'Jawan' is out in theatres. If there is a word that can describe it best, it is this: Shankar-esque. Director Atlee throws logic to the winds and lets Shah Rukh Khan do the heavy lifting. In this review, we are going to tell you what to expect and what not to expect from the Hindi-Telugu-Tamil release:
As the film begins, a young man (SRK) who is about to die saves a tribe that comes under a sudden attack. Thirty years later, another young man (SRK, again) masquerading as an oldie hijacks a local metro in Mumbai. In the metro rail is the daughter of an evil merchant of death named Kaali (Vijay Sethupathi). The masked man leaves none in doubt about his intentions: he is a vigilante fighting for the underprivileged, especially farmers.
Who is the masked man? Who are his army of women (named Lakshmi, Eeram, Ishkra, Kalki, Helena and Janhvi)? What happened to the mighty vanquisher who lived thirty years ago? Answers to these questions are found as the story progresses.
By now, SRK has been inundated with superlative praises. 'Jawan' is not his best performance in recent years. He was better in 'Pathaan', actually. What makes him adorable is difficult to put into words. By playing a dual role at a time when the template has become old-fashioned, he shows that he is ready for old-school ideas if fashioned by an Atlee (the film's director).
The biggest surprise is Deepika Padukone's screen time (not to be confused with the performance). She plays an extended lead role and reigns supreme in the Numero Uno flashback (there are other, tiny flashbacks in the film).
Vijay Sethupathi is a bore. His dialogue delivery is unnatural. Priyamani as Lakshmi struggles to emote. Sanya Malhotra and Riddhi Dogra are far better in comparison.
Anirudh Ravichander's background music is very good. The Tamil and Telugu audience can't shake off the memories of 'Vikram' and 'Jailer'. So, he will lose if we do the comparison game. But the Hindi audience will surely find his score quite refreshing and amazing. GK Vishnu's cinematography breathes life into the frames. The action scenes were quite difficult to be shot.
The production values. Red Chillies Entertainment is on a roll. The VFX, the sound design and other elements that make the theatrical experience worthy are very good.
The action set pieces. The stunt choreography (led by Anl Arasu and Yannick Ben) is top-tier.
The film's ability to blend vigilantism with cinematic elements like action.
Too much of Shankar-esque thinking. Atlee's writing doesn't match the thrills of an 'Aparichitudu' and the emotional depth of a 'Bharateeyudu', though.
The propagandist nature of the film. Loan write-offs are not waivers. Filmmakers, especially agenda-driven directors, don't understand the basics and yet peddle nonsense with unreal confidence.
The thinking of 'Jawan' is stuck in the 1990s and 1980s. Since then, health insurance has percolated down to the masses. Think of Ayushman Bharat, a game-changing scheme. Yet, films like 'Jawan' promote a dystopian view of India.
Convenient screenplay. For example, a female character is diagnosed with pregnancy just seconds before capital punishment is executed.
The portrayal of jail inmates as cheerful and good-looking people. Is it a prison or a women's college?
'Jawan' may be an ill-informed and lazily-written film, but it gets its commercial values right. Despite its petty political agenda, it somehow manages to seem neutral and unbiased.