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Jawaan Movie Review: 2.5 Stars




Rating: ** ½

The best thing  about this  maara-maari-thon  is  , no  not Shah Rukh Khan(he’s beyond human evaluation of excellence) but Deepika Padukone.  She shows up in this exacerbated show  of  flamboyant  showmanship post  midpoint and  instantly lights up the screen with her luminous presence.

 Wish she  didn’t have to  go. Sadly all good things must come to an end. Deepika’s exit  ushers in another wave of  indescribably  kinetic  action scenes,  some of them on the road, others  in  confined  spaces where the  atmosphere  is  so sullen , I wished Deepika  would  turns up again to  bring a bit  sunshine into the  glum.

Jawaan  is a  bit like dipping your feet  into a slushy toxic  pond.  You know it will sully you  indelibly,. But you can’t help it. There is  so much here to  celebrate , and  the characters  keep bursting  into dances to Anirudh Ravichander’s cacophonic songs(if that is what they are)although I am   never quite  sure what  they are celebrating  as the plot manoeuvres  from one mound of mayhem  to another  , and that too in a  non-linear passage of time.

Bet the  editor(Livingston Anthony Ruben)  had fun shuffling the  lives of the two Shah Rukh Khans(yes he  plays  father  and  son Rathore, told apart by the grey hair  and  gruff demeanour of Daddyjaan Vikram)  like  a pack of  cards. So we begin with  a ruggedly  violent preamble in a North East  state where  SRK as  Vikram Rathore  rises from the dead  and saves  a whole village .Thirty years later his  son Azad  first saves  farmers from suicide(the noose is quite rampant  in the  plot)   by  holding the  industries’ minister’s daughter (named Alia, hence the Bhatt joke) then saves  India’s healthcare  by bamboozling India’s health  minister.

 I held my breath  for the  Minister of  Information  & Broadcasting to be pulled up for  the state  of our cinema. Maybe in  the sequel?  There are seeds for a sequel in this orgy of comicbook violence, not to be confused with the authentic bloodbath violence  of this week’s other  release Haddi

In Jaawan  the  action is  designed to make  Shah Rukh Khan look many sizes larger than  life.Please don’t mind.In both  the father and  son avatar he gets juicy  SRK-type lines  and a  lineup of delectable   ladies at  his  beck and call. In fact there is a  whole  ladies’ jail  where Shah Rukh is  the jailer.

Save the kinky thoughts for  some other  time. This vigilante  and  his  army of female  soldiers  mean business.

There is  so much meanness  in the business that villain Vijay Sethupathi operates. He  brazenly sells guns  to the Indian army that don’t work; and when questioned he  says the  soldiers  didn’t read the instruction manual  as  it was in a foreign  language.

 Director Atlee has  studied the  fine-print  of  the manual on how to make a SRK masala  film. He  gives us  uninterrupted  episodes  of  Shah-nomics ranging from virulent vigilantism to  parenting  a fatherless  little girl who insists he  marry  her mother played by Tamil cinema’s ‘Lady Superstar’ Nayanthara who seems lost in the bedlam.

Oh yes,  there are  other ladies  serving as  Azad Rathore’s soldiers  in a rogue army that  thinks it can mend all the ills  of  our society with bullying tactics.  The  film’s  heart bleeds and cries for us Indians  who are seem  to be victims  of an irredeemably  corrupt administration.  But the solution offered is seriously anarchic. Not that anyone cares. As long as  SRK  gets to pound the  corroded system  with his  bare hands, all is well with the world.

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