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Fasten your seatbelts, the king is back with a bang! Rating: 4/5 Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Dimple Kapadia, Ash...

Fasten your seatbelts, the king is back with a bang!

Rating: 4/5

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Dimple Kapadia, Ashutosh Rana, Gautam Rode

SRK’s return after a 4-year-long hiatus is fan service at its best. It’s honestly a blast to be watching a film with nearly a hundred fans screaming throughout the screening. A film which, like every film of Siddharth Anand, has no logic yet does its own thing. It doesn’t care about being accurate in any sense, it just wants the audience to have a good time, and this is the best that he’s ever done. SRK’s face looks absolutely animated in this for some reason, but his body (whether computer generated or real) is simply stunning for a 57-year-old.

In 2019, the Indian Government revokes Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The news impacts a cancer-ridden Pakistani army general, Qadir, who decides to exact vengeance against India and signs a contract with Jim (John), a former RAW agent-turned-rogue leader of “Outfit X”, a private terror organization. Jim agrees as he also wants revenge against India for not trusting him as an agent during his tenure. Due to the ongoing threat, Nandini, (Dimple) the head of “Joint Operation and Covert Research” (JOCR and RAW joint secretary, Colonel Sunil Luthra (Ashutosh), summon Pathaan (SRK), an exiled field operative, to bring Jim down and destroy Outfit X. Pathaan, along with ex-ISI agent, Rubina Mohsin (Deepika), start investigating the matter. They soon find out about Jim’s plan to spread a deadly lab-generated virus, dubbed “Raktbeej”, across India. The duo race against time to apprehend Jim and stop Outfit X.

The first half falls flat mainly due to the unnecessary comedy, but the second half is a banger, full of well-choreographed action set pieces and exhilarating stunts by Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Salman Khan. Salman for once, is tolerable as Tiger.

Shah Rukh Khan proves once again that he is the only Bollywood actor in the current generation who can make an audience cheer, clap and whistle at nearly every dialogue he delivers.

Anand’s direction is a mishmash of the MI series, No Time To Die and millions of other spy thrillers, but he somehow makes an entertaining film. The cinematography, while stylish, is sometimes bland. The VFX is the film’s weakest point. Performances are solid all around with SRK being the highlight. John Abraham is excellent as the menacing villain and seems to be having a lot of fun playing the baddy. In fact, he is the best-developed character in this entire film. Deepika Padukone and Dimple Kapadia are also good.

Pathaan has all the ingredients for a good masala action blockbuster and it does it right, unlike Anand’s earlier films. Pathaan has its fair share of patriotism along with some provocative dialogues. The music is good as is expected for an Anand film.

Pathaan delivers the high expectations of fans perfectly and is a blast to watch.


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