The first screenings of Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan prompted ecstatic responses from fans and praise from critics for the actor’s performance as a movie star and his 25-year-old look-alike fan who becomes his biggest enemy.
The thriller produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Maneesh Sharma had standing ovations in some cinemas and was widely hailed as tense, fun and emotionally gripping. It is playing on more than 3,500 screens in India and 1,500-plus internationally.
According to blogger and critic Taran Adarsh the production budget was 85 crore ($12.7 million), 20 crore ($3 million) was spent on P&A and the producers recouped some of their investment by pre-selling satellite rights to Sony . Koimoi.com predicts a first day tally of 20-25 crore ($3 million-$3.7 million), which would eclipse Airlift’s 12.35 crore ($1.85 million), the biggest opening day so far this year.
Aamir Khan’s Dhoom 3 holds the record for the highest non-holiday opener with 36.22 crore ($5.4 million) and Aamir’s PK is the second highest with 26.63 crore ($4 million) on its first day. The biggest blockbuster in SRK’s 24-year career is Chennai Express EXPR -3.13% which made 226.70 crore ($34.07 million) in 2013, followed by Happy New Year’s 204 crore ($30.6 million) in 2014.
The Guardian UK’s Peter Bradshaw said SRK “uncorks a wildly over-the-top Jekyll-and-Hyde dual turn in this exhausting, bizarre yet watchable action-thriller melodrama. He plays a Mumbai megastar called Aryan Khanna, obviously modeled on himself.
“But he also, with the aid of digital effects, plays a creepy lookalike fan called Gaurav, a dopey Delhi guy who owns an internet cyber cafe and wins a local talent contest with his Aryan tribute act. Gaurav’s obsessive fan-love turns to fan-hate when he feels his devotion to be slighted and then travels around the world, staging crimes in all the cities where Aryan is on a singing tour, knowing that his erstwhile hero will get the blame.
“It could be that Khan has taken inspiration from fan nightmares such as Scorsese’sKing of Comedy or Stephen King’s Misery. By casting himself in both roles, Khan could have intended a complex satire of celebrity narcissism. Or he could just be, well, guilty of a fair bit of celebrity narcissism himself. Either way, it’s outrageous and enjoyably absurd.”
Gulf News’ Manjusha Radhakrishnan judged Khan is splendid as the self-made star but less convincing as Gaurav, opining, “While there are sparks of brilliance shown by Khan while playing the Delhi-based fanboy, he goes overboard in several of the key scenes…A little bit of subtlety would have gone a long way in making it a stand-out scene. Simply put, Khan has a tendency to overdo the exuberance of youth.