In FAN director Maneesh Sharma asks fans all over the world one simple question. How far are you willing to go to meet your idol? Well the answer in FAN is absolutely anything as Gaurav Chandna’s life literally revolves around the world of mega superstar Aryan Khanna. At the beginning we want Gaurav to meet his idol but the realization clicks in that his fandom has turned into obsession, which takes him down a dark road. It’s an interesting premise that has its hiccups, but you’re never bored because Shah Rukh Khan delivers a performance for all ages.
Gaurav (SRK), worships at the feet, has photos plastered on the wall of Aryan Khanna (SRK) who he calls his God. When asked why he only cares about Aryan he says he’s a fan. At his colony’s local talent contest he pays homage by dancing to the actor’s dance numbers and wins the top prize every year. After winning the top prize and gathering enough money, he heads out to Mumbai alone to achieve his dream to meet Aryan on his birthday. However, when things don’t go according to plan, Gaurav’s obsession with Aryan crosses the line.
Although there are mostly positives to take away from the film, FAN does have it flaws. As you sit and ask yourself in the first half of the film people didn’t care to notice that Gaurav and Aryan look alike. However, somehow in the second half he manages to fool everyone from the fans, to London cops, and Aryan’s own wife. You must also wonder that someone who’s as famous as Aryan why is he chasing Gaurav in the streets of Delhi and not sending his goons after the lookalike?
Yet when the script slips, SRK never does as he keeps you invested in both characters. Using VFX and prosthetics, matching step for step from dancing to smiling to delivering dialogues, Gaurav is charming and lovable in the first bit of the film. However, once his fandom turns to obsession, he plays Gaurav in the creepiest way, like a sick stalker fan.
Yet it’s Aryan Khanna the mega superstar that resembles SRK real-life persona is the one that stands out. As King Khan may be a heartthrob, the most charming, and a lovable and caring actor who loves his “fans” in real-life but in this film he’s anything but that.
Aryan lives life, larger-than-life, as he shows up on his balcony to wave to the thousands of fans who have come out to get a glimpse of the superstar. The filmmaker actually shows real-life footage of Khan’s interaction with his fans. Even though he’s playing himself in the film, SRK deserves credit for playing an egotistical superstar, who’s stubborn and refuses to take any responsibility for the situation he finds himself in. There are even some points in the film where Aryan is unapologetic about dancing at a wedding for money or bribing a police officer in London.
Despite its plot hole and head scratching moments, Maneesh Sharma deserves credit for putting out this bold project as FAN is an out of control thriller that keeps you on the edge until the final credits role. I’m giving the film two-and-a-half stars and an additional one star to SRK alone so that’s three-and-a-half stars for FAN. Watch it for Shah Rukh Khan who delivers a performance for the ages.