Jawan review: SRK shoulders Atlee's mass revenge saga
A huge takeaway from Jawan is that Shah Rukh Khan, after a long time, is in his element.
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Priyamani, Yogi Babu and Sanya Malhotra
Synopsis: A cop lives a double life of a messiah of the oppressed. His mission throws several hurdles at him and grants him an opportunity to settle old scores at the same time. Is it a lot on his plate or he juggles easily between the tasks he has taken up?
Music director: Anirudh Ravichander
The much-anticipated Shah Rukh-Atlee's collaboration, Jawan begins in a village in the northeastern part of India, where Shah Rukh Khan is recuperating from his wounds, followed by a metro train hijack sequence in Mumbai, which leads to revealing the status quo of the protagonist. We are hit by cliches and stereotypical writing even as we are only a few into the film. The ease with how the hero gets things done reflects lazy writing, even with respect to how things operate in the 1000s of commercial entertainers that have been forced upon us before.
SRK looks quaint with the fights, dance, romance, and aces his overall screen presence. This is about Shah Rukh Khan himself, the larger-than-life star. His charisma is so infectious that we could almost absolve Jawan of all its negatives. But in vain.
Moving on to Vijay Sethupathi whose villain roles are equally celebrated to his hero roles, though has performed to what was given to him on papers, still is a let down, solely because of his makeover for his older look. Atlee should have been generous with the usage of dark humour with Vijay Sethupathi's villainy, which has worked wonders in the past.
The plot doesn't develop beyond the basic point of a hero's struggle against an unscrupulous bad guy who is dogged on exploiting the poor and nature's gifts. Atlee's films might have worked in the past because of an arresting flashback or a sub-plot of a poor victim (Mersal's auto driver portion played Kaali Venkat, for instance). That has derived the opposite reaction in this film since there are too many such sub-plots that takes a huge detour from the main story, and none of these plots are scratched beyond the surface. The meandering second half is saved by a few cameos and ANL Arasu's stylishly choreographed stunts for SRK.
Atlee has been on the right side in giving a dignified portrayal of women in his films with no hint of obscenity. At the same time, he hasn't done justice in giving the female actors the right space yet. Nayanthara, Sanya Malhotra and others, are similar to Atlee's previous heroines like Amy Jackson, Samantha, and Kajal Aggarwal to name a few.
Anirudh has made his Bollywood debut count, with some foot-tapping numbers and an electrifying background score. The placement of songs, however, comes across as a minus. Shah Rukh has now joined the list of the fortunate male leads who leave their hair down entrusting their mass elevation scenes to Anirudh.
A huge takeaway from Jawan is that Shah Rukh Khan, after a long time, is in his element. Jawan, though packed with full of fan service moments like in the past Atlee films, has compromised way too much on the narration. It is a film you would enjoy as SRK is at his best on the big screen.