Monday, April 26, 2010
My Name is Khan and I Love the World
For the first time an Indian film director has attempted a film of this magnitude. Karan Johar's Khan is a coming of age film in more than one ways. The movie reflects the growing stature of Indian cinema and stars like Shahrukh Khan. It talks about the global minority issue with a sincerity never seen before. And it lays the foundation for all future meaningful yet commercial cinema in India.
'My Name Is Khan' is the story of Rizwan Khan, an autistic man. He falls in love with Mandira, a hairdresser by profession and a Hindu by religion. They get married and Khan adopts Mandira's son Sameer from a previous marriage. Picture perfect!
Things change with 9/11. Something terrible happens in the Khan's household and his world falls apart. Always the one to take things on their face value, Khan sets on a journey to meet the President of the United States to sort out a domestic affair.
The journey of Khan is the soul of the movie. The world through his eyes melts your heart and moisten your eyes.
The Afro-American discrimination captured in the backdrop of hurricane Katrina was a brave new attempt. Also, for once, the depiction of Muslims was close to reality.
Karan Johar, the director, surprises you with his handling of such a sensitive subject. The production value, too, is top-notch. His earlier work pales in comparison with this big canvas effort.
Shibani Bathija's screenplay is one of the strengths of the movie. She also pens down the dialogues, which serves well in crucial scenes.
Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is a let down, though Noor-e-Khuda stands out. The impressive background score on the other hand, by the same team, makes it up for them.
What can one say about the lead pair! Shahrukh and Kajol would go down in history as one of the greats on-screen pairs of Hindi cinema. They share some amazing chemistry and it shows in every frame. It's no mean feat considering their first film was released in 1993.
Kajol has come up with another intense performance, something typical of her. But I do feel she overdid some emotional scenes.
For Shahrukh MNIK would serve as a milestone, more so for the challenges the character of Rizwan Khan offers. He plays the role of the autistic man to the hilt. This in itself is a considerable task when you think of Shahrukh with all his movie mannerism. The movie revolves around his character and he makes the most of this opportunity. Just when you thought 'Chak De' was his peak, he comes up with this brilliant act!
It was good to see Zarina Wahab sparkle in the brief role of Rizwan's mother. Yuvaan Makaar as Sameer was lovable. Tanay Chheda as the young Rizwan matched the senior Khan. Jimmy Shergill as Rizwan's brother puts up a sincere performance but it was his wife in the movie, played by Sonya Jehan, who was the real surprise. The lady from the Titanic Taj Mahal (pun intended) brought grace to her character. Jennifer Echols as Mama Jenny was likeable too.
Controversy or no controversy, Khan is great cinema.