JAWAN: How SRK delivered strong ‘political message’ laden with hardcore masala

Jawan…the movie which is the talk of the town and has taken the global box office by a TYPHOON. The pan-India movie has gone on to become the highest-grosser in Bollywood. Just like Shah Rukh Khan, the public received the movie with open arms. However, in a movie laden with high-octane action and south masala, the movie delivered on a front, perhaps no one expected it to, which was in delivering a strong ‘political message’. The epic and passionate ‘address to the nation’ by King Khan has gone viral on social media. In this Blog, I will be talking about different elements and aspects of the movie Jawan.


Jawan is a masala-action entertainer which tries to touch upon some important social issues. The initial plot starts with Army soldier Vikram Rathore, who finds out during a mission that many of the weapons being supplied to the Army are faulty, leading to huge soldiers. He flags this to the higher authorities and gets the contract of the weapon-making company cancelled. But, weapon dealer Kaali…fourth-largest as he says (Vijay Sethupathi) is a man with high clout. He hatches a huge conspiracy, implicates him on fake corruption charges and assaults Rathore thinking that he has killed him.

He also implicates Vikram’s wife Aishwarya for killing his men. However, before being tried, she gives birth to a son ‘Azad’, postponing her death sentence ( a little too filmy stuff…but anyway). Aishwarya makes his son promise to prove his father’s innocence and work for the poor and weak. Azad is just five when his mother is hanged to death on false charges, and it’s a ‘Kaveri Amma’ once again (Swades reference) who brings him up. He goes on to become a police officer and takes charge of the very same jail, he was brought up in.

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SRK in a still from Jawan (Photo: The Quint)

Azad forms a team with six girls, who are serving sentences in the same jail, but have a very tragic backstory. The team hacks a metro, kidnaps a minister, steals EVMs and whatnot. Every time, the ‘Chief’, a masked old man, puts forth a condition and makes the government perform what they should have done much before by themselves. Interestingly, and quite predictably too, Azad has an arranged marriage with Narmada (Nayanthara)— a single mother and also the investigating officer of the case — bringing a fresh turn of suspense and thrill into the movie.

Ultimately, when the fight between Azad’s gang and Kaali’s empire gets underway with some high-octane action and masala. The movie also marks the return of SRK senior…Vikram Rathore (I won’t reveal how), bringing a double delight for the audience. This time, he is a completely new avatar, almost making it look like SRK is a ‘Triple Role’. The story also has a strong political monologue by SRK junior at the end, which will easily go down as one of the best-ever monologues in Shah Rukh Khan’s illustrative career.

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Atlee with the Girl Gang from behind the scenes of Jawan (Photo: Bollywood Hungama)


This Atlee directorial has enough doses of almost everything to just never get you bored. The ‘Mersal’ director has presented SRK in his MASSIEST avatar ever. After watching previous Atlee movies, two things I was pretty sure were; first, a double role, and secondly, an emotional core behind the hardcore action. But, what I was least expecting here was such a strong political message that too while touching so many genuine social issues concerning people. The best thing about his direction was the mounting of some high-octane action sequences — the highway chase sequence, the epic metro hack and a crazy interval block — and backing it with some ‘heart-wrenching’ emotional sequences. Some sequences can actually make you teary-eyed.

However, it is not as if his direction was completely flawless. And, here I am anyway ignoring any silly sequences in those ‘Tollywoodish’ actions. The second-half although fabulous, was weaker than the first one, beyond doubt. Also, the second half was a little too fast-paced, not allowing the emotional transition to take place properly. Many sequences were not explored enough to emotionally immerse the audience. Also, some brilliant sub-plots (like Narmada as a single mother) weren’t explored fully, which is of course understandable due to the time constraint (the movie was anyways close to 3 hours). Lastly, and this is on a personal note, I felt that the double role kind of put the ‘Girl Gang’ on the backseat, something which I immensely missed.

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Shah Rukh Khan in an intense and epic still from Jawan (Photo: IndiaTimes)


Jawan is a Shah Rukh Khan-driven powerhouse. Once again after Pathaan, SRK has hit it out of the park, as an action hero, nailing in a double, and actually, as I said above, in almost a triple role. After a very long time, we get to witness, that devilish laugh, and a powerful monologue, all in one movie. One thing I have always pointed out, is transitioning with different emotions is one of the great traits of SRK’s craft, and was also seen here. The best thing about SRK’s enactment was he always keeps a soft side alive, irrespective of how hardcore action he is doing. So, even a strong Vikram Rathore can break down emotionally, creating a bigger impact on the audience. Finally, as I said, his passionate monologue will always stand tall in SRK’s filmography.

Other actors, of course, despite limited screen time, didn’t fail to impress. Whether it is Nayanthara, who wonderfully portrays a single mother and a strong cop while looking gorgeous throughout. Vijay Sethupathi, who never fails to impress, has done a great job again playing a dreaded villain. However, many people have rightly pointed out, that he is indeed weaker than his usual villain traits and also gets less screen time, but that doesn’t weaken his performance by any bit. Deepika Padukone‘s role was indeed a beautifully crafted one. I personally liked her portrayal of a mother very much, especially with that powerful emotional song in the background. Apart from them, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Sunil Grover, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Rishi Dogra, Lehar Khan, and many more guys are there who have done equally fine jobs giving a stronger impact to the movie. And of course, that funny cameo of ‘Baba’ Sanjay Dutt, giving an open ending to the movie.

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Shah Rukh Khan in a ‘double delight’ still from ‘Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya’ (Photo: Free Press Journal)


The music of Jawan has been called the ‘weak’ point of the movie. But, I had said that even before the release, that music, especially songs will only play the role of ‘fillers’ in a movie like Jawan. And that exactly was the case. I personally liked the monstrous track of Zinda Banda a lot. Chaleya too is a sweet and nice track. Another notable song from the album is ‘Aararaari Raaro’ the emotional mother-son one that plays out in the jail sequence. ‘Faraatta’ and ‘Not Ramaiya Vastaviaya’ are just fine. However, the major stronghold of the movie was the background music (BGM). Starting from the Jawan title track, the ‘King Khan’ rap by Raja Kumari, and the other massy music, which adds to the charm of the action. Anirudh has done a commendable job and deserves appreciation.

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Shah Rukh Khan from a still from the passionate monologue from Jawan (Photo:


Now, the most important aspect of the movie…its Politics. Hardly had anyone anticipated such a strong political message from the movie. The movie touches upon some really crucial aspects. Firstly, it raises the issue of farmer suicides, giving a startling number of ‘10,281‘ (the real number is close). It draws a strong analogy of how the interest rate paid by a farmer on his tractor loan is more than what a rich guy pays for a BMW. Secondly, it raises the crucial issue of poor medical infrastructure. So apt was Azad’s dialogue, “Mantri ji ke pas to ye kaam karne ke liye 10 saal the…hum to unhe 5 ghante extra de rahe hain” (The minister had 10 years to do the job, we are anyways giving him five hours extra). The movie also raises the issue of pollution — how big industrialists bypass climate restrictions and set up plants — and the issue of crony capitalism — how some businessmen get extra benefits for being close to certain politicians who need some (Only one name would be coming to everyone’s mind in today’s context…HA HA).

The biggest highlight was, Jawan apparently portraying the Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy through Sanya Malhotra’s backstory. In the 2017 incident, Dr. Kafeel Khan tried his best to save the lives of children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. But, after 63 children died due to acute oxygen shortage, and the incident exposed the dire state of the healthcare system in UP (which didn’t make arrangements despite repeated requests), the government “falsely implicated” Dr Khan for “negligence and corruption”, after which he was allegedly jailed and tortured. He was later acquitted by Allahabad HC and a special committee stated that Khan had actually tried to save the kids. There is a reason, why people need to be wary of the meteoric rise of the saffron-clad force in the state. Not just that, even the ‘Ambu Bags’ reference in the movie happened for real. So, SRK and Atlee deserve a strong hats off for having the spine and courage to portray such an important story.

But, the strongest message from the movie goes directly to the people…the voters. SRK in one of his best monologues, questions, why people question the quality of a mosquito coil, which runs for five hours, but not the government which runs the country for five years. He asks people not to vote in the name of caste or religion (there couldn’t have been a better context than today) and instead, question the vote-seekers, what will they do to take the country forward, whether will they create a good education system and health infrastructure or not. SRK urges people to use the power of their ‘finger’ and aptly adds, “Ye azaadi aapki hogi” (This will be your independence).

SRK has broken the ‘Fourth Wall’ perhaps for the first time in his career (a cinematic term, when the actor talks directly with the audience outside the screen). The powerful and passionate SRK monologue is received with a huge round of applause, and as famous critic Anupama Chopra rightly remarked, “There is such urgency and emotion in Shah Rukh’s voice that if at the end, he had declared that he’s standing for elections, I would have cheered”. The best part of the speech and the whole anti-establishment narrative of the movie is that no political party can openly slam the movie, as it will be a ‘Chor ke Daadhi mein tinka’ thing, and they would end up proving themselves ‘incompetent’ (which most of them are). Delivering such a strong political message directly, that too under this regime needs some god-level courage. The monologue will be remembered for long, and can very well be compared to that of Charlie Chaplin from ‘The Great Dictator’, another one under an intolerant regime.

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SRK in a still as Vikram Rathore from Jawan (Photo: Mint)


Jawan has already become the highest-grossing movie in Bollywood, dethroning none other than SRK’s last movie ‘Pathaan’. It’s completely an SRK vs SRK going on at the Box Office. The movie has amassed over 500 crore in Hindi version, and 560+ cr in all languages, and would end up opening the 600 crore club. It has also become the first-ever Bollywood film to score 50 cr mark in dubbed versions, showing its pan-India impact. And, with this, Jawan has become SRK’s second consecutive movie to earn over 1000 crore globally, becoming a ‘Worldwide Blockbuster’.

The success of Pathaan and Jawan has very well repositioned Shah Rukh Khan as the undisputable KING of Bollywood. So much so, that the ‘Boycott Gang’ now even doesn’t boycott his movie anymore. There are only some ultra-losers who cry “fake collection” when looking at their agenda being getting into a dustbin. An actor who was written off by many after successive failures, is well and truly back, reigning the industry, just like he used to. Now, the twin success has raised the excitement of Dunki even more.

Now…on to Dunki…!!!!!

I had said this even after Pathaan, that I like watching SRK in roles like ‘Swades’ and ‘Chak De India’ more than a ‘Pathaan’, where he is completely immersed into an emotional character. Many fans were a little disappointed by SRK solely doing action movies. But, to put an end to all those disappointments, the next SRK-starrer, as we all know is ‘The Raju Hirani ‘-directorial Dunki. After the two mammoth successes, the excitement is very high for the biggie.

After all, it is the collaboration between two giants. SRK was Hirani’s first choice both at the time of Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots, but unfortunately, things couldn’t materialise. But, now it’s happening. Dunki is a subject-based movie, touching on the subject of illegal immigration, with enough dose of comedy and emotion, along with a pinch of patriotism. One thing, that I am pretty sure of after watching Jawan is, that Dunki will be a much more POLITICAL movie. What exactly will it touch upon, we will have to see. So, those saying SRK doesn’t speak on politics, I think he has chosen the right medium for it. Also, we can’t hold our excitement for wearing our hearts on the sleeves for Dunki.


“We started the year with Pathaan on Republic Day, Jawan on Janmashtami, and Dunki will be coming on Christmas…I am doing so much national integration…and whenever my movie comes, it’s anyways an Eid too”: Shah Rukh Khan


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