‘Pathaan’ is an action entertainer and a part of Yash Raj Films’ (YRF) spy universe. This series began with Salman Khan-starrer ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ (2017) followed by ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ (2017) and Hrithik Roshan-starrer ‘War’ (2019). This flick stars Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. Salman Khan also features in a cameo appearance, reprising his role as Tiger.
Pathaan (Shah Rukh Khan) is an Indian secret agent who works under RAW’s Nandini (Dimple Kapadia) and Colonel Luthra (Ashutosh Rana). Based on Pathaan’s findings, it comes to light that a certain terrorist outfit is going to attack a convoy of India in Dubai. Pathaan’s intel is proved correct as Jim (John Abraham), who was once an Indian soldier and is now a terrorist who works on contract, kidnaps two key scientists. He does so while working for Pakistan’s General Qadir (Manish Wadhwa), who is looking for revenge after India revoked Article 370. As Pathaan chases Jim, he bumps into ISI officer Rubina Mohsin (Deepika Padukone). And then his life is never the same again. How Pathaan’s life is ruined and yet, how he saves India forms the rest of the film.
‘Pathaan’ commences on a rocking note. The entry of Pathaan is whistle worthy and so are the entry scenes of Jim and Rubina. The Dubai chase episode and the Russia heist track keep the viewers interested. The intermission point comes as a shocker. Post-interval, the film goes on a high with the train scene. It’s surely the best scene of the film. In the Indian Institute of Contagious Disease sequence, the film gets quite emotional and it actually helps in creating further impact. The finale is predictable and even childish but is worth watching. The mid-credit scene is terrific.
Shah Rukh Khan looks quite dashing and delivers a supreme performance. Pathaan is a massy character and SRK does total justice to it. Deepika Padukone looks absolutely gorgeous and performance-wise, she’s first-rate. She looks quite cool and convincing while doing the action scenes. John Abraham is superb as the menacing and good-looking villain. His scenes in the second half, especially, are excellent. Dimple Kapadia shines, especially in the Indian Institute of Contagious Disease scene. Ashutosh Rana is dependable. Manish Wadhwa, Prakash Belawadi (Dr. Sahni), Aakash Bhatija (Amol) are decent. Lastly, superstar Salman Khan is outstanding, to say the least!
Speaking of songs composed by Vishal-Sheykhar, both “Besharam Rang” and “Jhoome Jo Pathaan” are memorable, catchy and well shot and choreographed. Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara’s background score is of commercial variety. John Abraham’s theme song is memorable.
Satchith Paulose’s cinematography is spectacular. Rajat Poddar’s production design is superb. Casey O’Neill, Craig Macrae, and Sunil Rodrigues’ action is stylish and not gory at all. VFX matches global standards. Aarif Sheikh’s editing is quick and effective.
Siddharth Anand’s story is clichéd. Shridhar Raghavan’s screenplay, however, turns a routine plot into a full-on commercial entertaining material. The manner in which all three characters are given a chance to prove their worth is praiseworthy. Abbas Tyrewala’s dialogues are dramatic and yet realistic.
Siddharth Anand’s direction is praiseworthy. He has handled the scale very well. The 146-minute long film doesn’t bore even for a moment as there’s a lot happening every second. The use of flashbacks enhances the fun and madness. Also, he does total justice to Shah Rukh’s stardom. An important sequence involving him and Salman is also terrific and will be greeted with claps and whistles. However, logic takes a backseat in several scenes. A section of the audience might not like this aspect. But the director compensates for it with other strong factors, thankfully.
All in all, ‘Pathaan’ is a complete entertainer and has a strong chance to emerge as the first blockbuster of 2023.
‘Pathaan’ is currently running in cinemas.