Superstar Aryan inspires Gaurav, his fan who attacks anyone attacking his idol. But what happens when Aryan himself rejects Gaurav - does Gaurav remain Aryan's adoring fan?
Straight away, no-one does freaky with more flair than Shah Rukh Khan - and Fan proves this. The movie takes you right back to the 1990s when Shah Rukh stormed Bollywood with a stammer, a pout and hooded eyes that looked at the world with hate. Back then, Shah Rukh thrilled with his mix of volatility and vulnerability - in Fan, he does it again.
Superstar Aryan Khanna (Shah Rukh) is running out of steam - yet, his devoted Delhi fan Gaurav (Shah Rukh) won't hear a word against him. Gaurav worships Aryan, mimicking him in his 'clony' competitions, wanting five minutes to meet his star.
Instead, Gaurav meets - and beats - Sid Kapoor, Aryan's rival. Aryan isn't delighted. He gets Gaurav thrashed, asking coldly, 'Mein tumhe paanch second bhi kyun dun?' As Aryan leaves Gaurav imprisoned, devastated Gaurav promises that one day, Aryan will chase Gaurav - because 'asli drama toh ab shuru hua hai'.
Soon, Aryan finds an imposter taking hostages and molesting girls. Even as Aryan tries convincing police and public it's not him, another 'Aryan' enters his own home, meeting his wife (Waluscha) and kids - how will this freaky face-off end?
Fan is Shah Rukh Khan's triumph all the way. He pulls off a terrifically dramatic double act, altering his look, feel and intensity, but as Gaurav, Shah Rukh makes you forget everything - except feeling scared. With buck teeth, stammering in haste, howling with rejection, holding Aryan's daughter rather close, Gaurav darkly disturbs. Shah Rukh charts Gaurav's deterioration, from a cheerful, clumsy Delhi 'launda', with a crush on 'Miss BPO' Neha (Shriya), to a relentless stalker who perfects Aryan's confidence - till the facade breaks.
The story is cutting-edge and settings sharp (at a millionaire wedding, the host yells at Aryan for being late to dance) with clever details - Sid Kapoor can't read Gaurav's note as, 'It's in Hindi, dude!" while Gaurav, despite adopting Aryan's swag, eats 'wegetable sandwich' abroad.
Alongside, Maneesh Sharma paints a compelling larger picture of Delhi, where heat and dust, violence and want, make tempers explode in a very particular Dilli ki garmi. Shah Rukh captures this rage with irony and empathy - he is, as he nicely puts it, mind-blasting.
The action's glorious but stretches while the naivete of Gaurav's parents (Deepika and Yogendra), unaware of their only child's feelings, seems slightly unbelievable. Yet, ending with a Baazigar-esque twist, Fan makes you feel Darr all over again.
Watch it - you'll know why you're SRK's Fan.