Movie review: My name is Khan

February 11, 2010

My Name Is Khan (MNIK) will get attention because it reteams Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Karan Johar after the blockbusters Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Ghum.
Rizvan Khan (Khan) who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome moves to San Francisco to live with his brother (Shergill). There he falls in love with Mandira (Kajol), a single mother. Despite protests from his family, Rizvan marries Mandira and they start a small business. Their life is shattered after the 9/11 attacks as the Muslim community in the US is affected by prejudice. Then a devastating event forces Mandira to split from Rizvan.
Khan did a lot of research to play his character and diligently practised the body language and speech pattern. “I think, to be a hero all you need is basic goodness,” says Khan. Playing the character of Rizvan made him realise that one can be very special by being ordinary.
Tired of doing routine dance-and-song numbers in his typical mushy romantic flicks, Johar is exploring a territory he hasn’t ventured in before.
“MNIK at its core is a love story of two people who have a unique way of seeing the world, but what sets it apart is the landscape on which the story unfolds,” says Johar. “I keep setting out to do something different with my films, but the one constant that remains is my desire to continue to explore the many ways in which two people can fall in love and stay in love regardless of the challenges they face.” “Though the film’s essence is a love story, I have tried to tackle an international issue,” he says. “But despite its international relevance MNIK is very much a Hindi film at heart.”
About the lead actors he says, “I could make a film without Shah Rukh and Kajol, but it would break my heart to not use the finest actors to come out of Indian cinema in three decades to tell my story. I know what Shah Rukh is looking to do as an actor. I knew that Kajol, now a mother, would give Mandira the grace and a heart that would connect with the audience the moment she opened her eyes.”
The soul-searching and soothing tracks by Johar’s favourite music composers Shankar-Ehsan-Loy will certainly help MNIK.
Film file
0 MNIK is the first Bollywood film to be distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
0 It’s the second joint production between Khan and Johar after Kaal
0 The film is written by Shibani Bhatija, who earlier wrote Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Fanaa
0 It’s believed to be influenced by the novel An Asperger Marriage by real-life couple, Chris and Gisela Slater-Walker
0 Tanay Chheda, who played the protagonist Jamal’s childhood version in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, plays Khan’s younger version in MNIK

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