There is a real star, a fictional star and a fictional fan who poses as a star. It’s exciting and intriguing and in places flat out fabulous. Gaurav is a riveting character – he’s naïve, beguiling and sweetly delusional – at least in the beginning. But even then, underneath that wide-eyed, star-struck innocence, there is a tinge of creepy about him. Aided by prosthetics, make-up and skillfully rendered special effects, Shah Rukh gives his finest performance in years – nine to be precise, which is when he played Kabir Khan in Chak De India.

Writer and director Maneesh Sharma has constructed Gaurav with affection and care. His milieu and his manners are absolutely authentic. So when he embarks on his doomed mission to meet Aryan in Mumbai and his mother gives him sohan halwa to carry for the star and this warm, smiling family takes a selfie together, you really want this to end with everyone living happily ever after. 

But what keeps you hooked is Shah Rukh Khan. He pumps vitality into the narrative. It might get silly but it doesn’t get dull. You finally exit the theater thinking of Gaurav and the reverential, all-consuming relationship that we Indians have with our stars.

Watch Anupama Chopra review Fan in the video below.