Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘massy’ character in Jawan also shares a strong resemblance to The Comedian from Watchmen
Theatres across India continue to erupt when a grizzly Shah Rukh Khan emerges from the shadow holding a iron pipe with free-wheeling gears and chomping at a cigar with a trademark lumberjack swagger in director Atlee’s Jawan. His plunders in the film continue, even when he flies above trucks Evil Knievel-style and waves around his metal belt, only sacrificing the cigar to nonchalantly correct the angular rate of rotation of a bike and blow it to smithereens.
SRK’s Jawan character look inspired by The Comedian from Watchmen?
As the ‘mass’ action film continues to rewrite the laws of physics and box office records, what was more apparent to a lot of people was how Shah Rukh Khan’s character of Vikram Rathore – especially the later version – was seemingly influenced by the DC comic Watchmen’s The Comedian, brought to life on screen by Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the 2009 Zack Snyder film.
Atlee seems to have tapped The Comedian’s fearless (the man would even light up his cigar from a flamethrower) and rugged persona for shaping up Vikram Rathore’s veteran years. This wasn’t the only other DC influence in the movie, which also had the latter reuniting with his companions from an elite military team in their twilight years. Not truly Watchmen, but more like Red – also made into a film in 2010 with Bruce Willis in the lead. Who knows maybe, if a spin-off on Vikram Rathore is ever planned, this could provide some fodder (or fuel, if you are the gritty kind).
Lokesh Kanagaraj is a true-blue DC fan
Incidentally, this love for DC characters seems to be deep-rooted among Atlee as well as his contemporary Lokesh Kanagaraj – who are among the most exciting filmmakers in Tamil right now. Lokesh has made no attempts at hiding how his films – especially Vikram – have drawn heavily from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.
“I am a DC guy and I am fascinated by their characters,” he said, in an interview after Vikram, highlighting the brief he gave the movie’s cinematographer was to follow the same lighting as Nolan’s superhero trilogy. Even some of the character traits and sequences – such as Kamal Haasan’s speeding off a bike with the painted circles around his eyes and the hat-tip to the Alfred-Bruce Wayne café scene – are tributes to his love for DC films. In fact, his villains, be it Suriya’s Rolex or Vijay Sethupathi’s Santhanam, are akin to how Michael Caine’s Alfred describes – “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Watchmen influence in Leo
The eagle-eyed even spotted how Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Leo’s title, which showed a chocolate coin with blood as being inspired from Watchmen’s famous blood-stained smiley badge, which incidentally belonged to The Comedian. Do we need more evidence to prove that the Lokesh Cinematic Universe (LCU) and the much-speculated Atlee Cinematic Universe (ACU) is influenced by DCEU (DC Extended Universe)?