Innocent, Sinister, Misguided: How the Filmi Fan Has Changed Over the Years

Team FC

Fandom is uncritical love, that much has always been clear. That the fan will always cheer, always whistle, always be a patron, purchasing a first-day first-show ticket. Fandom is, however, not unconditional love. It is built upon certain illusions, which if shattered, shatter the love itself.

Given that Driving Licence is up for a cultural adaptation, being remade and released in Hindi as Selfiee starring Akshay Kumar and Emraan Hashmi, the question swarms — what happened to the “fan” movie? Why has the relationship between the fan and the star become a space of violence, of resentful jostling, as opposed to one of cooing love?

The moment they meet the star is also a moment of humiliation when the star makes the fan realize how small they are, and how irrelevant their requests are in the grand scheme of their glittering, demanding stardom. The star isn’t evil. He just wants to be entitled to his time.

Part of this is the modern star who wants to be both — a star and a human; who wants to be seen as both — aspirational and relatable. In both Fan and Driving Licence, the star is someone who is given to anger as he is to love, to forgiveness as he is to arrogance.

In Guddi, Mast, and Om Shanti Om, on the other hand, it is either a female fan in love with a male star or a male fan in love with a female star. Desire, here, is sated with a more erotic pulse. In Guddi, for example, the titular protagonist refuses to get married, insisting that she has surrendered herself to film star Dharmendra.