Pathaan Movie Review: “Pathaan” (pronounced [pəʈʰaːn]) is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film, co-written and directed by Siddharth Anand, and produced by Aditya Chopra under Yash Raj Films. As the fourth installment in the YRF Spy Universe, it features Shah Rukh Khan in the titular role, with Deepika Padukone and John Abraham as co-stars, and Dimple Kapadia and Ashutosh Rana in supporting roles. The plot follows Pathaan, an exiled RAW agent, who teams up with ISI agent Rubina Mohsin to thwart Jim, a former RAW agent, from attacking India with a deadly lab-generated virus.

Principal photography began in November 2020 in Mumbai, with filming taking place across various locations including India, Afghanistan, Spain, UAE, Turkey, Russia, Italy, and France. The film’s music was composed by Vishal–Shekhar, while Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara provided the score. With an estimated production budget of ₹225 crore (US$28 million) and an additional ₹15 crore (US$1.9 million) for print and advertising, the film’s pre-release publicity was minimal, avoiding media interactions and public events.

“Pathaan” was released theatrically in India on January 25, 2023, aligning with the Republic Day weekend. The film received positive reviews, with many viewing it as Shah Rukh Khan’s comeback. It broke several box office records for Hindi films, including the highest opening day, highest single day, highest opening weekend, and highest opening week in India. Ultimately, it became the highest-grossing Hindi film in India at that time and achieved record-breaking success in major overseas markets. “Pathaan” grossed ₹1,050.30 crore (US$130 million) worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing Indian film of 2023, the third-highest-grossing Hindi film of all time, and the sixth-highest-grossing Indian film overall. At the 69th Filmfare Awards, it garnered 16 nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress for Padukone.

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In 2019, the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which had granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. This news profoundly affected Qadir, a cancer-stricken Pakistani army general, who resolved to take revenge against India. He subsequently contracts Jim, the leader of a private terrorist organization called Outfit X, to carry out his vendetta.

Pathaan, a RAW agent, teams up with his superior officer, Nandini Grewal, to form a unit known as the Joint Operations and Covert Research (J.O.C.R.), aimed at recruiting former agents and soldiers who had been forced to retire due to trauma or injury but still wished to serve their country.

At the Indian Institute of Contagious Diseases (IICD), Dr. Farooqui discovers that the virus has already been released in the facility. The infected scientists, including Nandini, shoot themselves to prevent the virus’s spread, and the facility is destroyed in a controlled blast. Jim issues an ultimatum to evacuate Indian soldiers from Kashmir within 24 hours. Pathan learns the missile’s location is in Afghanistan and, after rescuing Rubai, they attack Jim’s base, where Rubai kills Qadir after he activates the missile.

Pathaan deactivates the virus in the nick of time and is reinstated as the head of J.O.C.R., with Nandini posthumously awarded the Vir Puraskar for her bravery. In a post-credits scene, Pathaan and Tiger discuss retirement and potential successors but ultimately decide to continue fighting threats themselves.


On March 2, 2022, Yash Raj Films, along with Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and John Abraham, officially announced “Pathaan” on their social media accounts, unveiling the release date with a first look teaser. The film had been previously hinted at by various cast members, including Salman Khan and Vishal Dadlani, on multiple occasions. Dadlani took to Twitter to announce the film, stating, “No number from the past matters, no number in the future is too big. The whole world is waiting for Shah Rukh, more importantly, we’re all working on a kickass film with great songs.” Notably, “Pathaan” is YRF’s first film to be presented in Dolby Cinema.

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