I feel a little disappointed and feel like I have wasted two and a half hours watching Pathaan 2023, a film mostly based on the India-Pakistan relationship with a predictable story and elements borrowed from James Bond films.
The whole concept of Pathaan has been taken from James Bond films, especially Dr No (1962), Spy Who Loves Me (1977), From Russia With Love (1963), The Golden Eye (1955) or Skyfall (2012). As a big fan of James Bond films, I watched all of its sequels and can relate.
With some exceptions like less of explicit scenes and intense love affairs with the agents of enemy countries, Pathaan takes us to some exotic sites in search of the activities of Outfit- X, a rebellious flatform of rogue agents from different countries who were formerly powerful agents.
Not only most of the action scenes took place on the roof of trains, in the sky, on ice-capped mountains or the frozen river, like that we see in Bond films, but some of the dialogues also have resemblances with those of Bond films.
Jim (played by John Abraham) the leader of the Outfit-X, used the word of Blofel “bluffing” during his video conference with the Indian JOCR Headquarters (Joint Operations and Covert Research).
Like, as all fans of Bond films know, Bond, Pathaan (played by Shahrukh Khan) also grew up as an orphan but was taken care of and took the religious identity of the Muslim Pathaan family in Afghanistan, where he was sent to save children in an Islamic School from a missile and succumbed to grave injury and was in a coma for a month and was being attended by an Afghani Pathaan family.
Like, ‘M’, the of the MI6 in Bond films, Nandini Pathaan always looked up to her regarding any mission, as a mother figure.
Kintsugi is the code of the operation the Pathaan took as Muslim for a Hindu nation, India. It began as he went to Dubai to save an Indian scientist, Dr Sahani and Dr Faruqi whom Jim stole from the hands of Pathan and took to his lab.
The JOCR headquarters later found out banking activities from London related to that of Jim and Dr. Rubina Mohsin (played by Dipika Padukone), an ISI undercover agent working with Outfit-X. Pathaan traced her in Spain with Jim where she stood by Pathan to save him to hasten her mission to get to “Raktbeej” a mutated smallpox virus waiting to be delivered to Jim in seven days which he aims to create havoc in Indian cities as a form of revenge for his dead wife and unborn child at the hand of Somalian pirates who kidnapped them along with six others. They killed his pregnant wife for not paying a ransom of 100 million rupees.
They started their mission to Russia to rescue and destroy the Raktbeej. But when they got hold of the device containing Rackbeej, Rubai betrayed Pathaan and left in trapped inside the lab. Pathaan got rid of Russian captivity with the help of Tiger, (played by Salman Khan).
Commanded by Nandini Pathaan traced Rubina in Paris and was for the first time revealed about the Raktbeej. He was told that the new form of the muted virus has no cure and is capable of an outbreak and killing within a short time, which she delivered to Jim and stored in his lab. They both were able to rescue a copy of the original Raktbeej which Jim was planning to spread in the city of Delhi.
Jim planted the original device inside the AC of a flight bound for Delhi. Back in the Institute of Contagious Disease Control, some had to accept their death because of the invisible corrosive gas the copy of Raktbeej contained. But following Jim, Pathaan was able to get hold of him and stopped the detonator of the bomb connected with the flight.
To conclude, I must say Pathaan is not worth one’s time for many reasons. It has no great lines while copying the West made it cheap with cheap dialogues and predictable storylines. Dipika’s ice skating seemed very amateurish.
It even did not credit John F. Kennedy for using his lines, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” when used by Pathaan.
Moreover, I think it’s a film to showcases that Muslims are more patriotic than India’s Hindus.
I don’t see why it created so bog hype. I think it’s because it used two of the most hyped industry godfathers and Muslim actors, Shahrukh and Salman, and sensations like Dipika Padukone and John Abraham.
As always, Bollywood most of the time displays celebrities instead of stories. In the end to some minds, that the Muslims remained faithful to their countries and standing on behalf of their Hindu-dominated country is the central message.
I do not recommend it, personally. It is a great disappointment for James Bond fans.