Pathaan Review: The Sexy Blockbuster That Was Promised To Our Shah Rukh Khan-Starved Hearts

Besharam drooling over Pathaan!
Pathaan Review: The Sexy Blockbuster That Was Promised To Our Shah Rukh Khan-Starved Hearts

I got up this morning without an alarm, put on makeup, and was out of the house, in the Mumbai winter morning, before my usual wake-up time. It was Pathaan Day, and only Shah Rukh Khan deserves this reverence. There was faith in his film like you would have in a deity. Pathaan seemed to be in the good hands, too, of director Siddharth Anand, who’s given us War. There was way too much going for this film, with Deepika Padukone doing badass stunts and slaying in every warm colour, including orange. And John Abraham bringing sexy back to black clothes and hearts, as the villain. There was curiosity about the YRF Spy Universe and the whispered promise of a Salman ‘Tiger’ Khan cameo. But more than anything, there was a thirst to see the King rule his kingdom, once again. And party agar Pathaan ke ghar par rakhoge, toh Pathaan dhamaake deliver karega hi!

Packed with action, dripping with sexiness, oozing the quintessential SRK wit and charm, and loaded with callbacks and easter eggs, Pathaan is the Blockbuster That Was Promised, from the Badshah of Bollywood.


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The plot is… predictable, but never not thrilling. Dimple Kapadia is the head of J.O.C.R (pronounced JOKER), an organisation made up of ‘broken’ ex-soldiers of India, who still want to fight the fight. She’s on her way to extract Pathaan from abroad after a grave security threat to the country emerges. In flashback, we find out the unit was Pathaan’s idea. If you watched the trailer and joined the dots, you know that Ashutosh Rana is the War link embedded here. As Col. Luthra, he is the skeptic senior who is not a fan of this ragtag team of ‘toote hue ande ke chhilke’ as he calls them. However, when faced with the threat of Outfit X, led by a former RAW agent turned mercenary-for-hire, Jim (John Abraham), Pathaan is dispatched to counter it.

He fails, Jim escapes, and now there’s an even bigger threat, which only Pathaan can diffuse. So, let’s get the party started. But wait, not without Deepika Padukone as Rubiya, who is playing an agent too, but I’ll leave her story for you to discover yourselves. It’s more fun that way.

Pathan is a sexy, stylish rehash of your favourite spy films. And a bombastic lead-in into YRF’s Avengers Initiative

Director Siddharth Anand (with a screenplay by Shridhar Raghavan) takes the best of a lot of worlds and puts his own spin on it. There’s a little Mission Impossible (the stunts), a little MCU (the Avengers Assemble of Bollywood’s superstars), some James Bond, and a lot of War and Ek The Tiger (especially the relationship between Pathan and Rubiya’s characters) showing in Pathaan. There are as many logic-defying sequences as there are gravity-defying stunts. But when your heart’s in the game, do these questions even matter? Pathaan sticks to its guns and punches it all in with conviction, peppering over the few unbelievable moments with hotness, style, humour, punchy dialogues (Abbas Tyrewala) and SRK’s unwavering charm. And BOOM, your defences have been breached.

Also Read: Twitter’s Verdict On Pathaan Is Here. Shah Rukh Khan Is Ruling The Theatres Already!

Put Shah Rukh Khan on the roof of a train and add a friend, and this man will show you the best time. The Pathaan-Tiger-War eventual crossover is the worst-kept secret. But to still thrill your audience with clever seeding of these bits, which don’t look forced and actually elicit “Oh!” moments, is a mission well accomplished. The YRF Spy Universe has been announced, and Pathaan is a nice welcome into its Avengers-Esque Initiative. But what I loved about this attempt is just how natural and obvious progression it felt for YRF to do this. What’s more, they did it in the most entertaining way. I was clapping, hooting, cheering, and promising myself to return to the theatres to watch the film once again.

The makers of Pathaan clearly know what the audience is thirsting for, and deliver fatal doses of it, unadulteratedly, into their veins. Lots of SRK—his long hair flying in reckless abandon or tied up in a messy bun—in larger-than-life sequences, doing stunts, seducing women, flexing his cheeky SRK wit, flashing those abs, and mouthing cheesy one-liners that drip patriotism. The camera both reveres and lusts after Shah Rukh Khan. In one of the final scenes, there’s a shot of him, lit in a way that makes him look like a superhero, broken and bruised but unbeatable. But his Pathaan is human after all. He makes human mistakes. He flirts irreverently his touch lingers and his eyes waver on women’s bodies. And he even makes a ridiculous joke about boobs.

And yet, Shah Rukh Khan in every frame of Pathaan made every single drop of feminism leave my body. The camera worshipped him, and so did my eyes.

Also Read: Alia Bhatt, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, And More Celebs Cheer For Pathaan!

As we’ve seen in War, Siddharth Anand knows how to make the men in his movies so desirable that it ignites something in your loins. And this one has two of them, plus Deepika. My eyes were playing table tennis with the hotness that was on the screen!

John Abraham, the man who made bad look sexy in YRF’s Dhoom, makes it look sexier in Pathaan. John’s stoic expressions or sometimes even the lack of any are usually criticised. But here, they make him the perfect baddie. He doesn’t care about anyone, anything, or any stakes and is driven by blind revenge. His back story touches on a very crucial issue, of how employers take in work but don’t show as much commitment when it comes to caring for the employee’s well-being when things get tough. I would’ve wanted Jim to be a little edgier and crazier, but John still manages to make Jim a fitting adversary to the emotional Pathaan.

And then, there’s Deepika Padukone. Words fail to describe just how sexy she looks in the film. Watching ‘Besharam Rang’ in a theatre is a very personal experience because you do not know where to look, at SRK or DP! I love the outfits (orange has never looked hotter), the accessories (bold, gold, and statement-making!), the attitude that only Deepika could. It all looks very Bond girl, but fortunately, she’s got her share of badassery to pull off, which she does, without a hair out of place. We need DP in more action sequences and firing big guns, please. What a sight!

Dimple Kapadia is running her own universe where she has been playing strong supporting female characters who run the show while the heroes and villains are off doing their thing. She’s done it with Tenet, Brahmāstra, and now Pathaan, and she’s good at it! Ashutosh Rana does it all: keeping everyone grounded, providing comic relief, and representing the limitations of The Man to make The Hero look larger than life in comparison.

Also Read: What To Watch January 23 to 29: Pathaan, Shotgun Wedding, And More


Apni kursi ki booking kar lo theatre mein. Pathaan is a total Shah Rukh Khan fan fest. It delivers on its every promise, not least of which is drooling over that lead cast. The film both satiates your hunger to see Shah Rukh Khan on screen, and then makes you hungrier for whatever is next from this YRF spy universe. I’m ready for these Bollywood Avengers to assemble. As Salman Khan says in the attached teaser of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, “Bring it on.”

PS: Stay in your kursi after the credits roll with ‘Jhoome Jo Pathaan’. Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!

Pathaan, directed by Siddharth Anand and produced by Yash Raj Films, is in theatres.

SRK, Deepika Padukone’s Pathaan Gets UA Certificate After 10 Cuts

Jinal Bhatt

A Barbie girl with Oppenheimer humour. Sharp-tongue feminist and pop culture nerd with opinions on movies, shows, books, patriarchy, your boyfriend, everything.

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