Between his vigorous pursuits and clashes in the air and chases in the snow and dust, Pathan cleverly combines with that of Salman Khan tiger and Hrithik Roshans War, Make way for YRF’s ambitious spy universe.

The franchise has always been smooth, but with pathan, it also shows cleverness in a delightfully escapist way.

The discovery of an unlikely action hero in Shah Rukh Khan contributes greatly to this.

It’s not that he hasn’t been dipped in blood or pounded half a dozen, sped off in a fancy vehicle and proclaimed his love for Bharat Mata.

But the weather-beaten intensity, grizzly charisma, and actor’s signature wit lend him something Pathan‘s all-out, devil-may-care antics have a sense of purpose that evades historically mindless acts of chaos.

my name is khan. Shahrukh’Pathan fulfills his promise’ Khan.

Pathan review Rediff Rating: