'An overwhelming experience': Critics, fans rave about SRK-Deepika Padukone's Pathaan as film opens to bumper response

The movie had garnered much controversy prior to its release – particularly for the song 'Besharam Rang', which was deemed to have hurt religious sentiments


Published: Wed 25 Jan 2023, 9:27 PM

Shah Rukh Khan is back! From fans to trade analysts to critics, the only words on everyone's lips since Wednesday morning were 'Pathaan' and 'SRK'.

The Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham-starrer released in theatres on Wednesday and has drawn immense positive word-of-mouth and publicity since hitting the big screens.

Noted film critics Mayank Shekhar, Ajay Brahmatmaj and trade-analyst Taran Adarsh raved about 'Pathaan' while speaking to ANI on Wednesday.

Mayank Shekhar said: "I can't remember the last time I woke up in the morning, set [my] alarm for 7 am, reached the theatre at 7.30am, and found it completely packed. People thronged the theatres to watch SRK's comeback movie. For me, however, this is also the comeback of big-budget masala Bollywood entertainers. Over the last few months, we [have] had huge box office successes such as 'KGF 2' and 'Kantara'. But they were not from Bollywood. The Mumbai film industry had to deliver and it has. It was an overwhelming experience to watch people going gaga over the movie and enjoying it to the fullest."

Complimenting Shah Rukh's ripped and chiselled look in the film, Mayank said, "Shah Rukh is the spectacle of the movie. At 57, he has set some serious fitness goals. Those locks, six packs...You'll completely fall for the guy. But the makers have ensured there are plenty more reasons to watch the movie. There's non-stop action, chase sequences, featuring buses, trains, missiles...it's breathless!"

Asked to give his 'review' of the film, the critic quipped, "These are critic-proof movies."

The movie had garnered much controversy prior to its release, especially for the song 'Besharam Rang' which was deemed to have hurt religious sentiments.

On whether the controversy around the film helped generate positive word-of-mouth publicity, Mayank said, "A silly, simplistic movie like 'Pathaan' is not supposed to be a political film. Politics should be left to the politicians. Regular, common moviegoers want to enjoy a mass entertainer like this. This movie gives them everything that they look for in a "masala" entertainer."

Ecstatic about the movie's first-day collection, Adarsh said, "Don't be surprised if the Hindi version of Pathaan' alone mints Rs 50 crore on the first day. There are two Hindi movies that crossed Rs 50 crore mark on the opening day -- 'War' and 'Thugs of Hindostan'; but both were holiday releases.

Being a non-holiday release, if 'Pathaan' crosses the magic figure, it will be a historic moment. Tomorrow is Republic Day, so expect an even bigger rush at the theatres. Borrowing from SRK's dialogue from 'Om Shanti Om', I would say, 'Picture Abhi Baki Hai' (The film is still not over)."

He added, "2022 was a depressing year for Hindi movies, and viewers were eagerly awaiting the release of 'Pathaan'. And it's minting big money at the box office. The advance bookings also gave us an indication of the kind of opening it would have. 'Pathaan' is at second in terms of advance bookings, next to 'Bahubali' (Hindi)."

On the controversy around 'Pathaan', he added, "Any controversy keeps the film and the actors in the news. And, I believe, box office numbers speak louder than words."

Another eminent film critic, Ajay Brahmatmaj, told ANI: "It's [the] complete package. The audience will be completely engrossed [by] the movie."

He added, "It's a win for the audience. [It's not] the boycott gang nor SRK's fans, it's the audience that has [given] the movie such a massive opening."


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