Three and a half hours of ‘Jawan’ offers full entertainment and more. There are takeaway lessons, advice, emotions, humour, dance and loads of drama. Beyond that, there's loads and loads of Shah Rukh Khan, two of them actually; yet, not an overdose. Jawan is the kind of film you watch and forget about where you are and what time it is. This is the kind of movie that offers escapism at its best. The film takes up real issues that are timely and relevant and sends across a strong political message that makes it a film rooted to the times.
At the heart of the film is a father-son duo - the father is Vikram Rathore an ex-army officer and the latter, Azad, is a jail superintendent who also doubles up as a Robin Hood-cum-activist. Both, exemplary daredevils, profess in their own ways a deep love for the country and take it upon themselves to fight the corrupt and the venal. Although the story in itself might not seem novel or new, what lifts it is the way it is packaged and delivered on screen.
Jailer Azad has a team of women prisoners and together they take up one heist after the other, all of which make for a thoroughly enjoyable watch. It is a reminder of SRK's ‘Chak De’ in which he is a coach to a team of women hockey players. Azad's pairing with Nayanthara and Vikram Rathore, the older SRK's pairing with Deepika Padukone, work beautifully and help in taking the story further. One has to admire the casting choices in this film and the meticulously written script in which subtle references are made to other classic SRK films (Kaveri Amma from ‘Swades, Priyamani from his Chennai Express and more). One strategic choice made in Jawan, in a bid to bring in the huge fanbase in the South, has been the roping in of South stars such as Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi; the latter plays the bad wolf here in the role of a menacing arms dealer-cum-businessman whose wealth fuels the machinery of the government in power.
One thing that we do not want to take with us from Jawan is its music. It is neither hummable nor colourful. The dance sequences seem extra-long at times. Yet, the film does keep us hooked right till the end; when Sanjay Dutt walks in as an Onam-loving officer and both SRKs come together to give us a jaw-dropping dollop of entertainment.
Dialogues such as, 'Bete se nahin Baap se baat karo,' 'Jab main Villain Banta Hoon, Toh Achhe Achhe Hero bhi nahin tik Paate,' and more remind you of the SRK magic, his magnetism and aura and that undying charm that has continued to entertain us over the years. When he exhorts the audience to use that forefinger as their most important weapon when it comes to choosing the right government, we know for sure that 'Pathaan,' has returned to the screens to reclaim his identity as a loud and proud Indian. The audience in the theatre cheering for him out aloud was a testimony to that.
Director – Atlee
Movie cast – Shah Rukh Khan, Vijay Sethupathi, Nayanthara, Priyamani, Sanya Malhotra, Deepika Padukone, Sunil Grover
Rating – 4 stars