The Badshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, is back with yet another blockbuster in the same year – Jawan – this time teaming up with South Indian talents, Tamil cinema director Atlee, Lady Superstar Nayanthara and the powerhouse of talent Vijay Sethupathi.

The film was released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on the 7th of September, 7 months since his last release Pathaan broke box office records. Jawan can be dubbed as yet another action-adventure film but it goes a notch higher with its social awareness and deeper contexts, which were said to be lacking in Pathaan.

Fans of Atlee’s cinema will find the film to be a mishmash of his previous films, with some traces of Tamil director Shankar’s political/vigilante movies and a lot of inspiration from the popular Spanish series Money Heist, the rights of which were bought by SRK’s production Red Chilies Entertainment back in 2019. But even then, Jawan manages to emerge as a standalone film with a strong storyline, impactful dialogues – which became the talk of the town and a resounding background score by the popular music composer Anirudh Ravichander, who also gave out some chartbuster songs for the film. The technical department has also given its best with top-notch editing and cinematography and stylish action sequences.

SRK is as always at his charming best and gets to showcase his range as an actor in the many variations of the role. In certain sequences, he gets back to his cheeky villain days of Baazigar and Darr. He is supported by a huge cast of talented female actors who are his partners-in-crime in the film. Sanya Malhotra and Lehar Khan stand out amongst the others as they get their strong backstories. On the other hand, the female lead Nayanthara plays the role of Narmada Rai, a single mother and a cop, but the role with limited screen time has nothing much to write home about. Vijay Sethupathi also fails to instill fear in the audience as the heinous corporate criminal Kalee Gaikwad. This could be blamed on the limited scope of their character on paper. But the one who shines in the film is Bollywood’s female superstar Deepika Padukone, who plays a key role in the film with an emotional hook in an extended guest appearance, featuring in two songs of the film. There is a surprise cameo in the film that will surely entertain the audience.

Despite its grandeur and commercial quality, Jawan is a welcome change in Bollywood, where major superstars refrain from making sociopolitical critiques through their films. It has a strong message concerning many socio-political evils delivered with high-level entertainment for the audience. The message comes at the right time – right before the year of general elections in India. And when the Badshah of Bollywood has something to say, the fans will surely respond with high enthusiasm, as is reflected in its record-breaking box office figures.

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