Jawan became one of the most anticipated movies of the year as soon as it was announced because the one and only Shah Rukh Khan was collaborating with Atlee, the director who had given hits like Mersal, Theri, and Bigil. The buzz only grew with the casting of Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi. Set photos, concept art, and brief snippets of fight sequences hit the internet, and people were beyond excited. But it wasn’t until July 10 that the world got to watch the official teaser of the film and let me tell you, everyone collectively lost their minds. Red Chillies Entertainment followed that up with three songs—”Zinda Banda,” “Chaleya,” and “Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya”—and they went viral almost instantly. However, since the internet was refusing to walk into the week of release without a trailer, Khan and his team obliged and blessed us with an extensive peek into the world of Jawan.
Story and Plot
The official synopsis that was published along with Jawan’s CBFC certificate was vague as hell. It talked about an “emotional journey,” revenge, romance, the past catching up with Shah Rukh Khan’s character (or one of Shah Rukh Khan’s characters), and more. Now, despite being 2 minutes and 45 seconds long, this trailer isn’t very clear. Personally speaking, I like that because I don’t want to know a lot about a film before watching it. But, for the sake of this article, let’s sit down with it and try to figure out what’s going on. The preview begins with shots of a fighter plane flying through a valley and a figure floating through a river, which I’m assuming is Shah Rukh. He is rescued by the locals and wrapped in bandages. Khan’s voiceover talks about a king who lost numerous battles, and hence, he angrily roamed through the jungles. As the scene shifts to Mumbai and the hijacking of a subway train occurs, it’s possible that, in order to get back at whoever shot him down and maimed him, Khan’s character creates a hostage situation to bring out the villain of the story.
Here’s where it gets confusing: There’s one character played by Shah Rukh Khan, who is a police officer (I couldn’t figure out his name) and is in a romantic relationship with Nayanthara’s character. There’s another character played by Shah Rukh Khan (the one with the mustache), Vikram Rathore, who is in a romantic relationship with Deepika Padukone’s character. Nayanthara’s character, who is a police officer herself, is after one of these Shah Rukh Khans or both of them. We see her fighting with the half-masked version of Khan, and we see that she’s negotiating with the bald-headed version of Khan, which is probably Rathore. So, my best guess is that the clean-shaven, police officer version of Khan was abandoned by Vikram in jail. He grew up there, fell in love with Nayanthara, and was killed by Kalee (Vijay Sethupathi’s character). Vikram, i.e., the father of the deceased version of Khan, was either in exile or hiding. After learning about the death of his son, he came out into the open to wreak havoc on Mumbai and Kalee.
By the looks of it, Kalee and Vikram have a history as well. We see Vikram talking to a young Kalee about a deal that will hurt the country in some way. Going by the coughing, plundering, death by suicide, and brief glimpses of the word “chemical,” I am guessing that Kalee is some kind of merchant of death who wanted Vikram to look the other way while he partook in illegal activities. Vikram didn’t budge. So Kalee not only put him out of service, but he went after his son as well. I’m going to go out on a limb since Atlee has a habit of fridging female characters and say that Deepika Padukone’s character was collateral damage in this enmity between Vikram and Kalee. Therefore, Vikram teams up with his son’s team of girls and turns them into weapons of mass destruction. Although the trailer for Jawan features a lot of bombastic action sequences, I don’t think any one of them is the concluding set piece. I believe the third act is going to take place entirely in that subway, and the film will end with a final altercation between the bald-headed Vikram and Kalee.
The Cast and the Characters
The trailer for Jawan reveals a total of two names: Vikram Rathore and Kalee. Vikram is played by Shah Rukh Khan. He is the titular soldier who can be seen fighting for his country in a generic Middle Eastern place, wrestling with Deepika Padukone (who is his romantic interest), dying, resurrecting, and then seeking vengeance. Kalee is played by Vijay Sethupathi, and he looks like a gangster who rises through the ranks to become one of the most famous arms dealers. He is extremely territorial, and at one point, we can see him dealing with the loss of one of his loved ones. It’s possible that Vikram and his girls have done that in order to rattle Kalee. By the way, I have to say that the white wig that Sethupathi is wearing is awesome. It’s ridiculous, but it’s awesome. The same can be said about Shah Rukh’s mustache. The bearded look is natural. But I don’t think that the mustache is natural. I mean, they had to do something to differentiate between the timelines, the two Shah Rukh Khans, and the chaotic shooting days. It’s understandable.
As mentioned before, Jawan features Deepika Padukone. I’m guessing she’s going to bite the dust in a flashback sequence. She has a dance sequence with Khan, and it hasn’t been released on the internet yet. Maybe we’ll see it directly in theaters. Then there’s Nayanthara, who is a police officer and the relatively younger Khan’s love interest. Her character will be going after Vikram when he begins to terrorize Mumbai.
Sunil Grover is in the film, and he seems to be Nayanthara’s assistant or colleague. And he’ll be working alongside her, thereby going up against Vikram. We get a brief glimpse of Riddhi Dogra as an elderly lady. I guess she is Vikram’s old friend or relative, and she is the relatively younger Khan’s local guardian or something. Priyamani, Sanya Malhotra, Lehar Khan, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, and Girija Oak are the girls who have apparently grown up with the police officer version of Khan. They’ll be working with Vikram to seek revenge for their deceased friend or brother. We get a glimpse of Eijaz Khan, who is probably Kalee’s henchman. The film apparently features Yogi Babu and Thalapathy Vijay. Yogi Babu makes a brief appearance in the Tamil and Telugu trailers but not in the Hindi trailer, while Vijay is absent from all of them. So, we have to wait to know the extent of their roles.
In addition to all that, there’s this bald-looking dude in a Bane-esque mask and a cheetah as a pet. Based on IMDb, I am guessing that that is Benedict Garrett. His role is probably incredibly brief, but he looks so cool that he is in the trailer. Good for him.
Where to Watch
Jawan is a Red Chillies Entertainment production, and it’s being distributed by Pen Marudhar, Red Giant Movies, and Sri Venkateswara Creations in India and by Yash Raj Films internationally. So, if you want to check it out, you have to go to your nearest theater on September 7, 2023. I am sure it will eventually get an OTT release. But why wait that long and waste the chance to celebrate Shah Rukh Khan on the big screen? Am I right?
In the past year, I’ve been on a journey through Shah Rukh Khan’s filmography in order to prepare myself for the three films that he’s releasing this year. Despite Pathaan’s flaws, it offered us a very entertaining time at the theater. I kept going back just to watch the reactions of the different kinds of audience. And I think Jawan is going to be a similar type of beast. Yes, I am confused about what’s going on with the story, but I’m not ready to be blown away by the plot. I will be there for the first screening of the film to watch Shah Rukh Khan in dual roles, creating ripples through the theater with his screen presence. I am interested to see what the rest of the cast brings to the table. Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara have a good chance of overshadowing Shah Rukh Khan, and I’m saying that as a fan of SRK. But it’s Shah Rukh Khan we are talking about here. I’m pretty sure that by the time the credits roll, we’ll be chanting his name and booking our tickets for the rewatch.