Movie Review - My Name Is Khan

Khan lacks soul
By: Amit R Agarwal

My Name Is Khan made news before release because of the controversy its lead actor Shahrukh Khan was mired in.

Post-release My Name Is Khan will be controversial amongst the audiences - with they wondering how on earth reviewers gave it glowing reviews.

An elderly couple, who walked out of the audi as the end-credits rolled, sighed "Can't fathom what made critics go gaga over this film!"

Well, I have always maintained that India lacks quality critics. In Shahrukh's own words - when in late 90's critics called him a non-actor - "I hardly care for reviews written by pen-slinging college drop-outs who don't understand cinema".

My question is, does pumping in 100 odd crores in a movie mean good cinema?

It might mean eye-popping cinematography, breathtaking scenic locales, a haunting soundtrack - but what about the soul of a film?
Can 100 crores buy it, so unlike buying the media!

Soul of a film comes only when the protagonists connect with the audiences; like the production-houses' earlier film on terrorism Kurbaan; Khan too lacks soul.

The film opens with Khan (Shahrukh) embarking on a journey to meet the President of US.

The reason being, his wife Mandira (Kajol) has asked him to go and tell the President that - My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.

Thus forms the narrative of the movie. Though the story is exciting, the narrative isn't.

Rizwan (Shahrukh) suffers from a mental ailment. His ammi (Zarina Wahab) showers all his affection on him. His younger brother (Jimmy Shergill) moves to US. After his mother's death Shahrukh too moves to US. Here Jimmy's wife Haseena (Sonya Jehan) who teaches at a university diagnoses Shahrukh's problem.

Jimmy inducts Shahrukh in his company as a salesman to sell herbal products.

On one such field-trip, Shahrukh meets Mandira (Kajol).
Their frienship turns into love that culminates in marriage.

Rizwan strikes a firm bond with Mandira's son from earlier marriage, Sameer.

Everything is going well, till 9/11 happens.
In a tragic incident Sameer is killed.

It is then that Mandira tells Khan to go and tell the President of US that - My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.

There are very many flaws in characterisations like Jimmy's character is shown as hating his brother; so why would he call Rizwan to US, even after his mother's death?

Directorially, the 7 year span doesn't show any physical transformation is Sameer? Howdy - as the security official character in the movie would ask?

Also, the shot that introduces the grown-up younger brother in silhoutte shows that the actor is Aamir Bashir and not Jimmy Shergill!

At many places the incidents in the film look forced. Like the making of a 'hero' out of Khan in the climax. In fact, climax seems to be a botched up job - yes job!

A spontaneity is required to essay a mental-handicap; think Hrithik in Koi Mil Gaya or Amitabh in Paa (though it wasn't mental) - unfortunately Shahrukh's Rizwan is too calculated and studied - his act lacks the spontaneity to endear himself to the audiences.

What rocks the movie:
Kajol, absolutely a treat to watch
A few moments that are genuine K Jo

What chucks the movie:
The length, believe me after 2.30 hrs. you really long it all to end!
The writing which takes audiences for granted

Average show; if you are not a hardcore Sharukh fan, you might not even enjoy the movie; as a group of youngsters cribbed "we want a refund". The film might be a hit owing to Shahrukh-Kajol combo.

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