My Name is Khan (2010) is the first (and till date the only) movie created by Karan Johar without keeping the box office in his mind. Seemingly inspired by Hollywood movie Forest Gump (1994), the movie is based upon the hatred and bias towards the Muslim community because of the terrorist activities by certain groups, especially in USA after the unforgettable 9/11.The movie very correctly emphasizes that a person should be assessed as a good person or a bad person only whatsoever religion he may be practising. Why should a good and kind-hearted Muslim and his family face the hatred and discard when they are in no way connected to the anti-human deeds of the Muslim terrorists ? Their religion is their identification and their faith. If they are good, loving and kind towards the other communities and the mankind in general, why should they suffer ?
However Karan Johar could not find himself able to underscore this point through a normal Muslim individual. For his cinematic convenience, he has created the character of Rizwan who is suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. He is naive and innocent like a child and hence believable with all his mannerisms. But then the story does not look like a really flesh and blood individual’s story. It seems a bit artificial since beginning. After losing the little child who was born to his Hindu wife through her earlier marriage, in the post 9/11 hatred in USA towards Muslims, Rizwan has to face the brunt of his beloved wife who feels that she is a loving wife later, first a grief-stricken mother. Challenged by the discarding wife to meet the US president and convince him that despite being a Muslim, he is not a terrorist, Rizwan starts a journey covering many people and events full of sensitivity. In typical bollywood style, Rizwan ultimately succeeds in meeting not George Bush (to meet whom he had started the journey) but Barack Obama. Reason ! The US gets a new president, an Afro-Americal one, till Rizwan’s journey comes to conclusion. Obama (the actor and not the real Obama) tells him – ‘Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist’. And our beloved Rizwan (Shahrukh) Khan is happy to have achieved his objective and quite naturally regain his lost love.The treatment of the story by Karan Johar is highly sensitive. The character of Shahrukh Khan is simply lovable courtesy his marvellous acting through which he has put himself aside completely and attained the soul of Rizwan Khan, a golden hearted person suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. However, some incidents are unnecessary as well as making the look of the movie a bit unreal. The easier path has been followed by the director to bring his movie towards the desired climax. However, for the first time, a director has shown the courage to depict a Muslim showing mirror to Muslims themselves by quoting Koran Sharif and the Muslim legends like Hazrat Ibrahim, warning them to beware of the Satan (the misguiding Muslim leaders in the modern sense).
Shahrukh Khan has made even those people his fans through his performance in MNIK who were earlier his critics. Simply a gem of a performance by him. Kajol is as natural as cold in Delhi in the month of December. But the complete supporting cast deserves a special mention for the cameos by different characters making a greater part of the movie’s ultimate impact upon the viewers. Zarina Wahab, Sonya Jahan, Jimmy Shergill, Vinay Pathak, to name a few. The child artists (plus the non-Indian actors) have also done a splendid job.
The music is according to the mood of the movie. The art direction and the locations are highly impressive. Overall a good movie, not for the people fond of movies like KKHH or K3G (Karan’s formula ventures). It is a movie low on entertainment value but high on inspirational value. A thought-provoking one.
Strongly recommended for all the Muslim and non-Muslim viewers who believe in the religion of humanity.
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