FAN (2016) Teaser 2: Brilliant Thriller Or Cringeworthy Self Indulgence?
Celebrating his 50th Birthday yesterday, Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan released the full official trailer for another one of his upcoming movies in 2016, ‘Fan‘. The movie, almost as a nod to the star’s fans themselves, is about a die-hard fan of a fictional Indian actor, both roles played by Khan himself. The much delayed film releases next year, but watch the full trailer below to see how the film has the chances of being anywhere between genius to cringeworthy.
The trailer doesn’t reveal much beyond what we already know about the film; the story is about a loyal fan of a superstar Bollywood actor. That’s it. The trailer sheds light on the titular character, Guarav, showing how his love of the actor affects every aspect of his life from childhood to adulthood. Beyond that, where the story goes and what happens, is hard to figure out. So let’s take a stab at what kind of movie ‘Fan‘ may end up being.
The Egotistical Approach
First of all, let’s talk about the fact that the self admitted king of the industry, is making a movie where he not only plays a fictional version of himself, but also the fan who admires him to death. Khan has been criticized (mostly by me) for being arrogant and always choosing scripts that stroke his ego, and ‘Fan‘ definitely seems to personify all those criticisms. However, beyond being a subtle nod to his own fans, the movie could turn out to be a surprise from the actor who otherwise picks movies that portrays him in the best possible light possible.
The first place I go to when I think about a movie featuring a die-hard fan, is ‘The Fan’, with Wesley Snipes and Robert De Niro, about an obsessive fan of a baseball player who ends up getting too involved in the star’s life, with dangerously creepy consequences. I am hoping against hope that ‘Fan’ has a similarly intense story, where Guarav may turn out to be a psycho who takes his obsession too far. I am even more excited at this possibly seeing that the movie is being billed as a thriller. Although, most of the movies by the Bhatt’s are also labeled ‘thrillers’. Seeing Shahrukh Khan give a brand new performance akin to his deliveries in ‘Darr’ & ‘Baazigar’ should be exciting for any Bollywood fan. (no pun intended)
But alas, ‘Fan‘ is a Bollywood movie. And Shahrukh Khan has been taking risks less frequently in his career. The marketing strategy also suggests that the movie may not go so dark. Releasing the film’s trailer through a fan’s Twitter account, and Khan himself celebrating his birthday with his own die-hard fans, all but seems to imply that this movie is for Shahrukh Khan fans. So will they really do a story where the fan turns out to be the bad guy? I doubt it.
With the way gossip culture is prevalent in Bollywood, and stars being treated like God, (no, seriously) ‘Fan‘ could be a great way to brings these topics to the forefront. In an industry where people are ready to commit suicide if Salman Khan is jailed, (some dude actually tried) the celebrity-fan relationship would make for an interesting subject of a movie that takes a hard look at the impact of obsessive fanboy-ism on the celebrities themselves. If done right.
But a look into the makers of ‘Fan‘ causes me to lose hope that this movie will be anything beyond a glorification of fan culture in Bollywood, and basically be a masturbatory exercise in providing fan service to fans of Khan and Bollywood.
‘Fan‘ is directed by Maneesh Sharma and written by Habib Faisal, the team behind ‘Ladies Vs. Rick Behl’, a movie that glorifies a womanizing protagonist and makes his emotionally manipulative characterization seem endearing and charming. Habib Faisal himself directed ‘Dawaat-E-Ishq’, a failed commentary on the dowry system in India, and wrote other movies that centered around a social message but failed to provide any sort of cohesive commentary on them, like ‘Bewakoofiyan’.
Not the team that I would entrust to do a movie that shines a hard light on the industry of Bollywood and its audience. But you never know. Faisal also wrote ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ that dealt with the pressures of having to get married within the South Asian culture.
I’d like to believe that Khan is in a fork of his career where real performances and the art of cinema takes priority over the box office collections and pandering to audience. His other movie releasing in 2016, ‘Raees‘, also seems to be indicative of that. So here’s hoping that ‘Fan‘ acts as a powerful thriller that, while not needing to do anything that I suggested above, is at lest a good entertaining movie that gives us a character played by Shahrukh Khan, and not the man himself. The heavy facial prosthetics should help with that.
What did you think of the ‘Fan’ trailer?
Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @theshahshahid