Originally posted by always_a_TV_fan
My review (non-spoiler)
The only reviews I had read before watching the movie hinted that the first half was excellent while the second half was a downer. My feelings were exactly the opposite ... The first half, honestly, felt a lot like SRK was on some ego-trip, self-promoting, albeit in a subtle way. The plot and characterisation both felt very simple, straight-forward and devoid of any thrills. It felt like this movie might end up preaching a social message about social media and the relevance of it in the context of the fan & the star and showing us that Shahrukh can nail double roles!
Maybe, it was deliberate to set up the scene for the second half. The second half was more to my liking. It was complex, thrilling, sufficiently dark, and more importantly leading towards an end about which I was genuinely in two minds. I like stories where I don't know what ending would be more acceptable to me. It's because I feel really connected to the characters and the plot. So the climax was genuine and completely acceptable (even if it did become predictable at some point).
Gaurav: Like I said before, the first half established him as a simpleton fan, genuinely in love with (and obsessed) with a star who, by some stroke of fate had a similar face. His obsession with the star, to the point of ignoring everything else in his life was in parts endearing, and worrying. It was completely balanced. The second half introduced us to the wronged fan. The fan who has been shown the ugly truth that his star mentions him (and millions of other fans) ONLY as a gimmick while facing the press. And the broken Gaurav, to me, was far more realistic and grounded than the fun one in the first half.
Aryan: Kudos to whoever decided not to portray Aryan as a selfless, genuinely nice and perfect man. Aryan's arrogance and pride is completely consistent throughout the movie, and he doesn't come across as someone God-like. He's just someone who has been made/called God-like. There's very little of Aryan's non-star life that we get to see. So we don't really know how he is as a person, but his attitude in the context of his stardom is very well-written.
A lot of the montages and the scenes showing Aryan/Gaurav performing have a mix of Bollywood sounding music, which really helped. It gave a feeling of watching a Bollywood movie, even without the songs. There is a piece that plays in the last scene. To me, it was perfect! I cannot explain the scene without spoilers though, so I'll not!
WOW. SRK the actor is back. SRK does make you ignore the flaws and the loopholes (and there are more than I would have liked). He makes you root for Gaurav, he makes you feel sorry for Gaurav, he makes you scared of Gaurav and at the end he makes you wonder if every fan has a Gaurav hidden in them? As Aryan he is arrogant, narcissistic, proud, angry, and absolutely unapologetic about what and who he is. Double roles rely on the ability of the actor to distinguish the 2 characters, and SRK has done that in a very excellent manner. Except for the parts when Gaurav imitates Aryan, you don't even see the resemblance between the two characters (in terms of personality).
which brings me the flaws ! Gaurav suddenly started looking more like Aryan in the second half, so much that I was wondering if he underwent plastic surgery ! Then, there is a specific scene where Aryan EFFORTLESSLY imitates Gaurav. That was too unreal for me. No matter how good an actor Aryan was, it's impossible for him to imitate Gaurav without any study/homework... He just didn't know Gaurav well enough. Also, as much as I loved the second half, it dragged a bit... Delhi - Mumbai - London - Dubrovnik - London again - Mumbai - Delhi - Mumbai... at some point I wasn't sure where they were.
The best dialogue IMO ... (this is a bit spoiler-ish though)... Gaurav asks Aryan's wife, "when he(Aryan) fights with you, he apologises to make up, right? Then why can't he say sorry to me?" THAT ONE LINE defines Gaurav. He actually thought himself to be that close and intimate with his star as the star's wife was !!!
Acting 5 stars... editing 3... direction 3.5... it's not just a one-time watch, but something you can keep coming back to once in a few years for a long time, and you don't even have to be a fan.
Excellent Review Gabbu.
The part where you mentioned Gaurav suddenly looking a lot like Aryan, it must have been just me cuz i cld tell them aprt even when Gaurav wasn't looking at camera.
I remember i wld tell my friend this is Gaurav not Aryan every time he posses like him.
I guess I have seen too many SRK movies to know him well enough.
I don't know they still didn't look exactly the same to me, I cld still see Gaurav.