Pathaan Plot Synopsis
Shah Rukh Khan’s re-entry on the big screen has set the box office ablaze. Pathaan has already broken many records and eyes unprecedented collections in its first week. The big-budget espionage thriller features more big star names like John Abraham and Deepika Padukone in pivotal roles but is really a statement by SRK that he is back.
Pathaan’s narrative moves at a blistering pace with an information overload. And as of now, it has only been released in theatres.
Here is a complete recap of the story and an explainer for all crucial moments and storylines in the plot like the origins of Pathaan, Outfit X’s big conspiracy, what is Rakt Beej, and how Pathaan stops Jim’s plan from becoming a success. Happy reading!
The Origins of Pathaan and J.O.C.R
The origins of both Pathaan and J.O.C.R. are interconnected. As Pathaan explains to Rubina, he suffered great physical distress and became physically challenged for the service due to an incident back in Afghanistan in 2002. He was posted in the country and was jointly working with the US armed forces to eliminate Salahuddin Husseini, a vicious Taliban leader on their radar for a long time.
The intel on his location was inaccurate. Confusion between two individuals led to the missile being launched at a Salahuddin’s house who ran a madrasa (a traditional school where students learn the teachings of Islam).
This intimation came very late to the forces. But despite that, Pathaan ran his best to save the lives of thirty students present in the school. He was late and could not do anything about it. The missile hit the madrasa and Pathaan was badly injured in the subsequent explosion. He remained in a coma for over a year, being taken care of by the locals of the village. They prayed day and night to get him back to consciousness and finally, he woke up one day.
As a kid, Pathaan was abandoned by his parents in a cinema hall. He had no identity of his own and went from foster homes to juvenile centres all his life. But the locals adopted him as a child of their own. The village was inhabited by the Pathaan community and that is how he got his name.
About two years back from the present day, Pathaan had another incredibly damaging mission in Myanmar. He came back from that as well and went on to create J.O.C.R., a covert team made up of retired agents from the service who suffer from some physical disability. That is when Pathaan requested Nandini to take over the command and be the kintsugi’s gold to the team.
Why did Jim create Outfit X and what was its purpose?
Jim was an elite-level agent of RAW. There was no one better than him when it came to rescue operations and acting on intel gathered to destroy the enemy. Colonel Luthra (played by Ashutosh Rana) explains that Jim was a patriot before the ONGC drilling mission. Somalian terrorists had taken Indian citizens working on that oil rig owned by ONGC, a state-run drilling company, hostages. Jim managed to single-handedly save all six hostages and get them to safety. But the Somalians exacted revenge on him and kidnapped Jim and his pregnant wife.
They asked for ransom from the Indian government. But the government decided not to negotiate with terrorists. As a result, Jim saw the Somalians murder his pregnant wife with semi-automatic weapons and he could do nothing about it. That incident ossified his humanity and rationality. The government presumed him dead and offered him the Vir Puraskar award, the highest military honour for a soldier. That is why he created Outfit X, a country-neutral corporate terrorist group that works on contracts, irrespective of religion, ethnicity, or other biases. Money is its only language.
Why did Outfit X kidnap Dr Sahani from Dubai?
At Asian Scientific Conference, India’s president and two renowned scientists were making an appearance. The president was slated to give a keynote address at the conference. J.O.C.R. got intel that Outfit X was planning to attack the convoy and target the Indian president.
To negate that, the Indian agency changed routes for the convoy and diverted them from danger. But on the day, Pathaan and the team learned that the intel was intentionally given to change the route. Outfit X’s targets were the two scientists and not the president. Jim singlehandedly kidnapped the two, but Pathaan managed to save one.
Sahani was kidnapped to mutate the smallpox virus into something more explosive and fatal that did not have a cure. That virus itself was code-named “Rakt Beej” (translates to “blood seed” in English) on the darknet, where the JOCRs get the information from.
How do Pathaan and Rubina retrieve the Rakt Beej and why does she betray him?
After dealing with Jim and his goons in Spain, Rubina and Pathaan head to Moscow to steal this package that Jim was targeting. Their task is an almost impossible one. The beej is kept in Vault 412 in the Woskwich Tower on the 92nd floor.
It is the most secure vault in the entire world. It does not have its own lock either. The lock and key are placed with individuals diametrically opposite in either direction of the vault. While Grigor has the lock Karen has the key. But Pathaan and Rubina concoct a plan to make it happen.
Rubina takes Karen’s avatar and Pathaan steals Grigor’s id card on the day of the operation. After they steal the respective items, they will only have 10 minutes until the system initiates a lockdown protocol. They use two different charters that pick them up from the respective towers and land them on the Woskwich Tower. There is nearly a mishap but they manage to do it.
Everything is going smoothly and Pathaan retrieves the formula. Just when he is using the fire hose to climb up from the vault, Rubina delivers a telling blow. She blows torches the hose and leaves him to be captured.
The reason for the same was that Rubina trusted Jim over Pathaan. Jim told him that for ISI to get its hands on the formula, Pathaan was needed to carry out the mission. She played along with the plan and wanted the formula to go back to her country.
How does Pathaan stop Jim and Rakt Beej from reaching India?
Pathaan was thrown into the Black Prison by the Russian authorities. He was ordered to be murdered by them. But while doing so on a train, Tiger (played by Salman Khan), another Indian operative, comes to his rescue and the two manage to stump them. Nandini goes out to meet Pathaan and tells him about Rubina’s spotting in Paris in the present day.
Jim has bought two missiles but for what reason, no one knows. Russians are tense about rakt beej and Pathaan must fly out to Paris to meet Rubina. As they discover, Rakt Beej is actually smallpox. Sahani was kidnapped to mutate the virus and use it in targeted cities.
Jim is being paid by General Qadir of the Pakistan army to create the mutated virus and launch it on an Indian city in retaliation for India scraping Article 370 from its Constitution which gives the Indian government ordinary powers to regulate that state. Rubina is now helping Pathaan and regrets her actions because she has discovered that Qadir is mixed with ISI extremists and plans to destroy India.
At Sahani’s lab, Jim takes the final delivery and Rbina guides Pathaan and others to the spot. In a long drawn-out battle, Jim loses one of the orbs containing the beej and escapes with the other one.
Rubina is arrested, despite Pathaan’s protests and the orb is sent into a lab to develop a vaccine against it. Jim had planned to infect anyone who tries to open the orb and everyone in that closed facility is infected. Nandini is among the crowd and bravely decides to shoot herself along with the others so that the outbreak is contained therein.
Pathaan creates a new plan as a result and frees Rubina. On the day of the launch, Qadir denies payment to Jim when he sees a new piece from a local village in Afghanistan where they have contracted smallpox.
How does Pathaan end?
On investigation, it is revealed that a hologram was used and the villagers are actually Pathaan’s family, who brought him back from the dead in 2002. Pathaan and Rubina once again fight Jim at the facility. He launches the missile and heads on his own on a jetpack. Pathaan follows Jim while Rubina stops the missile. But she discovers that it is only a ruse. Jim has placed the bomb on a flight that is about to land in Delhi.
This message is communicated to the pilot who is barred from landing. The plane is running low on fumes and Pathaan only has a few minutes to fight Jim and get his hands on the device that will turn off the bomb. He fights Jim and manages to kill him and secure the bomb. The movie ends with Pathaan being made the new leader of JOCR and starting a relationship with Rubina.
Read More: Pathaan Movie Review