In the illustrious realm of psychoanalytical scholarship, Carl Jung's profound postulation on the collective unconscious unfurls as an enthralling theory, surmising the existence of a shared reservoir of knowledge and imagery, seamlessly bequeathed to all human beings. Within this reservoir, one encounters the mystical archetypes, universal symbols, and patterns that artfully weave themselves through the intricate fabric of our dreams, myths, and cultural narratives.

Carl Jung proposed that archetypes represent universal symbols or patterns embedded in the collective unconscious of all humans. These archetypes shape our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, and are inherent and inherited. Jung believed that understanding these archetypes could enhance our understanding of human psychology and aid in self-discovery and understanding others. Examples of Jungian archetypes include the persona, the shadow, the anima/animus, the self, and the hero. The shadow symbolizes our concealed or repressed aspects, while the persona is the facade we adopt in social contexts. Jung recognized that the four primary archetypes can blend together, producing 12 archetypal figures, also referred to as archetypal images. These figures consist of the Ruler, Creator/artist, Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Rebel, Hero, Wizard, Jester, Everyman, Lover, and Caregiver. Everything will be found in the delicate scenes of the Movie- Jawan.

Amidst the effervescent fabric of contemporary Indian cinema, the 2023 Hindi-language cinematic spectacle, "Jawan," orchestrated under the aegis of the brilliant Atlee and adorned with the enigmatic presence of Shah Rukh Khan, emanates as a compelling embodiment of Jung's collective unconscious theory across a myriad of beguiling dimensions.

Embarking on an odyssey through the celluloid realms, "Jawan" deftly ushers us into the enthralling expanse of archetypes, presenting an evocative panorama of diverse archetypal personas, from the valiant hero, personified in the eponymous Jawan or Azad played by Shah Rukh Khan, to the malevolent antagonist, Kalee (Vijay Sethupathi), and the enchanting damsel in distress, the enrapturing Narmada (Nayanthara). These archetypes, universally recognized symbols resonating across the human psyche, effortlessly transcend the boundaries of culture and geography, resonating fervently with audiences across the globe.

Imbued with the quintessence of bravery and selfless valor, the character of Azad becomes the embodiment of the classic hero archetype, gallantly wielding the torch of righteousness and stoically vowing to sacrifice his very essence to safeguard the sanctity of his beloved nation and cherished kin. Individuals hailing from the subcontinent possess a rich historical background that reveres moral integrity in their religious and mythical leaders. This virtue is vividly embodied in the persona of the hero- Azad, ingrained within their very genetic blueprint.

Conversely, the villainous avatar of Kalee (Vijay Sethupathi) is cast in the iridescent light of the classic archetype of malevolence, a quintessence of cruel ambition and relentless power, sparing no soul in the unabated pursuit of his dark ambitions, and thereby etching a chilling parable of the unyielding struggle between good and evil.

In the dazzling web of this cinematic saga, Narmada (Nayanthara)'s character becomes a vessel of delicate vulnerability yet powerful in characterization, captured within the clutches of Kalee (Vijay Sethupathi)'s nefarious designs, galvanizing the valiant Jawan to unleash a clamorous journey of redemption and liberation, weaving an enigmatic arras of interwoven destinies and profound human emotions.

Venturing deeper into the exquisite labyrinth of the film's narrative arras, one unearths an intricate network of myths and symbols adorning the vivid canvas. Reveling in the grandeur of the ancient Indian legend of the intrepid Jawan, a timeless saga of an unyielding warrior summoned periodically to safeguard the honor of his cherished motherland, the film paints an ethereal portrait of mythical resonance, echoing the timeless essence of heroism and unwavering valor.

Engaging in a tantalizing dance with the timeless echoes of Jung's theory, "Jawan" blossoms as a contemporary reimagining of the ancient legends, heralding an evocative saga of sacrifice, redemption, and the unyielding march towards self-discovery and heroic glory.

Delving deeper into the emotional undercurrents of the narrative, "Jawan" beckons the audience into the poignant terrain of patriotism, sacrifice, and the triumphant redemption of the human spirit, rendering itself as a drapery of universal themes and resonant emotions, echoing the human experience in its unbridled entirety.

Weaving a shimmering dosser of thematic exploration, the narrative trajectory of "Jawan" intertwines with the eternal battle between the forces of light and darkness, as the quintessential struggle for human salvation and redemption unfolds with resplendent grace.

Embarking on an intrepid voyage through the shadowy corridors of the human soul, the enigmatic figure of Kalee (Vijay Sethupathi) emerges as the quintessential embodiment of the shadow self, ensnared in a vociferous tango with the valiant Jawan, a representation of the protagonist's repressed inner turmoil and existential tribulations.

In the riveting climax of this cinematic spectacle, Jawan is tasked with a formidable confrontation, not merely against the malevolent Kalee (Vijay Sethupathi) but against the darkest recesses of his own consciousness, heralding a poignant allegory of human resilience and the invincible spirit's unyielding quest for integration and redemption.

As an eloquent ode to the subtle nuances of Jung's seminal collective unconscious theory, "Jawan" rises as an artistic masterpiece, adeptly employing the vivid hues of archetypes, myths, symbols, and themes, culminating in an ethereal symphony of emotional resonance and human universality, illuminating the enigmatic facets of the collective human experience with unparalleled grace and luminous insight.

Syed Raiyan Amir, Research Associate, The KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA). Email:,

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