Pathaan Movie Review: “Pathaan” is a highly ambitious action thriller that marks Shah Rukh Khan’s return to the big screen after a four-year hiatus. The film is directed by Siddharth Anand and follows India’s revocation of Article 370, which had given special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and its impact on a Pakistani officer who wants India to pay for this “mistake.”
The officer reaches out to Jim, an ex-RAW agent wronged by his own people, and is joined by his accomplice, Rubai, an ex-ISI agent with ambiguous motives. The three engage in a dangerous game of betrayal and revenge as they hop continents and race to destroy and protect the worlds they believe in.
Anand’s direction is over-the-top and presents the film more like a superhero film, requiring a massive suspension of disbelief. His fascination with mainstream Hollywood blockbusters like Marvel films and Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible” series is evident in the film’s exaggerated action and chase sequences, death-defying stunts, immortal heroes and villains, and a femme fatale. The film is high on star power and style, but the writing is far-fetched.
The film’s highlight is John Abraham’s solid portrayal of Jim, who steals the show with his Bane-like masked entry and stunt sequences. Deepika Padukone is perfectly cast as Rubina but her chemistry with SRK feels lackluster and underdeveloped. Dimple Kapadia also gives a strong performance, lending the film much-needed emotional depth. The background score doesn’t always feel in sync with the scenarios, but the title music manages to reflect the heroism and bravado on display.
Overall, “Pathaan” is a filmy, over-the-top action thriller that plays to the gallery. While it has its flaws, it is carried by the star power and presence of Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham, and Deepika Padukone. The film is a part of YRF’s spy universe and is an origin story of an ex-army man turned undercover agent Pathaan and his arch-nemesis Jim. If you’re willing to overlook the frivolity in the dialogue and enjoy non-stop action, glamorous leads, and a high-octane set piece, “Pathaan” is the film for you.