Jawan (2023) Movie Review – As “massy” as SRK can get!

As “massy” as SRK can get!

The term “Mass” comes from South India’s Tamil-language cinema and refers to films that have the potential to bring in a huge mass of audiences to the theatres by presenting a film that glorifies superstars. Indian Cinema is seeing newfound success and there are some names to thank for this, with megastar Shah Rukh Khan being one of them.

After his four-year-long hiatus, Shah Rukh Khan (best known as SRK) returned with his blockbuster action-thriller, Pathaan, which was released in January 2023. Following the fantastic success of Pathaan, SRK is back with his vigilante action thriller film, Jawan, a collaboration between Hindi-language Cinema and Tamil-language filmmaker Atlee.

The film was released in theatres worldwide on September 7th and is the second highest-grossing movie around the world. Jawan follows a vigilante who is set to make the lawmakers see the brutality of their decisions. He leads a female army of 6 who together hijack a metro train in order to make certain demands to the government.

The film is an action-packed set piece, much like any South Indian film starring megastars from the past decade. SRK takes on the dual role of Azad, a local jailer at an all-female jail, as well as Vikram Rathore, a commando soldier (jawan in Hindi) who served the Indian Army.

With not one but two roles, SRK packs double the punch. The film starts off 30 years before the present time with a small flashback snippet before taking a flash forward to the story of Azad and his female army hijacking a train.

The character stories of three out of the six females working with Azad are impactful and tear-jerking. However, the placement of these backstories seems out of place as the film juggles between contrasting emotions like comedy and drama, making it difficult to sense the tone of each scene.

Sanya Malhotra’s performance as Eeram, a doctor who was wrongly accused of the deaths of many children, does a commendable job with her story. While Nayanthara playing NSG Officer Narmada Rai does a pretty great job at her role, SRK’s performances overshadow hers.

Actor Vijay Sethupathi plays the villain, Kaalie Gaikwad a weapon dealer who clashes with Vikram and Azad. While Vijay does a great job playing Kaalie, his performance was not the menacing supervillain one hoped him to play.

The trailer of the film revealed that Deepika Padukone was going to make a cameo in the film and she certainly delivers. The chemistry between SRK and Deepika is unmatchable and one would really love a spin-off with Vikram Rathore and Aishwarya in a full-feature after seeing them in this.

Jawan does a great job of establishing Azad’s origin story in the second half of the film. The OST of the film has some hits like “Chaleya” and misses like “Faraatta” but the theatrical roar during songs like “Zinda Banda” and “Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya” prove that this film is an ode to SRK and his superstardom.

The background score, “Jawan Title Track” by Anirudh Ravichander, is commendable as it roars throughout the action scenes. Jawan has one of the best-choreographed fight scenes in Indian Cinema so far and we have Atlee’s direction to thank for that.

Overall, Jawan shares a social message to the Indian audience, asking them to make a conscious effort to question lawmakers they bring into power by exercising their right to vote. Jawan celebrates Shah Rukh Khan as the superstar that he is and it can be called one of his most massy performance to date.

While the film obviously isn’t one that will be known for its awe-inspiring story or performances, Jawan is an entertaining potboiler and aims to show SRK in his most massy form. The film encapsulates the ingredients of a masala entertainer, one that fans of Indian cinema have been used to for decades. SRK is great fun and certainly made for Indian audiences (or international audiences accustomed to Bollywood) who love to cheer and hoot for their favourite celebrities on the big-screen.


Read More: Jawan (2023) — Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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