Review - My Name Is Khan: And I spread goodwill with restraint
Dir: Karan Johar
The constraint is really appreciated both in terms of Karan Johar's direction and Shah Rukh Khan's performance. But unfortunately, in the last hour the movie leaves the US and enters K-Jo-land. And in both worlds Kajol intolerably shrieks her way through.
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Simran and Raj have grown up. They have crossed a few hurdles in the past 15 years, and now they face new ones. They are left to now deal with terrorism and racial divides. Director Karan Johar has grown up too and shows respect to his growing audience too. There isn't super-sappy emotional drama. There is no over-the-board filmy dialogue. There aren't frolic-y dances. All HUGE plusses. But, every once in a while melodrama takes a quick peek, and by the end it takes over. The lines aren't super-mushy but they are still belong to Utopia. And the background score takes over the gap left by the song and dance sequences.
If I could give marks to improvement that a director, this movie deserves garlands, accolades, awards, and more. Surely, when something as sappy as "We shall overcome" gives me goose bumps, the director has done something very, very right. But, if a movie was only rated for the mistakes it didn't make, all credit would be taken away from films that don't have any intention of making them in the first place. And the argument could go round and round in circles.
Well, then let's focus on what they did. I was wondering, if there was any need at all to bring in the "autism" angle at all? And I realized the film wouldn't be engaging at all if that wasn't a part of the whole schema. Shah Rukh Khan, would then be Shah Rukh Khan. And there is zero-tolerance for that. But, here his character, Rizwan, suffers from this syndrome which gives Shah Rukh completely different material to deal with.
The permanent cock-eyed-ness, the no-eye-contact with any character for the entire length of the film, the restricted body movement - all keep you attached to Rizwan and far way from Shah Rukh. And kudos to the latter for that!
:) No people, that was not the only purpose of making Rizwan suffer from Asperger's. Here’s this person who had difficulty identifying emotions let alone expressing them. He just follows one guiding principle, "That he is a good human being and will not let bad enter him." Now, when a person with a low EQ knows that, how can we as a head and a heart allow bad things to happen in this world.
Beautiful, ain't it? Unfortunately, anything with such high sentimental content has to give way to sappiness. Though, Karan Johar and his team of writers do manage to keep a huge chunk out for most of the film. The last 40 minutes complete lose all sanity. The moment you see a mother who has just lost her son change into whites while her child is lying still in the house, you know this film has very little hope, now on. Though, ironically, it's trying to say there is hope.
Add to this drop, a super-shrill Kajol throughout the film. The lady's voice is high-pitched when she's excited/happy and piercingly so when she's upset/sad. Considering that, there are only two main characters whose personalities we are exposed to; it is actually heartbreaking to see zero chemistry between the two. Save a couple of "moments", there is no romance in this love story.
However, you do see a lot of romance between the camera and its subjects. The arid deserts, the city sky-lines, and the general magnificence of the US is covered beautifully. The puller-downer is that it is almost like it was shot for their makemytrip.com advertisements.
Given all of this, I might have urged all of you to wait for the DVD for the first two hours of the film and would have also equally vehemently urged you to skip the last 40 minutes or so. But given the "illogical" conditions revolving around the release of the film, I'd say - all those keen to support the entire team of My Name Is Khan should go watch it in the theaters. It is not a waste of money, time, energy and certainly not a waste of your courage.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: A few strong scenes where a child is beaten up brutally.
- Language: Everyday abusive language. No sexual expletives, that is.
- Nudity & Sexual content: A bed room scene with mention of intercourse.
- Concept: That of spreading goodwill across religion and color.
- General Look and Feel: It's not stark, it's not happy. It's in-between and has a lesson or two for the next generation.
My Name Is Khan - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Dharma Productions
- Producer: Hiroo Yash Johar, Gauri Khan
- Director: Karan Johar
- Lead Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Katie Keane, Kenton Duty, Benny Nieves, Christopher B Duncan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Sonya Jehan, Parvin Dabas, Arjun Mathur, Sugandha Garg, Zarina Wahab
- Supporting Cast: Tanay Cheda, Navneet Nishan, Sheetal Menon, Arjan Aujla, Yuvaan Makar, Jennifer Echols, Adrian Kali Turner, Michael Arnold, Dominic Renda
- Story: Shibani Bhatija
- Screenplay: Shibani Bhatija
- Dialogues: Shibani Bhatija, Niranjan Iyengar, Shibani Bhatija, Niranjan Iyengar
- Cinematography: Ravi K Chandran, Ravi K Chandran
- Editor: Deepa Bhatia
- Background Score: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
- Action Choreography: Shyam Kaushal, Spiro Razatos, Shyam Kaushal, Spiro Razatos
- Choreography: Farah Khan
- Music Director: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
- Lyrics: Niranjan Iyengar
- Costume Designer: Ravindra Patil, Sachin Bhoir, Aziz Dhamser, Manish Malhotra
- Art Direction: Mohammed Kasim, Mansi Mehta
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 160 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Genres: Romance