This film couldn’t really have been made with any other actor. Yes, there are super-stars, many in Bollywood, but FAN, Maneesh Sharma’s thoughtful and highly entertaining ode to Shah Rukh Khan couldn’t have been more perfect for him. The story is simple, not simplistic, but the manner in which the film is directed is what it takes it from a run of the mill film into something truly special. Any person who loves, loved, likes, liked or hated this super-star has to watch it because it would be difficult to not see something special, that the film holds only for you. It is definitely a film made by a Fan for other Fans, in the process giving SRK a role of a lifetime which he plays brilliantly, using every publicly known point of his persona to his advantage.
This is just a 2 person film. Of course, the production quality is fantastic but when it comes to brass tacks, this film is all about SRK, the actor and the fan-tastic job that Maneesh Sharma has done as a director.
SRK plays a version of himself, Aryan Khanna and a junior AK, a look alike fan, Gaurav. While the difference in personality, demeanour, accent are very blatantly obvious, it is not because of these mannerisms that i find this role is so amazingly played by Khan. His role as Gaurav is fabulous, reminded me of his 90s onscreen self, just with a West Dilli accent which he never bothered with then. Instead it is his role as a superstar, which is so layered and subtle that it really took the cake for me. He plays the role of Aryan Khanna, not just as a one-dimensional ‘superstar’ but instead you see versions of him, slowly unwrapping as the film moves forward. He is a cordial co-star on set, charming and gracious, well-spoken, an arrogant super-star sometimes with bursts of tantrums and knowledge of his star-power and in the end just a man – pushed to his limits. His role as Aryan is nuanced, well written and acted, to the point that it covers every point negative, positive and neutral that would have been associated with SRK – the star. And this kind of self-aware performance that SRK gives, along with playing another person makes this film just an absolute JOY to watch.
The final sequence of the film, kind of reminded me of a silly thing. It was like the character from Darr had come alive, slightly more nuanced and his object of affection is not the famous Kkkkkkkiran but Aaaaaayan. Fan gives us Fans, everything we love about this super-star. But most importantly it gives him the chance to perform, which he so deserves more than anything else.