‘Fan-ference’ of Jawan strobe-lit by SRK’s witticisms

The Jawan technicians on stage. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

Let us not go only by numbers, as is the current over-obsession with box-office figures. If there was ever a doubt that Shah Rukh Khan was over, and Pathaan (reportedly also part-bankrolled by SRK) was ever considered one of those flukes, Jawan and its unprecedented success has put everything to rest. In India, the film has just entered the Rs. 400 crore club—the fastest to do so, as per trade circles.

The post-release press conference of the film was held on September 15 at Yash Raj Films’ Studio. It was more of a ‘fan-ference’ with a large bevy of SRK fans who were seated near the stage, while the media was uncomfortably closeted farthest away and was not even allowed to ask questions—the in-house anchor did all that.

Not only did the show start a good 90 minutes behind schedule but there was hardly any discussion about the film from the analytical or media’s perspective. Like with such events, it was all about fans cheering and mutual raves between SRK and the film’s team of director Atlee, the girls led by Nayanthara (on a video call from Chennai where she was celebrating her mom’s birthday), Deepika Padukone, Sanya Malhotra, Vijay Sethupati, Riddhi Dogra, Lehar Khan, Aaliyah Qureshi and Sunil Grover.

As if that was not enough, composer Anirudh, rapper Raja Kumari, cinematographer, editor Ruben, dialogues writer Sumit Arora, co-producer Gourav Verma also heaped encomiums on SRK. Ruben stated that Shah Rukh had instructed him to keep the maximum footage of Vijay and the girls, while not being concerned with Shah Rukh’s scenes.

On the plus side, Shah Rukh made it a point to call the main technicians on stage, and heaped lavish praises of them all for investing four years in Jawan, stating that a lot of the crew from Chennai was stationed in Mumbai all the while. He also made it a point to mention still others and also some of the singers.

Anirudh performed Zinda banda live while Raja Kumari presented her Rap as well. The rest of the long interaction had sporadic references to the media, who were not entertained directly at all.

All that remains, then, is to talk of specific quotes by celebs present, led by Shah Rukh Khan.

Vijay Sethupati, Atlee, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone with the anchor at the Jawan meet. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

Shah Rukh Khan:

“Every time I thought I have done a cool shot, Atlee sir would be like, ‘No, this is mass and not class.’”

“Whatever I’ve done in the film is because of the love of the team. I get shy, actors get shy to do things, and we feel awkward. I just wanted to make him happy and please him. It is the duty of every actor, whatever film you do, to make your director happy because, through his eyes, everybody is going to perceive you and see you. I’m happy I could make Atlee happy.”

“I’ll be very honest. People who create characters – the writers, the directors, the chief assistants, some of Atlee’s boys and girls like Shilpi, Raghav, Manoj etc. – all of them have a lot of respect for women. It stems obviously from Atlee sir. Priya (Atlee’s wife) is here. So, when people who respect women write love scenes, I think they just flower themselves. I really have to do very little. I know everyone says that I romance very well. But I have always maintained that agar aurat ki izzat ho, to sabse zyaada prem jhalakta hai, sabse zyaada khushi dikhti hai aur sabse zyaada pyar dikhta hai (Whenever women are respected, love blooms around and the maximum happiness and love abounds.)

“I think that empowerment, that feeling of women being so strong, that strength itself made us feel that the love story comes in automatically. How can you not love for a character like Narmada? She chooses to keep her baby over her husband’s statement that he will marry her only if she aborts.”

“Deepika is feeling the most awkward here. I’ll tell you why. She feels, ‘Main to dosti mein chhota sa role karne aa gayi (I came in to a small role out of friendship).’ Between Atlee and me, we fooled her and shot a full-length film with her! When she saw the film, she was like, ‘I am one of the main characters!’ Thank you Deepika from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of this film.”

“Since day one, Atlee expressed the desire to have Deepika (for the role of Aishwarya). I would tell her, ‘Sir, I don’t know. She’ll be busy’. I love her too much. I will never call her for something which doesn’t become an essence for her because she started with me. Deepika was shooting for our song Besharam Rang! I looked at my manager Pooja Dadlani and asked her, ‘Yeh maa ka role karegi (Will she play my mother, or a mother’s role)?’ And Deepika agreed in minutes. It was very large-hearted of her. I know we are too close to each other. But even then, sometimes work and profession comes into your head and heart. For her to have done this as an actor is gutsy. I always say, there are no small roles. There are only small actors! With Jawan, Deepika proves to everybody that she really is a large-size actor!”

Deepika Padukone:

“We are each other’s lucky charm. But honestly, we are beyond luck. Shah Rukh and I have a sense of ownership over each other. There is so much trust and respect, and I think that luck is just the cherry on the top.”

Vijay Sethupathi:

“Sir has seen so much success. First of all, I didn’t expect so much love on the first day of release in Chennai. So many people called me and said that they couldn’t get the tickets for the first day first show. People love him (SRK) so much. His name is enough. Everybody loves him so much. The way he treats people, he gives only love. There is nothing less, nothing more. If somebody has written Shah Rukh Khan, you can go and hug that name also. That’s all. And I love you sir. And Shah Rukh’s mind is sexy!”

(Shah Rukh replied: “I love you more back, sir! I think after the press conference, if I may propose to you and we can marry now, sir.” )

“Everyone loves him, and there is no doubt about that. It is pure love to watch him onscreen. He just pulls the audience along wherever he goes. Leave the films; I love the way he speaks and handles people. He is spontaneous. His mind is sexy, and it is so sexy that it is attractive.”


“I would call Jawan my love letter to Mr SRK.”

“I don’t think of a formula for success. Whatever I like, I make.”

Anirudh Ravichander:

“When I was in school and a young boy, half my size, I watched Kal Ho Naa Ho seven times in theatres. Every time I saw the film, I used to cry at the end. Sir you have done that to me.”



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