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Film / Pathaan

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Pathaan's time in exile is over.

Pathaan is an Indian Hindi-language action thriller from 2023. The film was directed by Siddharth Anand and produced by Aditya Chopra from Yash Raj Films. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, in his comeback film since Zero, alongside Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Dimple Kapadia and Ashutosh Rana. The soundtrack was composed by Vishal–Shekhar, with lyrics written by Kumaar.

Pathaan depicts the story of an exiled Indian spy who must stop a former agent turned terrorist from releasing a deadly synthetic virus.

The movie is part of a Shared Universe known as the YRF Spy Universe. The movies Ek Tha Tiger, Tiger Zinda Hai and War (2019) are all set in the same continuity as this one.


Pathaan provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Big Finale Crowd Song: "Jhoome Jo Pathaan".
  • The Cameo: Salman Khan reprises his role as Avinash Singh "Tiger" Rathore, who rescues Pathaan from a prison-bound train in Russia.
  • Continuity Nod: After finding out that Rubai and Pathaan are romantically involved Jim snarkily asks if ISI has become a new dating app for RAW agents as Zoya and Tiger in Ek Tha Tiger also ended up togther.
  • David Versus Goliath: Any time the average sized Pathaan clashes with the huge Jim.
  • Fallen Hero: Jim is not only a former RAW agent, he was also Kabir's partner. He was captured by Somalian terrorists along with his pregnant wife, but RAW refused to negotiate with terrorists, resulting in the death of his wife and unborn child. Jim faked his death and formed Outfit X, to seek vengeance against the agency and country for not saving his family.
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  • False Friend: Zig-Zagged. Rubina "Rubai" Mohsin is introduced as a Pakistani doctor and ex-ISI agent who is part of Jim's team, except she was a mole planted to observe Outfit X. Turns out Jim had used Rubai to get Pathaan to steal the Raktbeej virus for himself, but she later regrets her actions after discovering that General Qadir was the one who hired Jim in the first place.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Joint Operation and Covert Research (JOCR), founded by Pathaan and Nandini to recruit former soldiers and agents who were forced to retire due to injury or trauma, but still want to serve the country.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: General Qadir, who hired Jim and Outfit X to exact revenge against India after the revocation of Article 370.
  • Ironic Nursery Rhyme: Jim is introduced whistling "Aye mere watan ke logo" (lit. "O' people of my country"), a patriotic song that commemorates Indian soldiers who Martyred during the Sino-Indian War in 1962. Ironic because Jim is a Fallen Hero who faked his death and is considered a patriot who was honored posthumously, but that means nothing to him and he is actively trying to ruin his own people or at least force his country to negotiate with a terrorist, something they refused to do when he was captured by terrorists.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Both Pathaan and Jim are in very good shape. Pathaan gets a few shirtless scenes and Jim appears in nothing but boxer shorts at one point. Pathaan also wears tight shirts that show off his physique and in the Big Finale Crowd Song, he unbuttons his shirt baring his abs. Jim also gets a Shirtless Scene in his flashback backstory, but it is played for Fan Disservice as he is being beaten and tortured.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rubai appears in many revealing outfits and a swimsuit.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Right after the interval, we see Pathaan in Russian custody, with Nandini condemning his actions. After Nandini finds him, it is revealed that during his interrogation, she sent a message in Morse code regarding Tiger's arrival.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Pathaan was an orphan who joined the Indian army and during a mission, saved a village in Afghanistan full of innocent people and ended up in a coma. The villagers adopted him as their "Pathaan" son and he goes by that nickname. His true name is never revealed.
  • Protagonist Title: "Pathaan" is the name of the titular character, portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan.
  • Punny Name: As a lot of fans noted, John Abraham, known for his very muscular physique, is playing a character named "Jim".Note 
  • Workout Fanservice: Pathaan is shown running on a treadmill while wearing a tank top, showing off his muscles.