The espionage thriller staples of non-stop action, attractive protagonists, the hero who can save the world, a high-octane set piece, and one emo line at a time are all present in Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s film. The top priority is Bollywood’s revival. Shah Rukh Khan has returned. For a time now, Hindi films have been creating the “desi” versions of the Bond-Bourne series. In a fast-paced double-feature, Agent Vinod played the role of “Zinda,” while Bell did her part. The bottom has flexed and flared, but it is “Pathan” with Shah Rukh Khan acting as the action avatar and flaunting the floppy-hair-glittering-aviators-eight packs look that has the espionage movie-laced-with-heavy doses-of-patriotism bouncing off the screen.
The very skinny Deepika Padukone, who matched SRK stride for stride, gave Katrina Kaif, who kicked serious ass in Tiger 2, stiff competition. Additionally, Dimple Kapadia plays the sassy counterpart to Moneypenny, building on her blink-and-miss performance in Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet.” And John Abraham, who portrays the main antagonist, makes the most of his speaking opportunity.
The plot involves a large number of spies, cynical RAW directors (Ashutosh Rana), evil ISI generals, and armed terrorists hiding out in hot-spots all around the world. Pakistan is giving Kashmir new attention. India-born Jim has given up on the ship. Deepika Padukone’s gorgeous ISI agent Rubina appears equally at home in a swimsuit and skin-tight spandex. A deadly virus that is much worse than Covid 19 is being developed in top-secret labs. There is a very genuine threat, and desh-ke-dushman are creeping everywhere. The best and bravest Indian, Pathan (Shah Rukh Khan), is close so that you may unwind.
“Pathan” is that seek jawaab of this beaten-down pathway, who pulls off several feats in his comeback after several medium, bad to terrible movies:
· Gives it to the #BoycottBollywood brigade.
· Pulls off the cluttered, messy look with those abs showing.
· Gives us a laugh-out-loud moment; and saves Bharat Mata.
The release of the film coincides with SRK and Bollywood coming under fire. It’s noteworthy that the star chooses not to take the safer Rahul/Raj route in these circumstances. He is out there, asserting his roots and the professional persona he has worked so hard to develop over the course of almost thirty years.