Comparison between the International Version (iTunes VOD) and the Extended Version (the latter included on the German Blu-ray from BollyLove, also available on Amazon Prime Video)
With Pathaan, the Indian megastar Shah Rukh Khan made his comeback in 2023. Even before its release the song Besharam Rang sparked critical discussions in India due to obscenities. Additionally it also became clear that the British distributor chose to make cuts to secure a BBFC12 rating. Interestingly, the later available VOD version on Amazon in the UK was, however, uncut with a runtime of 148 minutes.
Among other VOD offerings, it was noticable that on iTunes, a version 2.5 minutes shorter (= 146 minutes) is available. This version lacks, among other things, a longer torture sequence that clearly bears signs of censorship. The other dialogue cuts were seemingly made because references were being responded to. It's quite likely that the film was released in this form in various countries, and even in India, local media reported that these scenes were missing in the Indian theatrical release. The Russians' brutal actions have apparently been deliberately removed from the film, making the version available on Amazon essentially an "extended" one.
Since August 4, 2023, the film has also been available on Blu-ray in Germany, and we had this version for comparison as well. Due to a differently structured end credits sequence, the runtime is shorter than the Amazon VOD version, and with 146 minutes it actually closely resembles the aforementioned "international version" of the film. Fortunately, we can confirm though that all scenes described in the following report are included in the German release, making the film uncut or in its "extended version".
As there hasn't been a home video release or announcement in the UK as of yet, we cannot definitively verify what exactly has been censored there. It's possible that the same sequence is affected, or perhaps additional/alternative cuts have been made. The BBFC runtime indications are slightly shorter, at least. Interested viewers are advised to opt for the Amazon stream or the German Blu-ray.
Runtime indications are arranged according to the pattern:
Right at the start, a card from the "Board of Indian Film Certification" is shown briefly. Not included in cut duration/quantity.
69:52 / 70:01-70:18
Right after the intermission point (or "Interval"), there's a shot of an airplane, and a caption indicates that we are in the "Present day."
Inside the plane, there's a brief dialogue. It reveals that the Russians have captured Pathaan and subjected him to severe torture.
69:56 / 70:22-71:06
After seeing the "Black Prison" from the outside in the cut version, a longer scene follows indoors where Pathaan is being tortured. Initially, you hear a slicing sound, and he screams. A close-up reveals that one of his fingernails has already been pulled out - and the second one follows immediately. There are a few sadistic dialogues ("This one's going to hurt!") accompanying this.
The General speaks briefly to Pathaan, essentially wanting him to talk. Pathaan briefly praises his counterpart's knowledge of Hindi and mockingly asks if his mother went on a "special mission" to India. The General slaps Pathaan in the face, and he loses consciousness. It's concluded that he's been put into a high-security prison.
88:52-88:53 / 90:02-91:14
In the cut version, the conversation between Pathaan and Rubina transitions with a fade-out and fade-in to a snowy landscape. However, there's an additional scene prior to that, where Pathaan coolly marches into the command center wearing sunglasses. American hip-hop plays in the background. People greet him, he casually takes off his glasses and suggests they get back to work.
Then, they discuss the plan further. They would parachute over the lab and work their way downward from there. Then, there's a discussion about whether they can trust Rubai, as she had previously betrayed him to the Russians, which lead to the previously censored torture scene. This seems to be the reason why this entire scene was cut. As an alternative, Colonel Luthra suggests simply blowing up the lab with a missile. However, it's questionable whether the virus would be destroyed in the process. Instead, it might spread even further and rain down on three continents. Therefore, it's decided that Pathaan will take care of the matter himself. Mockingly, there's a final piece of advice to visit a hairdresser.
Original version 71.9 seconds (= 1:12 min) longer
99:50 / 102:12-102:37
A short, fast-paced scene shows Rubai being interrogated. They want to know where the antidote is and where the missile is aimed. Rubai responds that only Jim himself would decide. If something goes wrong, he still has a backup plan, which is now likely being put into action.
The end credits roll a bit faster in the German Blu-ray version, shortening the total runtime. The Amazon Prime stream has them in the original speed.