Pathan (aka) Pathan Reviews

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Pathan is an action spy thriller film written and directed by Siddharth Anand, and produced by Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films. It is the fourth film in the YRF Spy Universe and stars Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles. John Abraham, Ashutosh Rana, Dimple Kapadia and others play important supporting roles.

Pathan (Shah Rukh Khan) is an Indian Army officer who is badly injured during a mission. Upon his return, he puts together a team of similar officers who are off duty due to physical injuries but are mentally strong. On the other hand, Jim (John Abraham) is hired by a Pakistani army general to “bring India to its knees” after the Indian government abrogated Article 370 of its constitution. How Pathan foils Jim’s plans and saves the country forms the story of the film.

Before Pathan, films like Tiger Zinda Hai, Ek Tha Tiger and War have come, which are part of the YRF Spy Universe. All these movies are spy action movies with a weak plot and lots of action. Pathan is no different as you have an action block every 15 minutes. The film sticks to this genre and does not hold back the punches.

There are backstories for Deepika, Shah Rukh and John Abraham’s characters but the film deliberately avoids delving into them. They only appear in the form of dialogues spoken by the characters and not as separate scenes. And all this backstory is revealed in the first half itself, setting up a second half that had the right environment to move forward at jet speed.

However, it turns out to be the opposite as the first half moves at the right pace, without too many boring moments. Despite the flashback stories, you do not feel the passage of time. The action sequences of the first half are also very innovative at the conceptual level. The placement of the twists are well timed and they work very well.

The second half becomes highly predictable, and the action sequences slowly stop thrilling you. As soon as these action sets fail, the writing problems become visible. There is a cameo by Salman Khan which will definitely make the fans of both the superstars go crazy. This is the only standout moment in the second half.

Shah Rukh Khan excels as Pathan and carries the entire film on his shoulders, mainly because he is the only one whose performance is memorable. John Abraham is well portrayed but his limited expressions don’t help the cause of the film. As time passes, Deepika Padukone’s role in the film gets reduced. In the first half she thunders several times but in the second half she does nothing.

The music, editing and stunt choreography combine to give us an immersive cinematic experience. The makers have chosen to present the film in a stylish manner and it shows in the cinematography. Technically, the film has set a high standard for itself and reaches it. Plays an important role in keeping the audience engaged. The train fight sequence in particular serves as a sample of how solid Pathan is.

Overall, despite screenplay issues and a weak second half, Pathan works majorly because of Shah Rukh’s screen presence and how well the film sticks together. The intent is clear from the very first scene, where despite having a huge opportunity to be a political drama involving India and Pakistan, the film is happy to be a spy action, and the mission is successful.

Decision: Pathan sees Shah Rukh setting the screen on fire, providing a solid entertainer.

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