‘Pathaan’ Deleted Scenes, Explained: Which Of These Shah Rukh Khan Scenes Should Have Made The Cut?


Director Siddharth Anand’s “Pathaan” was released all the way back on January 25. There was a lot of hype around the film because Shah Rukh Khan was returning to the big screen after five very long years. And there was a lot of skepticism because Shah Rukh Khan was returning to the big screen after five very troubling years. But it went on to become a hit amongst the critics, and the audiences watched it so many times that it is currently the biggest earner of 2023 and the highest-grossing Hindi movie of all time. After around two months, “Pathaan” has finally arrived on Prime Video, with 2 minutes of deleted scenes. So, let’s talk about them and wonder if any of them should’ve been in the final theatrical cut of the film.

Major Spoilers Ahead

Pathaan Is Tortured By The Russians

The first half of the film doesn’t have any new scenes. But after he’s captured by the Russians and taken to the Black Prison, we see Pathaan (Shah Rukh Khan) being brutally tortured. His nails are being pulled out. He is screaming horribly. And yet, he’s teasing his captors to pull out the other nail because he knows he’s going to say anything to the Russians. When the Russian General advises him, in Hindi, to stop beating around the bush, Pathaan makes a distasteful joke about the General’s mother. That prompts him to keep punching the living hell out of Pathaan. Glimpses of this scene were actually seen in the first teaser of the film. So, it felt weird when it didn’t come up in the theatrical cut. But, knowing at which point the scene would’ve taken place, it makes sense to leave it on the cutting room floor. Going from the “King is dead” interval spot to Ms. Grewal (Dimple Kapadia) saying that Pathaan doesn’t work for her is way more impactful.

Pathaan Discusses the Plan to Infiltrate Jim’s Lair

After catching up with Rubina in Paris, Pathaan returns to India. He walks up to Team JOCR, and although they want to greet and hug him, he wants to discuss the minutiae of his plan to infiltrate Jim’s lair. Grewal asks Pathaan why he’s willing to trust Rubina again after what has transpired in Russia. Pathaan replies by asking about a Plan B, and Col. Luthra (Ashutosh Rana) suggests that they should simply nuke the place. Pathaan says that would allow the mutated smallpox virus to go up into the air and do its job in neighboring countries. Hence, parachuting into the lair is the only way to go about the mission. Grewal agrees with Pathaan while telling him to get a haircut. That’s the set-up for the hairdresser joke at the very end of the film. However, is that enough of a reason to keep it in the final theatrical cut? I don’t think so. As much as I love to watch Shah Rukh walk in slow motion and crack dry jokes, this would’ve been seen as overindulgence. So, it’s a good thing that they went from the Paris scene to Jim’s lair, and we watched Pathaan’s plan unfold in real time instead of having an idea of what was about to happen.

Rubina Is Interrogated

Following the infiltration of Jim’s lair and getting one of the mutated smallpox orbs, Rubina is taken away to be interrogated by RAW. In the final cut of the scene, all we saw was Rubina being waterboarded by the agents. But in the extended edition, we see a bit of the interrogation scene where the agents repeatedly ask Rubina to reveal the details of Jim’s plan. Rubina essentially reiterates what Raafe said in an earlier scene, which is that Jim keeps his cards close to his chest, and nobody knows what he’s about to do unless he wants them to. If something seemingly goes wrong, Jim apparently comes up with a backup plan. She points out that the fact that the Indians have one of the orbs indicates that it’s a part of Jim’s plan or that he has an alternate plan to carry out his final mission. This deleted scene gives an insight into the knowledge that Rubina has gathered after covertly working for Jim for a long time. It also displays Deepika Padukone’s amazing acting skills. However, in the larger scheme of things, the scene is not necessary because it ruins the surprise of Jim’s surprise attack on the Indian Institute of Contagious Diseases. If you know something unexpected is going to happen, then it loses its bite.

Which Scene From ‘Pathaan’ Needed An Extended Edition?

The success of “Pathaan” wasn’t a fluke. Siddharth Anand and editor Aarif Sheikh have ensured that only the scenes that were absolutely necessary to the plot and the evolution of the character were in the film and that the rest were left on the cutting room floor. That was why, despite having a running time of 148 minutes, “Pathaan” never felt tedious or boring. So, technically, it’ll be insulting to their expertise if I say that they should’ve added or subtracted certain scenes from the film. However, since I know that the Dubai sequence involving Jim, the scientists, and Pathaan, had more meat on its bones, I will say that it should’ve been in the extended cut of the film. I was going through the “making of” video of that whole set-piece, and I saw a lot more police cars getting wrecked and Jim chucking his RPG launcher at a police bike. The Dubai action scene seemed a little choppy, and giving its beats some more space to breathe probably would’ve been beneficial. Other than that, the film is solid and worth a watch.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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