Shah Rukh Khan outdoes himself twice in this dual-role psychological thriller
Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Sunday 17 April 2016 17.00 AEST
Superb special makeup effects work by Greg Cannom enables Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan to play both a screen superstar and his youthful lookalike fan in this enjoyably twisty thriller. Having won a local talent show for the third year running impersonating his waning idol Aryan Khanna, young Gaurav embarks on a pilgrimage to Mumbai to meet his supposed mentor. But after being turned away from his hero’s house, Gaurav’s adoration turns to aggression, directed first toward another actor who taunts Aryan in public, and then toward Aryan himself. It’s a familiar story, but director Maneesh Sharma achieves a surprisingly effective balance between creepy The King of Comedy psychological intrigue and sub-Bourne/Bond action (a rooftop chase is particularly well orchestrated). The eye-catching location work takes in Delhi, Mumbai, London, and Dubrovnik, buoyed by a pounding score that keeps everything turned up to 11. But there’s real subtlety in the central dual role, to which Khan brings a kaleidoscope of conflicting emotions, from the vigour of the young and (comparatively) impoverished, to the world-weariness of the old and wealthy.