Saturday, April 23, 2016

Fan—Of Devotion And Obsession

Michael Macrone's It's Greek to Me! details the etymology of the word 'fan'. According to him, the word 'fanatic' is derived from the Latin word fanum meaning a temple. Its meaning as someone who is zealous or a zealot is derived from the behavior of priests who served the Roman war goddess Bellona at a fanum built by the military dictator Sulla in the first century B.C. It is believed that every year the priests used to stage a festival during which they tore off their robes and hacked themselves with axes, splattering blood everywhere. This behavior was thought to be a sign of divine inspiration, and fanaticus came to mean something like crazed by the gods. When the word fanatic first appeared in English in the sixteenth century, it meant a crazy person. Eventually, the word was shortened to form fan, which simply means a devotee or an adherent. Maneesh Sharma's Fan is a story of one such fan Gaurav Chandna (Shah Rukh Khan), a devotee of his God Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh Khan, again), who becomes a fanatic.

The premise of the movie is that a fan looks like the star he is a fan of. Not only is this spooky, but it gives immense power to the fan to actually wreck havoc in his star's life. Early in the film we see that Gaurav owns a cyber café that is named AK Cyber Chat after his favorite star. On the entry gate of his shop, the word photocopy is written. It is befitting to show the photocopy because Gaurav is indeed a copy. In fact, when the goons come at his shop, one of them even calls him photocopy. For many kids, superheroes are their idols. Gaurav calls the two young kids in his cyber café as Superman and Batman, and shuts their game down as he has no interest in them, because his only superhero is Aryan. The cyber café is also a statement on how the internet has played an important role in reducing distances between the stars. One can instantly connect to their favorite stars using the internet, something completely impossible ages ago. The social media, such as Facebook, Twiitter, and WhatsApp, play another crucial role in the film, which Gaurav uses not only to reach Aryan, but also as a weapon to tar Aryan's image.
In the beginning of the film, Gaurav says he followed 'cut-copy-paste' actions of Aryan, and he and Aryan are made of the same mitti. Whatever was left of the mitti that God used to make Aryan, she used it to make Gaurav. He says, "Main aur vo alag alag hai, dur hai, lekin ek hai." They are poles apart, but there is an essential sameness in the two of them. Not only they look like each other, but also they share some similar traits. Early in the film, Gaurav asks his dad to put perfume on him. When he is getting ready to meet Aryan in Mumbai, he again sprays perfume on himself, and later, in two scenes, we see Aryan, too, putting a perfume on himself. When Aryan's assistant calls Gaurav 'sanki', Aryan replies back, "Accha toh main kya hun?" They both are sanki and crazy, perhaps, Aryan is even more crazy in some ways. When Gaurav enters Aryan's study, he says to Aryan's wife that Aryan collects memories of the days that he wants to keep closer. Memories samet ke rakhna chahta hai apne pass. Likewise, Gaurav also collects memories of Aryan with him. Both Aryan and Gaurav collect memories. In their final confrontation, Aryan explains to Gaurav that there is not much difference between him and Gaurav, and he started from the same humble beginnings like that of Gaurav.
Not only common traits, but also there is the recurring motif of reflections in Fan. Gaurav and Aryan are look alikes of each other. There is an interdependent relationship between them. Gaurav hai to Aryan hai, Gaurav nahi to Aryan kuch bhi nahi. Later, Gaurav writes on the mirror in Aryan's room, "Main hun to tu hai." It is a fabulous scene when Aryan and Guarav meet for the first time. They are sitting opposite each other in a room with mirrors on two opposite sides. In the mirror behind them, we see the image-in-an-image pattern till infinity. The film is full of meta references and the scene perfectly encapsulates that concept. Image in an image. Story in a story. The two men who look like each other are themselves sitting opposite each other, as if each is the reflection of the other. In fact, the entire film is full of mirrors, rather I should say images. At so many times, we see the characters in the mirrors. When Gaurav is travelling without a ticket in the train, we see his face in a mirror on the berth. When the ticket master saves him from jumping, his face is again seen as a reflection behind him. Later, we see Aryan in front of mirror, smiling and looking at himself. In another scene, he examines his face in the mirror. One of the significant events in the film happens at Madame Tussauds—a place where exact replicas of real-life personalities are kept. There is something very dark about a living look-alike guy calling a look-alike wax statue as fake, when both of them are actually copies of another real-life personality. When Gaurav dances in front of Aryan's images at the competition, it feels as if Aryan is Gaurav's reflection at the back. In the final scene, when Gaurav finally gets the hug he wanted, Aryan gives an advice to Gaurav, "Jo mazaa apni pehchaan ke saath jeene me hai, vo kisi dusre ki parchchai banne me nahi." The pleasure that one gets by living with your own identity is much more than living as someone's shadow with no identity of your own. This was the inherent message of the film as well.
 
The poster of the film also tries to show us the reflection theme. We see both of them side by side in the poster. There is the face of Gaurav, shining in the light similar to that of the sun (or fire, or something warm). Next to him, lies the face of Aryan, shining in the light similar to that of the moon (or water or something cold). Gaurav Chandna has the name 'Chand' that means the moon. Aryan Khanna has 'Aryan' that means someone related to the sun. Aryan is the superstar, and the sun is also called as the largest star (superstar). The moon has no light of its own, but its light is a reflection from the light of the sun. The moon is dependent on the sun for its light. Likewise, we see this dependent relation in the film's poster where Gaurav is like the sun, while Aryan is like the moon, quite opposite to the words in their names. In another poster, the color of light on the two of them are reversed, matching their names (Aryan in sun, and Gaurav in moon) signifying the interdependent relation between the two of them. A fan needs a superstar, but a superstar also needs a fan. Main hun to tu hai. Without the two, the individual entities cannot survive, which the film later shows us, too. This is also seen at many other points in film. When Gaurav is in prison, there is a constant shift between the moonlight and the sunlight that falls on his face. In another brilliant touch, when Gaurav falls to his death, there is a set of lights that fall with him, and the color of those lights is again yellow and blue, like the sun and the moon. There are no other lights that fall with Gaurav. Mid-way through his fall, the lights went off, perhaps, as a reminder of the life lost. A superstar lost a fan, and a fan lost a superstar. Both Aryan and Gaurav lost . 
Shah Rukh is no stranger to controversy. All through his career, there have been enough incidents in his life that he has been (in)famously associated with, and that have given much fodder to the media. It is worth applauding that Fan refers some of these incidents and Shah Rukh does not shy away from their portrayal on the screen. The scene where he talks about giving a slap to Sid Kapoor (SK) was quite reminiscent of the slap he had given to Shirish Kunder (or Salman Khan—both SK). The #AKvsSK could be interpreted as the constant Twitter battle between the fans of Shah Rukh and Salman Khan (SK). At one point in the film, the media talks about Aryan as an ageing star whose films have started to flop, and his position is threatened by Sid Kapoor. This criticism is often heard for real life Shah Rukh whose last few films have not been well received. When Hrithik came on the scene in the early 2000s, everyone started saying that Shah Rukh's career is finished. Shah Rukh is quoted saying that he was afraid to venture out at that time. Later, we see Aryan dance at the wedding of industrialist Bhutiani's daughter, very much like when Shah Rukh danced at industrialist Laxmi Mittal's daughter in Paris. After all, I am spending a bomb on you. Only you can. Shah Rukh was paid £300,000 to dance at that reception, an amount that most people won't see in their life time. When Aryan is chasing Gaurav, at many times, Aryan is seen holding his back, and Shah Rukh over the years, has undergone multiple surgeries due to his back injuries. At one point, even the ticker in the news channel shows that someone named Shiv Rawail (also credited as film's assistant director) purchased Bhubaneswar Bulls, a nod to Shah Rukh's investment in Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.The whole boycott of Aryan due to the sexual harassment case in Fan is eerily similar to the recent absolutely rubbish debate around intolerance, where Shah Rukh was quoted heavily out of context, and the nutcases demanded his boycott. When Aryan's show is about to take place, not one person showed up. He is standing all alone in the auditorium, staring at his own abyss, as if his fear has come true. In numerous interviews, Shah Rukh has said that losing the top position is his biggest fear. I am scared of losing. I am scared of coming second. I am scared of not making it big. It is fear that drives him, and he has spent half his life wanting to be loved. The story and screenplay of the film pay a tribute to Shah Rukh's films and his life. It is some kind of cosmic connection that Shah Rukh's first film was also titled Deewana—crazy. In fact, the very first scene of Fan is taken from a sequence of Deewana, his first film, where Shah Rukh dressed in blue pants and blue shirt does a rollover jump. Gaurav is like the crazy and the passionate lover from Darr, but his love is for Aryan. There is the tribute to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and the mandolin. The chase sequences in Dubrovnik at the roof tops reminded me of the race sequence in Main Hoon Na. The climax is a silent tribute to the epic falling scene in Baazigar. Shah Rukh has played numerous double roles in his films, such as Duplicate, Paheli, Rab Ne Banaa Di Jodi, Ra.One, Om Shanti Om and Don. The film reminded me a lot of Don. When I first saw the trailer, I felt that eventually, something like the twist in Don would happen where Gaurav will become Aryan. Although it did not happen exactly, Aryan and Gaurav did end up becoming each other. I cannot think of another star who would has put his real life and his story on screen with such detail.  
In Zoya Akhtar's brilliant and the-one-movie-I-can-never-stop-talking-about Luck By Chance, Zafar Khan's character, played by Hrithik Roshan, is also inspired by Shah Rukh Khan. At one point, Zafar sits in front of the mirror and explains to Romi Rolly (Rishi Kapoor) that he is not Zafar Khan. "Zafar Khan ek image hai. He is an icon. I work for Zafar Khan." Years ago, Shah Rukh had given a similar statement in an interview in which he had said, "I am just an employee of the Shah Rukh Khan myth." Later, at another point in Luck By Chance, Karan Johar meets Zafar Khan at a party, and tells him his theory of how a new hero is born in the industry. He, then, quotes how Shah Rukh Khan got a break in the industry. Hearing this, Zafar Khan feels vulnerable if he made the right decision to let go of Romi Rolly film, and in that scene, he does not say anything, yet his eyes say everything. It is kind of ironical that Zafar is played by Hrithik Roshan who himself was the new star who threatened the stardom of Shah Rukh Khan when Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai became a massive blockbuster hit, and Hrithik became the darling of the nation. Finally, in perhaps, what is my favorite scene from Luck By Chance, Shah Rukh himself makes an appearance with his entourage. He meets Vikram (Farhan Akhtar) and advises him to never forget the people who were there with him when he was a nobody. With a mean streak in his eyes, he says, "Stardom ek cocktail hai, fame power, money. Bahut khatarnak nasha hai. It's insane. Lekin ek baat maine bahut jaldi samajh li thi. Unhe mat bhoolo, jo tumhe jab jaante the, jab tum kuch nahi the. Kyunki bas yahi hai jo hamesha tumhe sach bolenge." In Fan, Shah Rukh Khan is played by Shah Rukh Khan himself as Aryan Khanna, like Shah Rukh Khan was played by Hrithik Roshan as Zafar Khan in Luck By Chance. Like Zafar, Aryan is often found in front of mirrors. At one point, Aryan is looking at himself in the mirror, is massaging his cheeks, and is displaying a haunting vulnerability where Aryan seems threatened by the rise of the upcoming star Sid Kapoor, like Zafar did in the party. And, like Luck By Chance, Fan, is based on the real-life persona of Shah Rukh Khan.
Fan continuously surprised me with its darker, sometimes, almost creepy undertones. Fan compares the relationship of a fan and a star like that of devotee and his God. When Gaurav is about to participate in the Super Sitara competition, his dad asks him why is he wasting time and money in participating. Gaurav replies that the prize money is twenty thousand rupees, which his father won't give him to meet Aryan. He, then, says to his father, when he goes to the Hanuman temple every week by changing four buses, and donates one hundred and one rupees every time, isn't that, too, time waste? For Gaurav, Aryan is his God. Think about it, the entire world is fighting wars over God, someone whose existence is not even proven, and they call a fan crazy who wants to go and meet someone who at least is real. So, who is the crazier one? Gaurav who worships a real human, or the people who worship an imaginary God? There is also a somewhat related theme of stature between the two of them. Gaurav sees Aryan for the first time from a lower platform, while Aryan is shown at a higher place. When Gaurav meets Aryan in person for the first time in prison, he is lying on the prison floor, and cannot even get up properly while Aryan stands tall in front of him, reflectng the lower stature of a devotee in front of his God. There is a similar dynamic seen in their chase sequences where Aryan is seen at a height. At some point, Aryan tells Gaurav that if he has to make him fall, he will have to first reach him. During the end, it is Gaurav who climbs the stairs to see Aryan performing on stage as if he finally made Aryan reach his level. Gaurav's death occurs when Aryan is seeing him falling from a height. Nothing in the film is without some reason, and the film is meticulously detailed. Like even the food choices are shown consistently. When Gaurav is going to Mumbai, he orders a vegetable thaali, and when he is Dubrovnik, he orders a vegetable sandwich.
When Gaurav runs away from Hotel Delite, the chase sequence that follows is fascinating. At one point in that sequence, Gaurav is jumping from parapet to parapet, he runs into the 'fan' of the air conditioner. In the next moment, he catches a wire that came from another 'fan', this time a table fan, from inside the room. The fan (table fan) inside the room falls, while the fan (Gaurav) outside trying to hold on, also falls, and it is only the wire of table fan that supports him from falling. When Gaurav enters Aryan's house, there is another big table fan in the background in the dark shadows behind. There was something discomfiting about the old crumbling parapets of the building, and the dilapidated worn-out walls of the jail. Perhaps, like the crumbling stardom of an ageing star. The scene of Gaurav lying on the prison floor, like a fan trapped in his own world. After the policemen beat him, there is a precise moment when Gaurav vomits something, and sweats profusely. It was that exact moment the love that he had for Aryan came out of him. After this, he comes back to Delhi, and that is why he closes his shop, and removes every poster from his room. His love came out in that very moment in jail where he threw out the love that was deeply internalized in his body. 
There is also a theme of circularity in the film. In the first half, the fan chases the star while in the second half, the star chases the fan. The hunter becomes the hunted. In the first half, Gaurav has to spend a few nights in jail due to Aryan's orders, while in the second half, Aryan has to spend some time in jail due to Gaurav's deeds. The film began at a fair in Dussehra, and ends after a year at the same place on Dussehra (there is even a star near the ferris wheels). It felt as if the brightly rotating ferris wheels at the fair denoted a certain symbolism that their lives have come a full circle. In the earlier fair, it was Gaurav enacting Aryan on the stage, but in the end, the cycle completes when Aryan has to become Gaurav, and Aryan enacts Gaurav on the stage. There is again some kind of deeper meaning that this happens on Dussehra, a festival known for the celebration of victory of good over evil. Ravana, the king of Rakshasas, was perhaps the smartest person to live, but due to his ego, he met his end at the hands of Rama. During that scene, Neha actually calls Gaurav as Rakshasa. Rakshasa ban gaya hai tu. Gaurav was Aryan's biggest fan, but just to get an apology from Aryan, he committed serious crimes, and we all could see that his end was kind of coming and it was quite clear that it would definitely not end well for him. 
It is often said that the opposite of love is not hate, its indifference, and if you hate someone, it means that you still care, and you are still connected. Gaurav could not cross the wall to be indifferent to Aryan after he was spurned by him. Gaurav had constructed his entire universe around Aryan. He is ready to commit a murder for Aryan. He does not realize the acts of criminality, because for him, the only crime that someone can commit is to hurt Aryan. At two instances, he mentions this to Aryan. When he meets Aryan in the jail after he assaulted Sid Kapoor, he says to Aryan, "Crime toh logo ki nazar me hai, aap ke dil me to pyaar hai." Later, when he goes to Aryan's house, he says, "Jo aapko pyaar karta hai, uska dil todna bhi crime hi hai." In this context, I was also surprised to see Gaurav's mom not defending his criminal acts. She pleads Aryan to punish her son and imprison him but not to beat him. If Gaurav was a criminal, then, Aryan was also a criminal as a vigilante. The first instance where he puts Gaurav in jail showed this where he bribes the policemen to remove all documentary evidence of the case. Later, although he did reach out to the police commissioner, Aryan decides to take the matter to deal with Gaurav in his own hands. What he did can also be termed as a crime. At another instance, he proudly tell us that he slapped Sid Kapoor. The irony is he was teaching his daughter not to bully anyone at the exact moment when he talks to his wife about the slapping incident. He says that he will show his Delhi vala chehra as against his star face known in the media. So, if Gaurav wore masks literally to hide his identity, Aryan wears masks to hide his true face, again, pointing that how similar these two were, and continuing motif of images, and reflections. 

The film also takes a potshot at fans of superstars. Gaurav says that other fans are dogle—two-faced. They will criticize the star's films, but when they meet the star, they will rush to click a selfie with him. He is not that kind of fan, he will support Aryan in everything. He will follow the exact same path as Aryan followed. He will go to meet him because dur se to kachche vale fans taali bajate hai. This is another theme that the film tries to explore.
I know so many ardent fans who have literally devoted hours of their life to their stars. I have often wondered on the kind of fan I am. I won't demean the real passionate followers of stars by calling myself a fan. In fact, I am one of those people who claps and cheers from away. I don't know the latest details of the lives of the stars. I don't fully understand character motivations in film. I can't even call myself a critic because I do not have the capability to evaluate a film's technical strengths and find loopholes in its story. I am just a silent watcher from far, keeping my connection very personal. The holy trinity of the Khans in the film industry can be divided into three parts—heart (Shah Rukh), mind (Aamir), and body (Salman). In life, I have always listened to my heart, and perhaps, that is why there is an affinity and connection that I feel with Shah Rukh. It gives me immense happiness to see Shah Rukh back in form, given some really questionable choices of his films in the last few years, and I am really looking forward to the next films of his. He was fabulous as Aryan. My favorite part of the film was the initial fifteen minutes where Gaurav performs at the Super Sitara competition. His parents fully support him, and create an innovative presentation, but to see Gaurav dancing matching exact steps of Aryan's film was sheer bliss. There was even a picture of Michael Jackson on the stage but in that moment, all eyes were on Gaurav. I shed a tear at the moment when Aryan comes and greets his fans, and the whole crowd goes berserk. The magical look in Gaurav's eyes, the sense of anticipation, and that exhilaration that one has finally seen his God, thus, seen everything. How can anyone not be moved!
In an article in India Today, critic Anupama Chopra explores the cult of the stars. She mentions the hypothesis of film historian Nasreen Munni Kabir on why we are crazy about stars. Accoridng to Kabir, Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, India's first filmmaker, came from a family of priests. Our earliest films were historical, mythological or dramas based on religious texts. Traditionally, our film stars have played larger than life roles in dramas that allude to cosmic battles of good versus evil. The religiosity has transferred and stars arouse passionate devotion. In another article in The New York Times, author Suketu Mehta writes, "Why do I love Bollywood movies? To an Indian, that's like asking why we love our mothers; we don't have a choice. We were born of them. Kitschy, illogical, often defying common sense, these movies have made me who I am. They shape the way I conduct my love affairs or think about religion or treat my elders." Everyone can come up with their hypothesis, but it all boils down to one thing—connection. And, no one else can understand that connection except the one who felt and lived through the connection. Like Aryan did not understand Gaurav's connection. This connection transcends the barriers of time, space, and sometimes, even death. Like Gaurav's connection. He might be dead, but his fan spirit will live on forever as a reminder of that connection.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Kitna bhi chilla lo, jati nahi aawaz us tak."
—Gaurav. Fan

P.S.—Where to get those super cool matchboxes with Shah Rukh on them?

27 comments:

  1. Another wonderful piece, Pankaj. Couldn't have chosen a better dialogue of the day. "Kitna bhi chilla lo, jaati awaaz us tak", this line made me drown in tears. Gaurav inhabits a world that doesn't exist....a mirror world. In this world,there's only him and his god Aryan. There's a mist that blinds Gaurav from seeing reality as it is, he thinks of himself as a main character yet is only a supportive character(ie. A fan), he calls himself Junior Aryan, which probably is him being in denial. He refuses to see himself as he is, and finds solace in the mirror world. A world where he has an identity, that of the Junior Aryan. Fan touches upon the themes of inferiority complex, as Gaurav is satisfied with being only a fan and not anything more. His devotion to his star being so profound, that he even celebrates his birthday and sings the birthday song, but Aryan is not aware of him even existing. This scene moved me,the devotion he harbors goes beyond reason. Like, when he constantly keeps saying that Aryan knows him very well too, while others try to reason with him that Aryan probably doesn't even know he exists. He even screams that Aryan is coming for the cops when they beat him. He continues to live in the mirror world. Even in death, he says "Rehn de. Tu nahi samjhega.", giving us an insight of the psychology of Fandom. After having his heart broken, the mirror too breaks revealing the bleak real world(also hinted in the film's logo, as the letters break like a mirror falling apart.) Fan also plays out like a tale of unrequited love. A side of unrequited love that often goes unexplored tho, is the one of the recepient. It's a two sided coin. Aryan says he's nothing without his fans but when he says it, he hasn't the slightest clue that a fan's devotion could prove so deadly. Gaurav, being in denial, doesn't ponder about the fact that Aryan doesn't know who he is, or Aryan has issues of his own to deal with. Neiher can be blamed here...all that can be blamed is circumstance. They're nothing but....victms of circumstance.

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    1. Hi Vinay,

      Wonderful, wonderful comment. It is EXACTLY like unrequited love, in fact, they even mention one-way vali girlfriend somewhere, but this time, one-way is also with Aryan.
      Beautifully expressed on how this illusion breaks, and everything is a mirror. Yes, absolutely. We never hate any of them, there is always some sympathy even for Gaurav and we know why he is doing it. Circumstances.
      Thank you for your wonderful insights, again.

      Pankaj

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    2. Pankaj, your article on Roy mentioned that Kabir sits in front of a mirror while writing Roy's story...I'd love it if you could write something more on Roy. I think of it as a thoroughly underrated film and would be delighted to read more about it

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    3. Hey Vinay, I think I wrote enough of the film already :) :) I loved that movie, if you have written anything, please share :)

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    4. Been working on a concept that was inspired by Roy...your perspective on it really helped, you know. I'll share it with ya once it's complete though!!

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  2. Really awesome and well written piece. Hope SRK has a chance to read this extremely well written piece.

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  3. Wow Pankaj, you really touched my soul. How can anybody go this deep. Thanks because I am also a srk fan who lived in a mirror world but in FAN I was also watching loop holes of loose script. Thanks again for giving me so much positiveness

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    1. Hi Rahul, it is indeed another wonderful article by Pankaj. I'd like to know how is it that you inhabit the mirror world. When I wrote that comment about the mirror world that Gaurav lives in, it stemmed from my own experience, I'd love to yours as well. Lemme know, if you wanna share your tale.

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  4. Loved your article!! Imagining how can a person have such a minute observation to such small things!! It is as if you have seen the film atleast 5 times and then you are writing! Masterpiece!!

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    1. Thanks - I have seen it once but will definitely be revisiting it again :)

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  5. Absolutely fantastic article. Despite watching Fan thrice and thinking about Gaurav and Aryan all the time I have never noticed that there are so many layers to this. Fan is undoubtedly a masterpiece which the masses have not been able to appreciate properly because they had expected something else. But all those who have dug deeper and had put themselves in Gaurav's place or in Aryan's place will not be able to forget this film easily. I am a die hard of SRK myself and the devotion and tears at the sight of the star is something very easy to relate to for me. So I could relate to Gaurav exactly in the first half. But in the second half it was Aryan who fascinated me. SRK himself complete with Mannat, his wife and kids, attending weddings, facing controversies, and being very dignified and sophisticated came shockingly close to us as Aryan. However, there are lot of differences between the real SRK and Aryan. For example Aryan cannot rise over his ego but SRK is genuinely humble. Yet it gave an illusion of a sneak peek inside his life. The almost real feeling was giving me goosebumps. At the end when Gaurav gets to hug Aryan is indeed a very touching scene. Although he could not get the apology out of Aryan he did manage to get acknowledged by him. Thus his mission in life is accomplished. To establish his devotion he had to die happily as a fan rather than begin with his own identity. Being a fan is a matter of honour and pride to him. (Remember the train scene where with great pride he declares he is a fan.)So his death was his victory. A victory of a fan over his idol. This reminded me of a mythological reference. Lord Rama had a fight with his devotee Lord Hanuman. And guess who won? Lord Hanuman by chanting 'Rama Rama'.

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    1. Thanks, Rupantara. You have expressed it beautifully :)

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  6. what a master piece.. loved it totally.. how can someone go to this deep... totally worth reading.... thank you...

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  7. Hey. Beautifully written and quoted various instances of the movie. I don't know how do you manage to notice other things in the background apart from SRK in his movies. I can't focus on anything except SRK :). You have even run deep in posters. Nice !
    But from the time movie ended and till now, I've been thinking constantly that being a fan is bad or being a superstar or any of them because both of them portrayed a negative character in the second half. I still could not find an answer to this. Also, I could not figure out who's the actual hero of this film. Obviously SRK it is, but which one since both showed a shade in their characters which nobody wants to follow. You have well quoted the trinity of Khans. I still remember a magazine cover page in my school library with three of them and "The Khan Power" written on it, while I was in class 6th or 7th. But I guess just like you most of us have followed SRK, without getting in deep analogy of heart, mind or body. May be because of the kind of movies he has done, the larger than life characters he has played and the way he has lived his life starting from his Delhi days to this point. Even his ads depict his success and life.
    I loved his past video clips in the beginning where he gets an award from Rekha and also other short speeches he made. It all depicted the great journey of superstar in making. And recently SRK quoted that he is not at all like AK. He did not say he's humble but we all know it. I think that's also a humility where you don't show real you and deceive others by showing an arrogant and stubborn you. It's like not showing off being humble.
    And as SRK said to live your own identity and not being such an insane fan. But you're not a fan if you're not insane :)
    Also, not to confront or correct you, but the opposite of love is hatred which is also a negative love and a feeling. I think!

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    1. Deepesh,
      You came to my blog *tears of happiness*
      Thanks for the wonderful comment. Yes, SRK has a great connect with us, perhaps, that Delhi boy making it big. And, not to offend or confront, everything is a viewpoint. :)

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    2. :) :)
      How could a miss such a wonderful writer, that too writing for SRK !!

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  8. Let me first start with a high 5 bro!! Damn good read! I was so disheartened when I found my fam & frnds didn’t the share the same enthusiasm for the film as me! Their words “no entertainment, more spice needed” as if the film was sum kinda masala vada :P Well, glad to see others who have enjoyed the film..erm..ok more rightly SRK’s performance. Me being a big SRK fan (not as obsessive as Gaurav ;) ) got my money’s worth anyway.
    Didn’t catch the similar “memories samet ke rakhna” trait for both the characters till I read it in your post. Must say the set designer did an outstanding job with Gaurav’s room. It was as if we stepped into a museum of sorts. Many of the pics were familiar as I had them in my personal collection. Though I wasn’t given as much freedom as Gaurav to decorate my wall :P I wouldn’t blame Gaurav alone for his fanaticism. His parents too to an extent shared the same zeal for the superstar. But were their acts an expression of love..just to plant a smile on their beloved son? Hmmm….I wonder if SRK’s study bears a close resemblance to Aryan’s.
    The scene where Gaurav and Aryan comes face to face for the first time gotta to be one of the most powerful scene. After Aryan rejects Gaurav saying he doesn’t even deserve 5 secs ..the way SRK (Gaurav’s) expressions change and he mimics Aryan’s lines…ufff!!! In that dark room, Gaurav thought his idol would act like the beacon of light..a savior of sorts ..but alas he was pushed into more darkness . Noone knew Gaurav would light such a fire that would engulf him whole and burn his loved ones.
    Ok that line..Main hun to tu hai..fans & celebrities share this symbiotic relationship. Supply & demand. That I get. But when it comes to crazy fandom, it is us fans who thrive off celebrities. Fans don’t have any right to demand anything more than good work. So even though that line is correct, it doesn’t sit well with me. Since the lives of Aryan n Gaurav got intertwined, so the loss of a fan touched the star. It knida haunts him. But realistically if a fan/ handful of fans fall off the face of the earth, I don’t think any star will b affected. (This bearing in mind the star still enjoys the fruits of stardom)
    SRK was taking a dig at his own life- slap, controversy, boring scripts, dance, and who could forget controversies…Quite risky too but he pulls it off.
    I loved the stunt scenes, & the camera work..esp the first stunt sequence (Gaurav being chased by those policemen) The second sequences- though it was a absolute delight to watch- was too far fetched (Quite the irony cuz the film itself is far frm reality :P) But u know what I mean- the star all akele doing all those chasing on rooftops & jumping & what not..with Gaurav then jumping into the water. But gotta give credit- all through out the rooftop sequence, Gaurav (SRK) doesn’t let go of his mannerisms.
    The second half of the film is where I see some of the audience losing touch with the film. There I concur with them. Aryan Khanna wasn’t as impacted as Gaurav. In fact Aryan looked too tired in comparison. I felt the script needed to b tighter. Director went all out in creating thrilling sequences rather than focusing on actual execution. Many things happened at once. Personally, I felt let down by the script towards the end ..when Aryan alone sets out on a mission and manages to meet Gaurav’s parents , his girlfriend..That took place too quickly and too convenient.[Add to it I didn’t find the casting to be good esp Gaurvas mom & girlfirlend. They didn’t have much scenes but the ones they had didn’t create much of an impact. ] But the film didn’t go all downhill. It escalated again with the stunts & the final encounter. That was sad..& I shamelessly wept :P A message in itself. To respect them as humans. The last scene when Aryan views the horde of fans in a completely new light ..and then the haunting smile of Gaurav amongst them all..that was chilling.

    P.S- Loved how you drew parallels to Luck by chance.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Amy,
      Hi-5. Hehe.
      Loved the comment, you did not get carried away, perhaps, it is the emotions that make us feel like that so we have to say a lot of things. I totally agree. Second half had some slight pacing issues, but somehow, I never felt bored, there was always something to look forward to. I also wondered the superstar has a much higher power in real life, but in the film, they brought that relationship to something that of equals (if I can use it). Only SRK would be willing to put his life on it, especially the scene of wedding dances. I was stumped.
      Thanks again for writing :)

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    2. When even as FANs we couldn't go through this detail(Thanks to the crappy written films SRK has done recently), but you cracked this up with so much detail. Art doesn't need money, it needs appreciation. Hope SRK and Maneesh see this beautiful work. The last time SRK did a movie with this detail was Dil Se. Some relatively closer works were Veer Zaara, Don 2, and my the all time iconic Swades. All hail the #24GoldenYearsOfSRK. Btw, Pankaj, you got a new FAN(maybe as obsessive as Gaurav. Okay, kidding). Give me your Facebook page or something which I can be connected to your works.
      Keep it up buddy.
      Regards,
      Aaquib.

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    3. Hi Aaquib,
      Thank you for the lovely comment, made my day :) :)
      Do read other stuff on the blog, I post on my Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/HindiMovieQuotes/
      Check it out :)
      Thanks,
      Pankaj

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