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Pathaan Movie Review (2023)

An Action-packed Thriller That Fails to Deliver Its Full Potential

Pathaan Movie Review (2023)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

"Pathaan," directed by Siddharth Anand and released in 2023, promised to be a high-octane action thriller featuring some of Bollywood's biggest stars. However, despite its star-studded cast and ambitious premise, the film falls short of delivering a truly engaging and memorable experience.

The plot revolves around the enigmatic character of Pathaan, played by Shah Rukh Khan, a former spy seeking redemption and justice for a personal tragedy. Pathaan's path intersects with two intelligence agents, portrayed by Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, as they navigate a complex web of political conspiracies, espionage, and personal vendettas. The film sets out to captivate viewers with its blend of high-stakes action, emotional depth, and suspenseful twists.

On a positive note, the film boasts stunning cinematography and breathtaking visual effects. The action sequences are well choreographed, providing adrenaline-pumping moments that manage to grab your attention. Shah Rukh Khan delivers a committed performance, displaying his charisma and screen presence. Deepika Padukone and John Abraham also give decent performances, although their characters lack depth and development.

However, where "Pathaan" falters is in its storytelling and pacing. The screenplay fails to provide a coherent and engaging narrative, with the plot feeling convoluted and disjointed at times. The script lacks focus and struggles to maintain a consistent tone, oscillating between intense action sequences and melodramatic moments without a smooth transition. As a result, the emotional impact of the film's key moments feels diminished.

Additionally, the character development feels superficial, leaving the audience disconnected from their motivations and struggles. Despite the talent of the cast, the writing doesn't allow them to fully explore their roles, leaving their performances feeling underutilized.

Another disappointment lies in the underutilization of the supporting cast. Actors such as Dimple Kapadia, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Suniel Shetty have limited screen time and are unable to make a significant impact on the narrative.

The film's excessive runtime further compounds its issues. Clocking in at over three hours, "Pathaan" could have benefited from tighter editing and a more focused narrative structure. The sluggish pacing at certain points becomes a hindrance, causing the film to lose momentum and fail to maintain the viewer's engagement.

Despite its flaws, "Pathaan" manages to salvage some entertainment value through its technical aspects and a few intense action sequences. However, it falls short of delivering a cohesive and satisfying cinematic experience. Ultimately, the film's potential remains unfulfilled, leaving audiences longing for a more gripping and cohesive narrative.

In conclusion, while "Pathaan" showcases moments of brilliance in terms of visual grandeur and action sequences, its shortcomings in storytelling, character development, and pacing prevent it from becoming the thrilling and memorable cinematic experience it aspires to be.