Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers from ‘Jawan’.
One thing you realise while watching ‘Jawan‘ is that the film is more than just a work of fiction. At various points throughout the film, the action thriller trespasses the plotline, making several references outside the film while offering a compelling commentary on the current state of affairs.
Here are 9 meta references in SRK’s Jawan:
1. Kaveri Amma from ‘Swades‘ returns in ‘Jawan‘
Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades (2004) remains one of SRK’s highly underrated films. He played the character of NASA scientist Mohan Bhargava, whose love for Kaveri Amma, his childhood nanny and basically his non-biological mother, draws him back to his homeland. Kaveri Amma, played by Kishori Ballal, had been a significant figure in his formative years.
Nineteen years later, actor Ridhi Dogra reprises Kaveri Amma’s character in ‘Jawan.’ She’s also like Azad’s non-biological mother, who nurtured him in his parent’s absence.
2. The ‘2017 Gorakhpur Hospital Deaths’ incident
Each woman in Azad’s army has a backstory from which stems the strong desire to fight the hyper-capitalistic exploitative tendencies of people in power. Dr. Eeram’s backstory, played by Sanya Malhotra, in particular, seems like a real-life reference to the 2017 Gorakhpur hospital deaths when the Government’s negligence and non-payment of dues, despite alarming reminders resulted in the deaths of 1300+ children in a state-run-college hospital.
It is speculated that Dr. Eeram’s character is inspired by Dr Kafeel Khan, the doctor in the paediatric ward who got arrested aftermath of the tragedy. While ‘Jawan‘ team hasn’t officially verified the resemblance, Dr Kafeel Khan thanked the filmmakers for showcasing a similar incident.
3. The most popular dialogue from SRK’s ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai‘ is reprised with a new tonality
One famous dialogue from SRK’s romantic era that stood the test of time was from his film ‘Dil To Pagal Hai‘ when he had adorably asked, ‘Rahul, Naam Toh Suna Hoga?‘ The popular dialogue gets a clever callback in ‘Jawan‘ with a completely different tonality as Vikram Rathore aggressively poses the same question.
4. Not Vijay Sethupathi channelising his inner Keanu Reeves
If you’ve followed Keanu Reeves’ ‘The Matrix‘, you’d know, in the blink of an eye, what Vijay Sethupathi’s red and blue pills refer to.
5. The case of ‘10,281’ farmer suicides
One important issue ‘Jawan‘ tries to raise is the alarming difference in treatment by the Govt. between the haves and the have-nots, the ultra-rich capitalist figures and the agricultural labourers, and how conveniently the rules are bent for the former while the latter gets ruthlessly bullied. According to NCRB data, at least 10,281 committed suicide in 2019, reported The Economic Times.
In the film, Azad quotes the same figure, while also questioning the existing interest rates on loans for farmers. Where in the film, the vigilante in SRK, manages to get the money from the evil businessman Kaalie and pay off farmers’ loans, their plight remains an unending concern in real life.
6. The ‘Gas Tragedy’ References
The origin story of Lakshmi, played by Priyamani, stems from a gas tragedy as a result of which her kids passed and she landed in jail. In 2020, the Vishakhapatnam gas leak resulted in 13 deaths. 36 years prior to it, the disastrous Bhopal Gas tragedy shook the nation, claiming 3000+ lives because of “substandard operating and safety procedures at the understaffed plant.” The film makes an important case for the same.
7. Did SRK really speak his politics?
To his fans, it comes across as SRK finally spoke his politics through the climax monologue sequence in ‘Jawan’. After years of being questioned for his silence, SRK urged his fans to take their right to vote seriously and utilise it judiciously.
8. SRK as a protective father
As we had already sensed from the trailer, SRK is in a dual role, playing father-son in the film. However, some of the dialogues in the film come forth as a real-life reference to SRK and his son, Aryan Khan. In that sense, the Mufasa-Simba dialogue is symbolic, given the duo had actually translated the Hindi rendition of ‘The Lion King‘ in 2019.
Besides, when SRK fiercely voiced the ‘bete ko hath lagane se pehle…’ dialogue, to many, it looked like the actor was directly referring to his son’s infamous drug case.
9. And of course, on the top of all of it, the surprise ‘Khal Nayak‘ cameo.
Like we said before, ‘Jawan‘ is more than just a work of fiction. It frequently transgresses its boundaries to offer us something more – a perspective, an opinion, a reality-check, and even a dose of nostalgia.