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Review by : Harish V
Starring: : Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Soniya Jehan, Jimmy Shergill.
Direction: Karan Johar
Music: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani,
Loy Mendonca.
Production: Dharma Productions, Fox Star Studios, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Red Chillies Entertainment
After scrambling from one theatre to another and constantly under the glare of the police squad who have secured the movie arena, finally the tickets were issued. Amidst lathis and guns on some, a lucky few were able to see the Baadshah of Bollywood uttering 'My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist'. The journey and travails of movie fanatics to get a ticket in Mumbai would have been equally interesting as the autistic protagonist's journey on screen. But the pains would look meagre if the movie was as brilliant as it promised to be.

Karan always has an urge to ask the world why blame a particular religion when people are at fault. His thirst made him produce Kurbaan and now MNIK. The theme of love, hope and belief can only make this world tick is such an important message in troubled times and ironically the answers to the problems the movie went through are in the movie itself.
  My Name is Khan

Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), an autistic person sees the world through the eyes of his cultured and good hearted mother. He believes that there are only two kinds of people: good and bad. After the death of his mother, Rizwan is taken to the US by his brother and also is given a job of selling cosmetics. He happens to meet Mandira (Kajol) a divorced single mom and hair dresser and falls in love. After few meetings Mandira also falls for Rizwan's good nature and marries him. Their happy life is short-lived as the after effect of 9/11 hits their family hard. And the series of events which follows takes the life of Mandira's son. Heart broken, Mandira faults her love towards a Muslim, the reason for her son's death. Rizwan, to prove his love and her theory wrong, decide to go on a long journey to meet the President of United States to inform him that he is not a terrorist. And the rest of the story is about the hardships faced in the journey.

Karan Johar who put up a disappointing show with 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana' has taken time and come out with a movie that surely will make his filmmaker dad very proud. But that doesn't make the movie a masterpiece, although it surely had potential to reach the heights. A long drawn out second half and overtly (Johar style) melodramatic scenes loosen the plot to a great extent. Scenes like Rizwan talking about his dead son in a war hero's memorial in Hindi and being listened intently and emotionally by a bunch of Afro-American people and that followed up by 'Hummae Hai Vishwas' song with almost everyone dancing for its English version was something which can happen only in Johar's world. The time frame (from 9/11 to Obama), in which the movie's reel events are happening doesn't have any logical backing. When Rizwan tries to help a small storm affected village, he is followed by a bunch of media people and when almost 2 dozen people can so easily reach the rain affected area, why couldn't the affected - walk off to safety? Only Karan knows. The climax too didn't have the impact it needed to make MNIK a classic.

But Johar has also come up with some spectacular and powerful scenes. And the dialogues in such scenes can only be termed as simplistic brilliance. Whether it is the Christian only fund-raising lunch scene or the scene in which he is interrogated and tortured by FBI, its brilliant work all through. The entire episode in the storm hit village was very touching but many such scenes were needed to make this a Desi Forrest Gump equivalent, but it will still make you fall for it.

Camera work by Ravi K Chandran is of international standards. Apart from placing it as per the scene requirement, the cinematographer has also experimented a lot. The background and music by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy trio is easy on ears. Deepa’s editing is good. Art direction by Sharmishta is worth applauding, especially the work to show the rain affected village is excellent.

Shahrukh Khan has indeed made a valiant attempt to portray a person affected by autism. There are many scenes where he seems to try all the mannerism very stylishly which loses its focus and impact, but he has indeed impressed in the rest. Kajol looks stunning and has proved once again that she is the best in the business. The chemistry of the duo Kajol and Shahrukh is as scorching as ever and it is quite surprising that the first film they did together was almost seventeen years ago. Both look so good together. Yuvaan Makkar as Kajol's son is realistic. Jimmy Shergill has a very small role to play but good nevertheless. Zarina Wahab as Shahrukh's mother is lovable. The rest of the cast is also phenomenal. But why has Karan wasted the brilliant Vinay Pathak? The role doesn't demand such a versatile actor.

Overall it’s a melodramatic saga of love, hope and belief which will make you cry, smile and also start believing in humanity. A valiant attempt by Karan - Shahrukh duo to bring about a change which will still be possible but not to an extent they believed in.

Verdict: My name is Khan – And it’s a good movie

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