Director: Siddharth Anand
Run time: 2 hours 26 mins
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham, Ashutosh Rana, Deepika Padukone, Dimple Kapadia and others
Cinematographer: Satchith Paulose
Music director: Vishal and Sheykhar
Rating: One and a half stars
‘Pathaan’, its makers say, is a spy thriller. However, forget thrilling you, the film barely manages to even keep you interested.
Agreed that a commercial entertainer will always have the hero having the last laugh. But for it to have any impact, it must at least have a story that shows the hero defeating the villain in a believable manner.
What annoys you about the film most is the lack of a credible story. A story which is credible and new is essentail to make one relate to a film and the developments that are happening in it.
Most developments in ‘Pathaan’ either come across as being artificial or exaggerated. It is evident that they have been thrown in to glorify either the characters of the hero, the heroine or the villain. And this, in a way, dents the credibility of the story.
The makers seem to have put their faith more in fancy action sequences and raunchy songs than in a good solid story based on facts and research.
Sequence one: There are two helicopters flying at a pretty low level. One belongs to the bad guys and the other belongs to the good guys. The helicopters are hovering over a vehicle on the road in which the hero and the villain are engaged in a fist fight.
An harpoon-like arrow, with a thick metal wire at one end is shot from one helicopter into the other, to ensure that it does not get away.
Now, here is the highlight.
The villain with just his bare hands pulls down the metal wire connecting not one but two helicopters and hinges it onto a wedge atop the moving vehicle!!
Sequence two: A train is rushing at high speed on a treacherous mountain pathway. Two heroes are on top of the train taking on the bad guys who are firing at them from a helicopter hovering above. They shoot down the helicopter, which crashes on the bridge and takes it out.
As the train derails and falls into a gorge, the heroes, who are atop the first carriage of the train, which by now has begun plunging down, start running towards the last carriage and eventually make it to the safety of the hard ground!!
The heroes, the makers want us to believe, are so nimble that they can even outrun a falling train that is thundering down to its doom!
Apart from this, one other noticeable point in the film are its raunchy songs that have Deepika sizzling.
Salman Khan makes a brief appearance in an action sequence and disappears as swiftly as he appeared.
Although the story is a feeble one with some superficial twists being added to an old plot, the film has some impressive performances.
Deepika Padukone, as the Pakistani spy, shines like a newly minted penny. She puts her feminine charm to good use and plays the part of an agent, who keeps switching her loyalties, to perfection.
Shah Rukh sports a great body but the magic that he used to usher in with his presence is somehow missing in this film. He does look like an agent but fails to win your heart or mind.
John Abraham, who plays the antagonist Jim, comes up with a credible performance. He is menacing, mean and convincing. In fact, he outshines Shah Rukh in several sequences.
Very simply put, ‘Pathaan’ might impress you if you are a Shah Rukh fan but others might find it flimsy and unconvincing.