A characteristically exaggerated Bollywood movie, this thriller with elements of comedy and action largely refers to the personal and professional life of Shah Rukh Khan, the “King of Bollywood”. He plays the dual role of Aryan Khanna, a film star, and a young man named Gaurav, his obsessive fan and occasional impersonator. Unable to attract his idol’s attention, the frustrated Gaurav decides to steal Aryan’s identity and tarnish his image.
2016 – 138 min – action, drama, thriller
subtitles: Czech, English
directed by: Yash Chopra
cast: Shah Rukh Khan
In the world of cinema, Bollywood stands out through its star system, the scope and significance of which can only be compared to the film industries of the USA and China. Casting famous actors is one of the most important preconditions for the commercial success of a film and thus, Indian film stars get paid astronomical amounts. When creating their image, they are known for deliberately blurring the boundaries between their actual personalities and the types of characters they portray in movies. It comes therefore as no surprise that many fans in India (in some cases literally) divinize their favourite actors and consider them a meaning of their existence.
FAN reflects this phenomenon not only in its story but also in the network of allusions to the long career and personal escapades of Shah Rukh Khan, the biggest Bollywood star of today who has undergone significant changes in appearance and acting style since his film debut in 1992. One could say that the character of Aryan is based on Shah Rukh’s current image, while Gaurav draws inspiration from the roles he played in the early 90s; one need only recall the famous movie Darr (1993), where Shah Rukh portrays a deranged psychopath, obsessed not by a film star but a girl.
FAN also embodies the ambitions of today’s Bollywood filmmakers, who shoot their movies in exclusive international locations, using the services of professionals from all over the world (experienced American make-up artists, a Korean stunt coordinator), not afraid of tough challenges. In this case, the biggest challenge was the need to make Shah Rukh look younger for the role of Gaurav, which was achieved by a combination of masks and digital effects. Other films have already risen to a similar challenge, yet FAN stands out among them through the long time the “rejuvenated” character appears on screen and also through a rich variety of movements and facial expressions.
Gaurav and Aryan even meet in several elaborately staged action scenes, the choreography and stylistics of which are reminiscent of Jackie Chan’s classic Hong Kong movies.
Author: Miroslav Libicher / Translated into English by: Matouš Hájek