THE GRAND SCOPE
Ditching the usual PR playbook, Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan has opted to let his forthcoming film Jawan speak for itself.
The hotly awaited flick is an action-thriller cocktail, merging the flamboyance of southern Indian cinema with the enduring allure of SRK’s 30-year filmography.
In this multi-layered cinematic offering, Shah Rukh Khan dons multiple avatars like a hijacker, soldier, cop, and mobster, while also featuring an extended guest role from Deepika Padukone. The film will predominantly be released in Hindi, followed by Tamil and Telugu dubbed versions.
While Tinseltown grapples with labor disputes, leaving writers and actors in the lurch rather than coughing up their due compensation, one Bollywood icon is stepping away from conventional marketing strategies. With the clock ticking down to the premiere of Jawan, Shah Rukh Khan, an international household name, has unveiled the film’s inaugural trailer, showcasing its multifaceted narrative and diverse tonality. Eschewing the press junkets and interviews that traditionally precede a film release, SRK is letting the movie’s storytelling take center stage.
Taglined as “a turbo-charged action-thriller illustrating the transformative arc of a man determined to set societal wrongs right,” Jawan marks SRK’s much-awaited sequel to the record-smashing Pathaan from earlier this year — his career’s crowning achievement thus far. This film also represents his first earnest stab at luring a pan-Indian audience, moving beyond his customary Hindi-speaking devotees, both in India and globally. Directed by Atlee Kumar, Jawan fuses the exaggerated elements typical of southern Indian mainstream cinema with the timeless charisma that has defined SRK’s tri-decade love affair with the silver screen.
Opening with a narration from SRK’s character recounting a tale of a revenge-fueled king, the trailer quickly pivots to a modern-day train hijacking in Mumbai. Here, another avatar of SRK emerges as the hijacker, masked by conspicuous facial prosthetics and toying with a law enforcer by listing humorous demands. “What do you desire?” asks the puzzled officer, to which the hijacker quips, “I desire Alia Bhatt” — the tip of the iceberg when it comes to meta-references to SRK’s own life and legacy. A later nod in the trailer references the past legal troubles of SRK’s son Aryan, believed by some to be politically orchestrated. Brandishing a formidable weapon, SRK’s character warns, “Before you lay a hand on my son, you’ll have to contend with his father.”
A Cinematic Melting Pot: From Southern Cinema to Hindi Epics
The film promises a narrative unfolding over multiple timelines, featuring SRK as a multitude of characters, from the hijacker and soldier to cop and hardened criminal. Inserted within are flashback scenes where a digitally de-aged SRK is romantically entangled with a mysterious character played by Deepika Padukone, who delivers an extended cameo. We also catch a glimpse of the principal antagonist, portrayed by Vijay Sethupathi, and the all-female army that SRK’s character appears to be leading in his quest for vengeance.
In typical southern Indian film fashion — a distinct industry within India’s larger cinematic landscape — SRK is given ample “hero shots,” the kind engineered to elicit raucous applause in movie theaters. Audiences familiar with last year’s cult hit RRR will recognize the grandiosity bestowed upon stars in Indian films like Jawan. While RRR was primarily a Telugu film available in dubbed Hindi on Netflix, Jawan will premiere predominantly in Hindi, with dubbed versions in Tamil and Telugu. The crew predominantly hails from Tamil Nadu, the home state of director Atlee. Alongside SRK and Deepika, Jawan boasts an ensemble cast featuring Nayanthara, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Sunil Grover, Riddhi Dogra, and more. The movie is slated for global release on September 7. For the latest updates, keep your eyes glued to FilmSweep.