The Hindi film Jawan is directed by Atlee and stars Shah Rukh Khan Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Deepika Padukone, Eijaz Khan, and Sunil Grover.
Where can you watch Jawan in the UAE?
+ Energetic fight set-pieces
+ Adroit mix of masala moments
– Weak villain character
– No new story
This is a Shah Rukh Khan movie. But we will start with the director, Atlee. The man has directed four Tamil films before this. Save for his debut vehicle, Raja Rani (2013), his three other movies — Theri (2016), Mersal (2017) and Bigil (2019) — have all featured the Tamil star Vijay as the lead. All of them were unabashed efforts to service the star.
But within that, Atlee, who began his career under the tutelage of ace director Shankar, managed to infuse typical underdog vigilante story and grandeur. Atlee also showed plenty of yen for action sequences. His movies, in general, are a lattice of set pieces stretched by a fraction of the story. They may seem to lack a soul as they are all carefully stitched together, but it is a tailor-made template for stars.
No wonder the biggest star of them all, Shah Rukh Khan, picked Atlee out of the blue.
- 10 Best Shah Rukh Khan movies you should have already watched
- New Movies and TV Series this Week in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam
- New Hindi movies on Netflix, Prime Video and Cinemas in UAE
Going by Jawan, it would seem that King Khan knew what he was getting into and what he would get back in return. His instincts have stood him in good stead as Jawan is a typical over-the-top mix-and-match masala entertainer that ticks all the boxes that an average star fan would walk into a cinema hall for.
SRK has been provided with a platter to serve all his winsome wares — sparkling comedy, touching emotion, vivacious dance and energetic action — and the star does that with efficiency and elan. To make it taste good, the film takes up the issue of corruption in arms purchases, the rotting system of health care in the country, farmers’ issues and malfeasance in electoral politics. Even though it is all lip service, Atlee and co-writer S Ramanagirivasan have neatly assembled it all and let SRK’s charisma do the rest.
The main story arc involves Vikram Rathore (Shah Rukh Khan), an honest officer who sought to be finished by the arms-selling mafia. In the present, six indefatigable women (Priya Mani, Sanya Malhotra and others), led by Captain Azad (SRK), are also up to some daredevil acts for social good cause.
Thrown into this lot is Narmada (Nayanthara), the government person who is out to capture Azad. But she can’t even identify him when he is nearby. Never mind, this is a commercial potboiler where logic goes for a toss. Oh yeah, there is Kaali (Vijay Sethupathi) the evil kingpin of the arms mafia. There is even more place for an extended (and enjoyable) cameo for Deepika Padukone in this people-heavy movie.
The plot is convoluted, and retelling it here doesn’t serve much purpose. But that is not the point of the movie. It is all about putting SRK’s heroics on show. As the two Rathores, the Khan oozes machismo and style in the right measure. His snarky humour works big time, and lines like ‘bete ko haath lagane se pehle baap se baat kar’, with their real-life resonance, add to the rousing masala quotient.
Among the women, Nayanthara is okay. But as a pair with SRK, we have seen better ones. Priya Mani is full of spunk as the fighting woman. Deepika’s guest appearance is energetic, leaving you asking for more. Sany Malhotra has nothing much to do. The Vijay Sethupathy character is the weakest in the film, and as a villain, he has nothing new to sink his teeth into. His performance also seems distracted.
But Atless isn’t. He has understood the formula. So has Anirudh the musician; he is now India’s ace for scoring music for star vehicles.
SRK banked on Atlee, who was humble enough to devise a script that banked on SRK’s star power. The rest is scenery.
An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.