Bollywood action-thriller has non-stop, cinematic violence.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pathaan is a Bollywood action flick that is unrelenting in terms of its big set pieces, with a considerable amount of violence to go with it. Pathaan (Shah Rukh Khan) is an Indian spy who will stop at nothing to defeat evil and save his country. When he learns about a group of terrorists -- led by the vengeful Jim Cal (John Abraham) -- planning to unleash a killer virus, he forms a group of ex-soldiers who have been cast aside by society. The film is largely male-dominated, but Pathaan is supported by Rubina (Deepika Padukone), a complex and hard to second guess, female spy who maintains autonomy over her decisions, and is not led by the male influences in her life. Though the death toll is huge, it's all very cinematic in its approach, with the victims being mostly faceless. But the violence can get graphic at times. A character is water-boarded for information and a pregnant woman is killed. When some scientists come into contact with the virus, they shoot themselves to avoid passing on the virus.
Great Action Flick with Excessive Violence
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What's the Story?
When Indian spy PATHAAN (Shah Rukh Khan) learns of a killer virus that a group of terrorists want to unleash in India, he brings together a division of neglected former soldiers to help save the day.
Is It Any Good?
An over-the-top, unrelenting, and downright absurd Bollywood action-thriller that simply cannot fail but to entertain its audience. Sure, Pathaan has its flaws including glaring holes in the narrative. But sometimes with popcorn-films of this nature, you simply have to enjoy them for what they are, and embrace the absurdity of it all. If there's one thing you can't fault here it's the film's ambition. Similar to fellow Bollywood hit RRR, the film has big ideas and does a more than commendable job in putting them into action. It masterfully blends the classic Hollywood blockbuster model with the traditions of Bollywood films, such as the dance routines that feature. The film is gloriously cliched. But there's a comforting sense of familiarity to it, as a film that feels like a real throwback to classic actioners, while at the same time very much sitting within modern filmmaking, with a sometimes-too-relevant narrative. Just go and enjoy this one. It's hard not to.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in Pathaan. How realistic was it? Did this change how you felt about it? Do some types of media violence have different impact than others?
Would you describe Pathaan as a good role model? Why, or why not? What makes a positive role model?
Had you seen many Bollywood movies before this? If so, how did this compare? If not, has it inspired you to watch more?
- In theaters: January 25, 2023
- Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham
- Director: Siddharth Anand
- Studio: Yash Raj Films
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- Character Strengths: Courage, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 146 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 20, 2023
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