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Pathaan movie review: SRK’s comeback is high on action, low on logic | Bollywood

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Pathaan is fast, furious and deals with impossible missions. With perhaps the last superstar of our generation, Shah Rukh KhanBack in the picture in a full-fledged role after four years, Pathaan is worth the wait and all the hype. And the best part is that it wastes no time in introducing the man to us in his full glory. ‘Zinda Hai’, as Pathaan says in the trailer, surrounded by armed bloodthirsty men, the scene appears within 10 minutes of the film, which is a bonus. The film is a perfect addition to this ambitious espionage universe that previously featured Tiger by Salman Khan and Kabir by Hrithik Roshan. Director Sidharth Anand, who previously helmed action thrillers Bang Bang and War, reimagines his characters in the most glamorous avatars, giving you plenty of drool-worthy moments. From Deepika Padukone’s outfits to John Abraham’s chiseled muscles to Shah Rukh Khan’s CGI-enhanced six-pack abs – Pathaan has too much in store that won’t make you complain, even if you don’t dig too deep for a meaningful story or logic . (Read also: Pathaan releases live updates)

It revolves around Pathaan (Khan), an ex-army turned undercover cop who is caught on a mission. He has now returned to save his country from a former R&AW agent Jim (Abraham) who has gone rogue after his own people wronged him. The movie introduces its characters with solid backstories. Rubia (Padukone), an ex-ISI agent, becomes part of the mission and her loyalty is questioned on several occasions. And that’s about it. The why and how is answered over time with plenty of in-your-face action and hopping from one picturesque location to the next with views that sometimes distract from the actual action in front of you.

You’ve seen Khan Chaiyya do Chaiyaa on top of a train, but Pathaan gives you much more. He fights on top of a Hummer, then somewhere in the air on a rope between two helicopters, then jumps onto a truck. Basically, there is very little action on the ground and you would usually see men in Pathaan flying through the most powerful action sequences. And when you get Khan and Abraham to duke it out on the big screen, you don’t really need anything else to boost that adrenaline. And yes, the train is not forgotten. Perhaps the best and highest point of the movie is when Pathaan meets Tiger (Salman Khan) and the two have a pretty elaborate action sequence inside and then on top of a moving train. It was hard to concentrate on what was happening on screen with loud cheers, honking, yelling and whistling throughout the duration of this scene. It was nothing short of celebrating true stardom with two superstars in one frame in their best possible avatars.

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With 146 minutes, Pathaan won’t bore you, but it seems a bit stretched in the second half when you yearn for the climax. There are some dialogues that make you laugh or sound too heavy, but the overall writing style isn’t impressive enough to impress. Pathaan is action-packed, but it’s better if you don’t question the logic behind gravity-defying lifts and descents, because there isn’t any. They are a visual treat and a spectacle that will immerse you without even trying too hard. It gets a little too unrealistic at times, but that’s what you get when filmmakers try to edit a movie on the scale of a Hollywood actor. The action is top notch, but some of the VFX felt weak and you could so easily make out the green chroma screen in those ranges. Another thing that puzzled me for most of the first half was Shridhar Raghavan’s screenplay and non-linear story. The pace at which it kept jumping from one timeline and one continent to another just got too messy after a point. It is in the pre-interval block that pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place.

It may have taken more than three decades to play a true action hero, but it’s never too late to pack a punch. He’s charming, gritty and lets his eyes do most of the talking. The humor he brings to the screen is straight out of his #AskSRK sessions and even in the most intense and deadly scenes, Khan makes you smile with his comedic punchlines that he says with a straight face. Padukone in her hot and sultry avatar so effortlessly amps up the glamor quotient. She gets her own share to perform and star, despite the men taking up much of the screen time. With the kind of finesse she brings to action sequences, her own, fleshed-out action movie won’t be too much to ask for. Abraham makes you love him like a brooding villain. Forget the muscles, because you can’t take your eyes off his swelling veins through his tattooed arms. Adding gravitas to the story, Ashutosh Rana and Dimple Kapadia provide skillful support to the cast and have their own lighter moments to shine.

Pathaan is your genuine commercial, masala entertainer who is not trying to deliver a message or make a social commentary on the current state of affairs in the country. It’s fun, non-fussy and fantastic at the same time. Go look for Shah Rukh Khan and you’d only come back with a smile, and maybe a little grooving. Don’t miss the scene just before the credits, because it’s not every day you see two superstars talking about their fame.

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