Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Name Is Khan


Rating : 5/10
Release Date : 12th Feb, 2010
Time : ~160 minutes
Director: Karan Johar; Writer : Shibani Bathija; Music : Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Starring : Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Yuvaan Makar, Sonya Jahan, Jimmy Shergill, Pravin Dabas, Arjun Mathur, Vinay Pathak, Zarina Wahab,Sugandha Garg, Arif Zakaria, SM Zaheer, Katie Keane, Kenton Duty, Benny Nieves, Christopher Duncan


A noble message, a simple point about how not every Muslim is a terrorist is stretched, dragged and repeated over 160 minutes, till the point we really stop caring. Shahrukh acts very well (though not worthy of hyperbole), Kajol is very good, better than a lot of the heroines currently out there, there is an eye-catching performance by Sonya Jahan as SRK’s sister-in-law and a nice cameo by Yuvaan as Kajol’s son. But in the second half, the film seems to lose its plot, becoming melodramatic, emotionally manipulative and totally unrealistic.



SRK plays Rizvan Khan, an autistic child, loved and adored by his mom (Zarina Wahab), who also teaches him valuable lessons about humanity, such as the all important “there are only two kinds of people in the world, good and bad. Nothing else matters”.
After her death, Rizvan goes to the USA to his resentful brother, Zakhir (Jimmy Shergill), who’s always grudged the attention lavished on Rizvan. His wife (Sonya) however, is affectionate and caring, making sure he settles in properly. When Rizvan, after an interesting courtship, decides to get married to Mandira (Kajol), a single mom with a 7 yr old son, Zakhir promptly severs relationship with him as she’s a Hindu. Then 9/11 happens and their world is never the same again.

Even though there is a sense of foreboding throughout the film, the first half is nicely balanced and enjoyable. Moments of humour, the courtship, Rizvan’s innocence and endearing ability make us sail through. The second half ruined the film for me, I actually thought it had ended at least thrice before it actually did and towards the end Rizvan almost becomes a superhero, an icon of sorts, doing incredible things and almost becoming a typical Bollywood hero


I wish Karan had made this film only for the international audience. He would have kept it much tighter then, not populated the film with numerous characters and sub-plots which were not really essential to main plot line. The central message of the film then would’ve truly flowered and the performances of the central characters stood out even more. There is an example of that in the film, one relationship that did touch me and it was shown without any histrionics, was the one between Kajol’s family and her white American neighbours…it was kept simple and totally real and hence was all the more enjoyable.

My abiding memory of the USA, esp in visits after 9/11, is of the number of flags that cropped up in every home and office and you were almost a traitor if you didn’t join in. How good-natured folk became tense and suspicious. How the Asian community was targeted in several places. And how this has still not completely gone away. So while I’ve no disagreement with the films intent, I do feel it could’ve been delivered in simpler and better fashion…

13 comments:

deepti said...

It's refreshing to see a movie review site that does not go along with the bandwagon and offers an independent viewpoint.

Apurv Nagpal said...

thanks, Deepti
its not always appreciated though, esp in the film industry...

Sumit Surai said...

We are used to two types of reviews mainly. The sugar-coated ones and those which deliberately tries to say everything against the mass, as if being different is being intelligent. Thanks for following none.
I haven't yet seen the film, but with KJo as directer things can go over the top, specially towards the end.
I am a huge SRK fan. So might come back and comment again after watching the film :)

Monts said...

I saw the movie and fell in love with SRK all over again..he is brilliant, endearing and totally lovable in the film and kudos to karan johar too. And i dont see the need to make comparisons with any other films - hollywood or bollywood...each movie needs to be watched and appreciated as an independent attempt not with the mindset of comparisons or benchmarks..i think your score of 5/10 is very unfair esp since in the past a lot of below average films have got similar ratings..

Apurv Nagpal said...

Hi ! Monts
thx for commenting.

I dont think i compared or even mentioned any other film in my review ? Am glad you liked SRK's performance - it was good but not good enough for me to overcome the plot loopholes and the meandering, unrealistic 2nd half

thx
Apurv

Monts said...

oye sorry the comment seemed directed at you but it was just some rambling thoughts cause people have been putting down the film :)
the only thing i didnt agree with in your post was the 5/10...come on it deserved atleast a 6 if not a 7:P


cheers

nexus said...

I am 26 years old guy and i fell in love with the kid sameer nickname sam in the movie...still not married and i want to have kid like him,,love you sam...so cute..

rohan said...

undoubtedly sir! the movie deserves only 5 stars and that too because of the acting skills. story line up was really very disappointing.

vineet said...

Nothing stuck out except acting. Inspired from "Forrest Gump". For those who haven't seen, please rent a DVD and watch.

Anonymous said...

fair n balanced review.ive mentioned to more than one person that the outstandinga actresses ooops actors were SRK's mother n sis-in law.theres one thing tho and for that reason alone I'd say the film is a good watch-it does try n deal with some of the popular misconceptions about islam.and the bit about "good people and bad people" is brought about veryb effectively. once again-think your review is very nicely done. cheers manoj mohanka

Rakesh said...

my problem with these movies is the length. They shd make short and crisp.

Anonymous said...

Apurv - good stuff tho I ranked this a 8/10. Its ironic that you mentioned that Karan should have made it for a foreign audience. I actually thought where he messed up is that he has neither here nor there. This movie is pretty much targeted at the intellegentia - if i may call them that. I cant recall a movie where a kid is knocked off in the 2nd half etc. This is inherently a sad movie - a saaransh on steroids is what I termed it as ;-). Where i disagree with you entirely is SRK's acting. This is a bravura performance and ranks among the top 3 in hindi movies for me. For that alone this deserves a 8 on 10

Anonymous said...

One of the most idiotic movies I have ever watched---trivializes a serious issue, stereotypes African Americans, makes the overacting, overhyped SRK look like a genius and the rest of the country (US) look like a bunch of over-reacting, small-minded bigoted and lazy buffoons--this is a complete waste of time and money.