Jawan (transl. Soldier) is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film co-written and directed by Atlee as his first Hindi film. It is produced by Gauri Khan and Gaurav Verma under Red Chillies Entertainment. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan in a dual role as father and son doppelgängers who team up to rectify corruption in society. Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Deepika Padukone (billed as a special appearance), Priyamani and Sanya Malhotra appear in supporting roles.
Principal photography commenced in September 2021 with filming taking place in Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Rajasthan and Aurangabad. The film’s soundtrack and background score were composed by Anirudh Ravichander, with cinematography by G. K. Vishnu and editing by Ruben. A few scenes were simultaneously re-shot for the Tamil version of the film, particularly Khan’s appearance in the song “Zinda Banda” (“Vandha Edam” in Tamil), Sethupathi’s portions and scenes featuring Yogi Babu.
Jawan was initially planned for release on 2 June 2023, but was postponed due to unfinished post-production work. It was theatrically released on 7 September 2023 in standard, IMAX, 4DX and other premium formats, coinciding with Janmashtami. Jawan received critical acclaim from critics who praised its cast performances, screenwriting, action sequences and musical score. The film set several box-office opening weekend and first week records for a Hindi film, overtaking those set by Khan’s previous release Pathaan (2023). Grossing over ₹937 crore (US$120 million), it emerged as the second highest-grossing Indian film of 2023 and the sixth highest-grossing Indian film.
Azad is the jailer of a women’s prison in Mumbai who hijacks a Mumbai Metro along with a group of six inmates Lakshmi, Eeram, Ishkra, Kalki, Helena and Janhvi. Azad negotiates with NSG officer Narmada Rai to ask the Agriculture Minister to send ₹40,000 crores in exchange for the passengers’ lives. Kalee Gaikwad, a global arms dealer, learns that his daughter Alia is also one of the captives and agrees to fund the deal. When Alia questions their motive, Azad reveals his plan of donating the money towards the loan waiver of 700,000 impoverished farmers in the country. Azad and his gang directly transfer the funds into the farmers’ bank accounts and escape from the metro. Through Alia, Azad reveals his name as Vikram Rathore to Kalee.
Meanwhile, Azad meets Narmada and her daughter Suchi, and they eventually get married. Azad and his gang next kidnap the Health Minister and demand to initiate better infrastructure at every government hospital, in exchange for the Health Minister’s life. The infrastructure is immediately initiated in the hospitals, allowing Azad and his gang to escape again after a shootout between Narmada and her team. Soon after their wedding, Narmada finds out about Azad’s true identity and confronts him, but Kalee’s brother Manish and his henchmen capture and torture them. However, Azad is saved by his doppelgänger named Vikram Rathore. Narmada finds out the identities of Azad’s accomplices and confronts them by disguising herself as an inmate, where she learns about Azad and Vikram’s connection.
1986: Captain Vikram Rathore was a commando in the Special Ops unit of the Indian Army, who set out on an operation to hunt down the terrorist group responsible for attacking and killing 40 Indian soldiers. After facing several casualties that were caused by malfunctioning weaponry, Vikram and his team successfully took down the terrorists and filed a complaint against Kalee, who was the supplier of the weapons. He unsuccessfuly tried to make a deal with Vikram and that same night, he and his wife, Aishwarya, were attacked by Kalee and his henchman, Murad. Kalee took Vikram onboard a plane and seemingly shot him to death. Aishwarya was sentenced to prison for killing three cops, who were on Kalee’s payroll. Afterwards, Vikram was declared a national traitor; Aishwarya gave birth to their child, Azad, in prison. When Azad turned five, Aishwarya asked him to prove his father’s innocence and provide justice to the oppressed, before she was hanged. Unbeknownst to the world, Vikram survived the attack but lost his memory. He was found and rescued by a tribal group in northeast India and rehabilitated in their village. Many years later, Vikram was met by his former team and told about Azad and Aishwarya.
Present: Narmada’s subordinate Irani is revealed to be on Kalee’s payroll, where he tries to kill them in the prison and Lakshmi is killed in the resulting crossfire. Azad arrives at the prison and kills Irani in a stampede. Vikram, Azad and his team attack Kalee’s trucks, which contains money for the upcoming elections that will be used to boost Kalee’s political ambitions. Azad and his team manages to steal the trucks, while Vikram and his team get captured by Kalee’s henchmen. Azad releases another video and states that he has stolen voting machines and demands to seal 253 factories in the country, responsible for air and water pollution. The factories are sealed by the government. Kalee learns about Azad’s location in the women’s prison and a fight ensues, where Vikram finally recovers his memory and helps Azad by hanging Kalee to death. A few months later, STF officer Madhavan Naik, who was the one who helped Azad in the completion of his missions, assigns Azad a new mission of targeting Swiss Banks.
- Shah Rukh Khan in a dual role as
- Captain Vikram Rathore, an ex-commando
- Azad, the jailer of a woman’s prison and Vikram’s son
- Nayanthara as Narmada Rai, the head of Force One
- Vijay Sethupathi as Kalee Gaikwad, an arms dealer
- Deepika Padukone as Aishwarya Rathore, Vikram’s wife (special appearance)
- Priyamani as Lakshmi
- Sanya Malhotra as Dr. Eeram
- Sunil Grover as Irani
- Riddhi Dogra as Kaveri, Azad’s foster mother
- Sanjeeta Bhattacharya as Helena, an ethical hacker
- Girija Oak as Ishkra, an artist
- Lehar Khan as Kalki
- Aaliyah Qureishi as Jahnvi
- Mukesh Chhabra as Pappu
- Yogi Babu as Pappu (Tamil version)
- Eijaz Khan as Manish Gaikwad, Kalee’s brother
- Sangay Tsheltrim as Juju
- Seeza Saroj Mehta as Suchi Rai, Narmada’s daughter
- Priyansh Vatiani and Arijit Gaurav as Young Azad
- Utsav Narula as Mahaveer Jain
- Viraj Ghelani as Dubey
- Bharat Raj as Irai Anbu
- Kenny Basumatary as Naazir Ahmed
- Jaffer Sadiq as Sudhir
- Naresh Gossain as Agriculture Minister
- Ashwin Kaushal as Health Minister
- Sukhi Garewal as Murad (Voice by Manoj Pandey)
- Abhishek Deswal as Abdul
- Sai Dheena as Kalee’s henchmen
- Ashlesha Thakur as Alia Gaikwad, Kalee’s daughter
- Smita Tambe as Kalki’s mother
- Omkar Das Manikpuri as Kalki’s father
- Vivek Raghuvanshi as Commando Alif
- Ravindra Vijay as Mukund Menon, District Collector
- Sharad Vyas as Judge
- Dorendro Loitongbam as Village Physician
- Abiral Limboo as young Juju
- Sanjay Dutt as STF officer Madhavan Naik (special appearance)
- Atlee as himself in the song “Zinda Banda” (cameo)
In late 2019, it was rumoured that Shah Rukh Khan would team up with Tamil film director Atlee. Atlee confirmed the project while promoting Bigil. During COVID-19 lockdown in India, Atlee narrated the story to Khan in 2020, through Zoom call. In May 2021, it was reported that the filming would commence soon. The film is produced by Gauri Khan under Red Chillies Entertainment, while Gaurav Verma serves as a co-producer. The company made a public announcement on 3 June 2022, confirming the project. The film is being made on a budget of ₹300 crore.
Atlee co-wrote the film’s script along with S. Ramana Girivasan, in his fourth consecutive collaboration with the director. Sumit Arora contributed the dialogues. Atlee further retained most of his norm technicians including cinematographer G. K. Vishnu, editor Ruben, art director T. Muthuraj and stunt director Anal Arasu. Spiro Razatos, Craig Macrae, Yannick Ben, Kecha Khamphakdee and Sunil Rodrigues also were hired as stunt directors. Dance choreographers of the film includes Farah Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant, Shobi and Lalitha.
Mukesh Chhabra was the casting director. Khan was reported to play a dual role, as father and son, and would be seen in six different looks. Nayanthara was finalised as the female lead opposite Khan, thus marking her Hindi cinema debut. Priyamani, Sunil Grover, Sanya Malhotra and Yogi Babu later joined the cast. Reuniting with Khan after a decade, Babu last acted opposite Khan in Chennai Express (2013) however, he was only present in the Tamil version. Rana Daggubati was offered the antagonist role but declined citing health issues and thus the role went to Vijay Sethupathi. Deepika Padukone joined the cast in August 2022 in Chennai to shoot her special appearance. In September 2022, Vijay was reported to be making a cameo in the film, but later Atlee denied the news clarifying that he himself was making a cameo. In March 2023, Sanjay Dutt joined the cast to shoot for a cameo during an action scene. Allu Arjun was approached to play a cameo but declined the role citing commitments to Pushpa 2.
Principal photography commenced in September 2021 in Pune. Some scenes of Jawan were filmed at the Sant Tukaram metro station in Pune from 30 August to 15 September 2021. Filming took place on the Pune metro. The station also appeared in the film’s poster where Khan appears to sit at the metro station. It is the first film to be shot at Pune Metro. Khan resumed the shoot in June 2022 in Hyderabad. Shah Rukh Khan and Nayanthara joined the 10–days shoot. Nayanthara joined the Mumbai schedule on 26 June 2022, after her marriage. Some family sequences were shot during this schedule.
In August, the next schedule started in Chennai, where Deepika Padukone shot her cameo part. Later Vijay Sethupathi joined the shoot. Some action sequences between Khan and Sethupathi were taken in this schedule. The song “Zinda Banda” was shot during this schedule, in jail. The song, which shot for 5 days included 1000 dancers, and was choreographed by Shobi Paulraj. The song was also reshot for the Tamil version as “Vandha Edam”. A month long Chennai schedule was wrapped on 7 October.
The next schedule was held in Rajasthan, in October. Khan and Nayanthara joined this 20–day schedule. Next schedule was held in February 2023, where Khan shot some chase scenes. Sanjay Dutt joined the shoot on 20 March 2023, to shoot an action-packed cameo. In April 2023, a song titled “Chaleya” featuring Khan and Nayanthara was shot at Mumbai and Bandra–Worli Sea Link. Later the same month, the song “Faraatta” featuring Khan and Deepika Padukone, for her cameo appearance was shot at Film City, Mumbai. Both the songs were choreographed by Farah Khan. In mid July, song titled “Not Ramaiya Vastavaiya” featuring Khan and Nayanthara, choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant was shot at the Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai.
Post-production for the film began in January 2023 and went on for six months as the film involves extensive computer graphics and visual effects. Editing was handled by Ruben. The VFX work of the film is done by Red Chillies VFX. Harry Hingorani served as the visual effects supervisor with Keitan Yadav as the VFX producer of the film. In April, the company hired visual effects technicians to the team. Ken Metzker of Red Chillies Color did the colouring for the film. Kunal Rajan served as the sound designer.
Nayanthara dubbed for her character in early May 2023. Deepa Venkat dubbed for Nayanthara for the Tamil and Telugu versions of the film. Raveena Ravi dubbed for Deepika Padukone for the Tamil and Telugu versions of the film.
The final copy of the film was ready by early August 2023, and was submitted to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that month. On 22 August 2023, the film received a U/A certificate from the Censor Board, with a finalised runtime of 169 minutes.
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