Saturday, February 13, 2010
My Name Is Khan - 4.5/5
I penned this after having just returned from watching My Name Is Khan. There are some movies that are epics. And then, there are some movies that are events. My Name Is Khan manages to be both.
It's a heart warming story of a Muslim man with autism coping with racial tensions post-9/11 in the USA. It's the story of the Muslim community in USA that suddenly found itself in unwanted focus. It's a story that has a bit of the stories of every one of us.
We watched a matinee show, at 3 pm. Even on reaching the theatre half an hour ahead, it was packed. Families come out to see a Shah Rukh Khan movie, and the marketing and promotion for this movie has been top class. For all the woes of filmmakers about piracy, it's clear that if you make a good movie, people will throng to the big screen.
My Name Is Khan is probably one of the few (possibly the first) Bollywood movie I can recommend to non-Bollywood people. Without getting away from Bollywood trappings (songs, exotic locale) it manages to tell a story sans distractions. Yes, it loses the half point because the second half is a bit long, but you don't care because at that point, you have started to root for the protagonist of the movie. It's one of those films that manages to get you involved in the lives of its characters. You start to care for Rizwan and Mandira.
As for the Islamic aspect of the story, it serves a backdrop to the movie; the underlying context - and it has been portrayed very well. Often, directors, in an effort to avoid cliches, resort to cliches. Here, there is no such filmy-ness. There is one scene set in a mosque that stands out as the best scene in the movie.
After a long time, Shah Rukh Khan has given a performance that should fetch him numerous awards. He has proven he is one of the best actors in the industry and ditto for all others in the movie - though Shah Rukh Khan stands head and shoulders above everyone else.
After all, his name is Khan.