My apprehension turns in to an insomniac, ballistic version when I talk about SRK films. But ‘Fan’ is a different experience altogether. It brings together a gamut of emotions that sway across as I watched the film – the newcomer, the emerging star, the human being, the superstar, King Khan. Well, yes. Life does come full circle.
‘Fan’ is not an untold story, but it does have its moments of revelation. It isn’t a tribute to a star, it depicts the flip side of being a star. It doesn’t show the star as a great human being, it shows that stars are human beings and are flawed components of a genius box that has all kinds of apples – good, mediocre, bad. We see the good side, admire the bright side but the other aspects of a star are largely and consciously ignored. Yes, fans are crazy people and defy conventions. Their forte is madness and strength is unsurpassable madness.
This fan is no different. He is completely, totally obsessed, consumed, and provocatively immersed in a sea of juggernaut that has no semblance of the star in itself. He copies him, he emulates him, he becomes him. His identity is the price he pays for his adulation of the star and he is ardently proud for cannibalizing his own personality to prove just one point – that he is the biggest and undisputed fan of the star.
Fans are usually preciously sensible people but their common sense is seldom found. They have this insatiable urge to mutilate everything in their lives to epitomize their star and they come to believe that they are the only ones with such unblemished desires. Few, place themselves in a niche radar, and couple of more strictly believe that the admiration is mutual. By all means, trouble starts here. The ‘Fan’ here falls in this category of vendetta. His admiration has no break even point, and all hell breaks loose when he realizes that his ‘God’ has way too many followers to look at and he only has time to wave his hands across and blow insurmountable kisses to all those crazy people who come to wish him ‘Happy Birthday’. Apparently, that’s about it. ‘It’s my life, why should I even devote 5 seconds to you’ is a statement that ended ‘Fan’s’ meteoric 25 years of devotion and palpable affection. His world is upside down and ends in bout of frenzy calm. Rest is, usual events of inflicting pain and anguish. In fact, ironically, the story of ‘Fan’ ends here.
The star drastically comes to realize that he is the very reason for his fan to be alive. His life, his cyber cafe, his one-sided love story, his parents, his yearly stage show – all were byproducts of his deep rooted obsession and love for the star. Quite aptly and painfully, he calls himself as his ‘Junior’.
The star’s character is sketched with grey orientations. The scene wherein the Indian Embassy doesn’t have kind words for the star is an agonising moment wherein his god like image is dubiously contrasting to his persona as a human being, who here is depicted as filthy and an ass. I strictly believe it is intentional – I do not take it that stars are good human beings but the vice versa could be equally daunting and true. Apparently, this sketch of the star makes the ‘Fan’ even more endearing and deserves all the sympathy of the audience despite he being grossly unfair to his ‘Senior’.
‘Fan’ is scripted, conceptualized and enacted for Shahrukh Khan. For once, I must say that this will go down as one of his talismanic and courageous performances. He is brilliant as the ‘Fan’ – charming, notorious, nonsense, fearless, rampant. He is all soul and energy in his fan avatar and is spectacularly watchable as an actor, which could otherwise be deemed as another run-of-the-mill flick. For playing the ‘star’, which comes naturally to him, isn’t a surprise but the grey edges showcased through his character is a stunner. Not every star can demean themselves, even if they deserve it (which is hugely circumspect). So, lets leave it here as of now. SRK will go down as the winner, both as the ‘Fan’ and the star.
‘Rehene de, tu nahin samjhega’. – @Fan.