SRK: The make or break of movie “Pathaan”

Nandita Bussa, Staff Writer

Earning 634 crores ($6340 million) worldwide within its first week, director Siddharth Anand’s new movie “Pathaan” is not only the fastest film to surpass the 300 crore (300 million) mark after “Baahubali 2’s” Hindi version, it’s now also the highest ever first week collection of Hindi cinema. Even though this blockbuster breaks record after record, the star actor, Shah Rukh Khan, is what turns this mediocre movie into a worthy watch.

When it comes down to the plot, “Pathaan” is your average patriotic military movie. The spy film, set during the Pakistan-India conflict, has intriguing James Bond-esque twists but is overwhelmed with its excessive action scenes and underperforming CGI.

SRK, heralded as the “Baadshah (king) of Bollywood” dons his trademark witty humor and successfully draws the audience into Pathaan’s, the main character, world. With his strong screen presence, even the drawn-out action scenes aren’t enough to distract viewers from his confident ease. Though his looks are a strong selling point, the reason for his fame is rooted in his unique acting style. Throughout the movie, SRK pulls viewers into his orbit as he breaks the fourth wall. By winking straight into the camera and cracking jokes that are meant for the audience, he brings life to this ordinary film. The contrast of tense action scenes and lighthearted comedic relief is exactly what Bollywood is known for – and SRK pulls it off flawlessly, allowing fans to thoroughly immerse themselves into the movie.

After actively seeking out unorthodox roles, SRK has transcended international barriers by bringing emotion to his characters and making them feel wholly human. Since he has played virtually every role, from teacher to priest to soldier, he has a firm grasp on the emotions he portrays, setting him apart from the usual stoic action heroes.   

“Pathaan” is highly praised for the chemistry between SRK and Pathaan’s love interest, played by the famous Deepika Padukone. On screen, SRK uses his emotional finesse to channel the energy of a betrayed lover to make his scenes with Padukone some of the highlights of the movie. Due to their shared past from acting in “Om Shanti Om” and “Chennai Express” together, their playful banter is natural and compliments their intimate scenes.

As SRK diverges from his usual lighthearted and charming roles, both Bollywood and his international fans are excited to see what unexpected role he’ll take on next. As he revealed in “Pathaan’s” post-credit scene, the actor isn’t planning on leaving the film business any time soon.