Fans have their own set of obsession towards the celebrities they idolize! And Gaurav Chanana, a character of fan played by Shahrukh Khan in his fresh release Fan, truly lives to this adage!
Gaurav Chanana (Shah Rukh Khan) from Inder Nagar, Delhi, eats, breathes, lives superstar Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh, again), This drunk-on-Aryan 25-year-old runs a cyber cafe and has as the sole purpose of his life meeting Aryan Khanna, the ‘AK Senior’ to Gaurav’s ‘Junior’. He’s not a spitting image of Aryan, but passes off as the colony’s AK during the local ‘Sitara’ competitions. So far, so good.
Gaurav wins the competition and a cash prize of Rs 20,000. He wants to go meet his superstar and dedicate the trophy to him on the latter’s birthday. And Junior wants every bit of his journey from Delhi to Mumbai to be like Senior’s first trip to the shores of the Arabian Sea. When “Aapka fan hoon, aapki zindagi ke paanch minute bhi nahi mil sakte kya mujhe?” from Gaurav is met with “Meri zindagi hai, main tumhe paanch second bhi kyu doon?” from Aryan, Chanana is pushed over the edge.
And that, the second half of Fan, keeps people on the edge. Maneesh Sharma’s story sheds its languidness of the first half and makes people sit straight and be scared post intermission. No one knows what the psychotic, obsessed, crazy Gaurav will do to get Aryan’s attention.
Between Gaurav and Aryan, Shah Rukh Khan excels in his stalker fan doppelganger, hands down. Gaurav is reminiscent of Shah Rukh’s Darr and Anjaam days. Khan pushing himself this way after his last few run-of-the-mill films is a welcome change. The superstar, as the slightly blurry version of himself, delivers a superb performance.
As the 50-something superstar ruling the box office for the last 25 years, Aryan Khanna is Shah Rukh Khan. When he doesn’t play himself, Khan does a fabulous job in front of the camera.
The supporting cast doesn’t have much to do in this SRK vs SRK play. But Deepika Amin, Yogendra Tikoo, Waluscha de Sousa, Sayani Gupta and Shriya Pilgaonkar are all able wheels to carry Fan forward. Acting-wise, everyone else fades in front of SRK’s Gaurav.
It is in the editing that Fan loses some crucial points. Namrata Rao could have snipped at least 20 minutes from the film and made it crisper and more racy. The inertia of many of the sequences in the first half is unbearable. In a film where there are no songs, this is a major drawback.
The cinematography is commendable in Fan. Manu Anand’s camera captures the bylanes of Delhi with as much expertise as the orange rooftops in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Fan, after Shah Rukh’s films like Dilwale, Happy New Year, Chennai Express and the likes, is a testament to the kind of work we have seen the actor do. After all, not for nothing has this man been able to rule people’s hearts for more than two decades. Maneesh Sharma helps dust that Shah Rukh out from under the debris of the last few years. And Khan puts his best foot forward for his fans.
In all, understanding exactly what goes on in the mind of an obsessed fan or a troubled superstar is not easy. ‘How can someone do this for a star?’ is a question that has plagued a lot of us at several points in our lives. Maneesh Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan hand-deliver that mindscape – of both the fan and the star – on the screen. And brilliantly.
Watch a slice of Gaurav Chanana’s life this week. The post-Dilwale Shah Rukh deserves that.