Home Blog Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jawan’ Review: A Thrilling Rollercoaster Ride

Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jawan’ Review: A Thrilling Rollercoaster Ride

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In this intricate yet powerful action picture from filmmaker Atlee, Shah Rukh Khan begins his own ‘Clean India Campaign’ with jawan.

In a post-January triumph with the crowd-pleasing Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan reaffirms his position as the benevolent reigning monarch of Bollywood. While his earlier film adhered to established formulas, Khan’s latest venture stretches its creative arms wider, revealing glimpses of his unique cinematic vision. This production is undeniably pan-Indian in its scope: Atlee, the emerging Tamil action stylist, imports the characteristic rowdiness and social consciousness of South Indian cinema, bringing urgent regional issues to the forefront. However, as the narrative unfolds, it appears that Atlee may have struggled to maintain complete control over the material.

Jawan operates like a star-driven locomotive, covering vast thematic terrain with surprising speed and intensity. Yet, it must be said that this ambitious approach also leads to a degree of narrative disarray.

The film’s most consistent anchor is its lead actor, who effortlessly and cleverly transitions through a spectrum of diverse personas. From his enigmatic opening line, “Who am I?” Khan keeps the audience engaged in a tantalizing exploration of the connections between the bandaged warrior liberating a village in the prologue, the gruff baldie orchestrating chaos in Mumbai’s metro, and the prison warden seeking a second chance at love. Jawan, in essence, becomes a puzzle movie where the star himself is the puzzle, offering Khan an ideal platform to showcase his versatility. He seamlessly shifts between roles, embodying a godly badass, a dandyish army veteran, and a tender-hearted individual navigating a complex stepfather-daughter relationship. While ego may play a part in this multifaceted performance, few stars, regardless of the cinematic domain, could don such radically diverse personas with such finesse.

However, the various elements surrounding him in the film are less cohesive, resembling a whirlwind of ideas—some commendable, some questionable, and others blatantly borrowed. It becomes apparent that this project might have greatly benefited from a legion of script editors, with perhaps one for every five Shah Rukhs. Atlee, the director, maintains an energetic pace throughout the film, a necessity to divert our attention from the preposterous nonsense that occasionally inundates the storyline.

Once the enigma surrounding our hero’s origins is unraveled, we are left with another perplexing aspect: How can a movie that incorporates cinema’s feeblest Matrix and Christopher Nolan references also deliver a spectacular sequence of highway-bound chaos, rivalling the thrills Hollywood could conjure? Jawan may not attain the lasting legacy of Pathaan within the Khan cinematic realm, but it undeniably serves as a semi-fascinating showcase of star power and offers a rollercoaster-like Friday-night experience, albeit with a few bumps along the way.

The elements surrounding the protagonist are far from seamlessly integrated, resembling a whirlwind of ideas that range from excellent to subpar and shamelessly borrowed. It becomes evident that this project could have greatly benefited from one script editor for every five Shah Rukhs involved. Director Atlee sustains a frantic pace in an attempt to divert our attention from the absurdities that the plot occasionally throws our way.

Once the mystery behind our hero’s origin is unraveled, we’re left with another perplexing question: How can a film that incorporates the most feeble Matrix and Christopher Nolan references in cinema also deliver a thrilling stretch of high-octane highway chaos, rivaling anything Hollywood could conjure? Jawan may not secure a lasting place in the Khan cinematic legacy, much like Pathaan, but it undeniably serves as a semi-fascinating showcase of star power, offering a rollercoaster-like Friday night experience, albeit with a few bumps along the way.

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