As the Jawaan fever spreads all across the country and abroad, the SRK wave seems more rampant than ever before. The marketing and the sales pitch of the film was so pitch-perfect that audiences across India have been brainwashed into believing there is no other film to be seen except one, and that this, and no other , is the best film and performance of SRK’s career.
Not true at all.SRK has done much much better films than Jawaan. Randomly selected, there are Kundan Shah’s Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na , Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades, Aziz Mirza’s Yes Boss , Mani Ratnam’s Dil Se and Maneesh Sharma’s Fan. SRK was at his best in these.
As for Jawaan, there is no space in the insulated adrenaline-choked narrative for any performing skills. SRK plays two roles . Neither is distinguished by any histrionic heft nor italicized by moments that can be considered career-defining.In a role such as this,SRK requires no skills, just his charm would do.
And he lays it on thick . The plot offers SRK no support in terms of dramatic propensity. The Superstar spins his own web of deceit and counter-deceit, creating drama and intrigue where there is none.The vigilante hero cleansing a corrupt administration has been done with far more wherewithal and depth in the Amitabh Bachchan starrers Aakhri Raasta and Shahenshah. SRK brings an element of amusement and humour to even the grim blood-spattered moments in Jawaan, like the Alia Bhatt crack when he holds the minister’s daughter for ransom on the train…This is a social cleanser who is a fan of Shah Rukh Khan, and no harm in that as long as the bigger cause doesn’t get eclipsed by the idolatory intervention.
Regrettably, there is more SRK than Vijay-Azad Rathore in the double role, so that we never know whom we are watching: the superstar or the characters.
Like Rajinikanth, the line in Shah Rukh between the characters he plays and the persona he purports to project in real life, has blurred beyond recognition. The Superstar’s fan base can no longer identify the character SRK plays,. They trust him blindly and believe the characters he plays are what SRK wants them to be.
The inability to author characters rather than SRK spinoffs reaches the zenith of selflove in Jawaan. Everyone involved in the making of Jawaan, loves SRK to death, with SRK being the biggest SRK fan.
Consequently Jawaan is not a film. It is fan letter from a young smitten director who is one of the thousands who stand outside SRK’s residence Mannat hoping to catch his glimpse.The camera lenses never lie.Jawaan is a love triangle where the hero loves the idea of himself and the director loves the idea of the hero loving himself.