Watched the movie Fan the other day, I anticipated it since I heard its plot. For those of you not familiar it, Fan is the (Hindi) movie about 50 year old Bollywood superstar and his 20-something, eager, obsessive fan. The superstar is played by Shah Rukh Khan, a Bollywood superstar. The star is not based on him, the star is him. All the footage used in the movie, is real Khan footage. But this is were it gets epic, Khan is also playing his 25 year old fan, with the help of prosthetics done by three times Oscar Winning special make-up effects artist Greg Cannom, as well as VFX & special effects. Fan is not referencing or is based on De Niro’s The Fan.

As I already mentioned, Fan takes on stardom vs. fandom. Fan takes on the sub-culture of Khan’s real fandom, and it gives a strong message. I will not go into much detail about that and spoil the movie in case you decide to watch it, but also because, everyone will receive this message differently, depending on which end of spectrum you are.

What is the spectrum? I read something a long time ago, and it stayed with me: “There are two kinds of people, the ones with a mass mentality and the ones with individual mentality. It solely depends on how we are inside, irrelevant to social status, wealth or education; some people are just confident, with super emphasised individuality, whereas some have that mass, group, follower mentality. Individuals rely on themselves and don’t need validation. Whereas mass mentality needs to “feed off” of someone they admire, but also “blame” them with same resolve, if they don’t get the expected validation”.

The mass mentality always puzzled me. Adoring someone you don’t know, screaming, all those messages underneath star’s pictures – “I loooove you, pleaseeee notice meeee, please come visit Brasiiiil so I can seee you”….i mean why? Is the star going to read that, tell you he/she loves you back, pack the bags to Brasil and come have tequila shots with you? Surely, you know the answer to that question.

I read a hilarious story somewhere once. About the guy breaking in into Shah Rukh’s house. He jumped into the pool, took a swim, before the guards saw him. They called Shah Rukh to see if he wanted to press charges, and then the guy said – “I don’t want your picture, or autograph, I don’t even want to meet you, I just wanted to take a swim in your pool and leave”. Brilliant. See that right there? Balls. Dare I say even strangely meaningful? Surely not submissive. (please don’t break into anyone’s house on my watch).

I always had supreme issues with submissive. I might be a tough crowd, but I just don’t speak it. I speak inspired. I don’t have idols, i’m not really a fan of anyone. But what I am is greatly inspired with people. Adoration scares me, because it so close to possible hatred. And as much love and adoration Khan enjoys in the world, there’s also that other side; he endures fair share of hatred and gets boycotted at the box office as a result.

I had someone told me once:

Contrary to popular belief, people are not going to hate you for good looks, or having a lots of money, or even success; as much as they will hate you for having a relentless drive, energy, unbreakable spirit, ability to live free of social norms or any rules! People are not jealous for something that’s unattainable to them, they are jealous at something that is attainable to them, but they don’t have the resolve (or balls) to BE it.

Think about it. People are not jealous of what you HAVE. People are jealous of what you ARE.

And he has. And is. He deserved it. He did his time. He made it all on his own. On his on resolve. And that’s the message of the movie, universal for both ends of spectrum. What he actually verbally points out in the film. Don’t be a fan of my glamorous life. Be a fan of my struggle, the path that took me to this life. Be inspired with how I got here, all on my own resolve and hard work. Not with being here.

As I said, I don’t do following; I do inspired. I welcome inspiration from anywhere I can. All kinds of people. The tricky part is how to find the inspiration. People are usually unaware, not concentrated on the world around them, and they see themselves as the center of the universe, instead of realizing we are a part of it. It’s all a correlation. If you’re not seeking it, you’ll never get inspired. And those of you who think it’s crap and you don’t need inspiration, you are wrong. The power of inspiration can transform your whole life.

Why is al this inspiring to me? The correlation of actor and the movie? Because this person, a poster boy for sheer domination, as early as from the school days, managed to achieve all that he did in life, all while being superior in every aspect of life. Isn’t that normal, you say? Superior, equals success, right? Sounds like logical sentence. But not quite. Most likely, it’s actually the opposite. People don’t like superiority. They do once it’s already established, when they can’t do anything about it, but only want to be associated with your superiority at that stage. But if you show any signs of it while growing up, while trying to get there, people will shut you down. Try to disable you.

For someone that’s been disputed all my life, for being great at art, math; competing level, sports; competing, national level, for being unconventional, not giving shit what society tells me I should do, looking the way I do, having more energy and life in me than all the people around me combined; I have spent all my life apologizing for it. All of it. I’ve been stopped in my track, hated, manipulated, trash-talked. I’ve lost jobs, opportunities, friendships; you name it. I felt such hatred towards me, still do, for the reasons that even those hating me can not pin down. And doesn’t even matter that I’m actually a nice person, once you bother discovering it, who helps people more than I help myself; apparently, people don’t like to be reminded of what they aren’t, or can’t do.

Stardom vs. Fandom. And why you shouldn’t be the mass who adores someone’s status, life, fame, wealth. Instead, appreciate their art and get inspired by their path to here.

Which takes me to his most epic quote that summarizes EVERYTHING –

I believe I’m the one with God. I’m not saying it because I became a big star. I became a big star because I always believed like that.

Owning what we are. Believing. Sole reason why we succeed or fail. Trust in ourselves and the process.

And the last one. Bowing out with this last one –

And everything happens if you’re happening.

Miranda Vidak

Designer. Creative Director. Founder & Designer of Moodytwin Brand. Founder of Rhaw Studio.

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