While Jawan runs high on adrenaline, driving the crowd into a frenzy, it also treats them with a kaleidoscope of film references, paying fitting tribute to their legacy. Watching Shah Rukh Khan dancing to the beats of the retro classic, Beqarar karke hume yun na jaiye, inside the tube train, with his shades and a stick reminded me of Arthur Fleck’s iconic dance in Joker. Picturised on one of the brightest stars of our industry, the director has ingeniously blended the melodious musical composition with a touch of modernity levelling up the excitement of the film effortlessly. The scene was outstanding, celebrating Joaquin Phoenix’s iconic character in Joker and also reliving the nostalgia of ‘60s Bollywood. (Add to the list of Jawan’s film references... September 14)
Aayman Anwar Ali
Jawan is a mixed bag of adaptations, nicely taken from various sources and wrapped up creatively. The smoking hot Shah Rukh, the mask-wearing Shah Rukh and the dancer on the floor. The sword brandishing scene and the mid-air flight all pop into it with ease. The villain is a character from a Hollywood Western.
The first one that comes to the fore is “Who am I?” A timeless classic by Jackie Chan in which an elite soldier is betrayed and barely escapes alive. He survives but loses his memory. Constantly asking throughout the movie “Who am I?” just like SRK.
The second one is an all-girl, good Samaritan squad masterminded by an unknown boss, almost reminiscent of the eponymous Charlie’s Angels. The girls are masters in martial arts too.
The Italian Job has a master hacker in their midst who disrupts traffic and directs money into his coffers, not unlike the girl who tinkers with her laptop with similarly devastating outcomes in Jawan.
In The Mask, Jim Carrey dons a mask and changes his personality. Not unlike SRK in Jawan.
Indian by Kamal Haasan comes to life when the bureaucratic red tape is lambasted.
The hanging of a just man from a tree is reminiscent of Agneepath.
There are many more if one looks and that is what endears Jawan to us.
Jawan is arguably the most politically charged film of 2023. All good art is political and Shah Rukh Khan is an artiste who isn’t afraid to have uncomfortable conversations on politics. One film reference that I would like to add to this list is Bahubali. During the climax of the film, when SRK’s character Vikram fights Kaalee, he is interrupted and nearly overpowered by a thug and the villain’s right hand Murad (Sukhi Garewal), a tall and formidable opponent. He is humorously referred to as ‘Bahubali,’ which is a playful nod to S.S. Rajamouli’s iconic film series. Not to mention, the birth of Azad in the women’s prison is also shown in a similar manner to Bahubali’s birth.
In SRK’s Jawan, Sanjay Dutt made an unforgettable cameo appearance. The Bollywood superstar essayed the character of a cop named Madhavan Naik in that fantastic action drama. During his entry scene, we saw the character humorously uttering the very famous dialogue — “Nayak nahi khalnayak hoon main,” from his superhit 1993 movie Khalnayak.