My Name Is Khan is the story of Rizwan Khan who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism, which leaves a person with impaired social skills but accompanied by a very high Intelligence Quotient. Because of being differently-abled Rizwan has a problem dealing with crowded spaces, loud colours, intimate hugs, in expressing emotions, or voluntarily reacting to common external stimuli. The film narrates the incredible journey of Rizwan from the suburbs of Mumbai to the sophisticated surroundings of California, his romance, trials, travails, tribulations and his ultimate tryst with the President of United States of America and his firm statement, “My name is Khan, I am not a terrorist.” This is a thought provoking film and entertaining at the same time.
Young Rizwan Khan (Tanay Chheda) grows up with his mother (Zarina Wahab) at Borivali in Mumbai.Those are the troubled times of communal riots and vengeful violence. In spite of being mentally challenged, he learns to fix things in his own way.
The adult Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), moves to his brother(Jimmy Shergill) and sister-in-law(Sonya Jehan) in San Francisco. He is employed by his brother as a salesman. He chances to meet a single mother Mandira (Kajol) who has a son and falls in love with her. Rizwan marries Mandira against the wishes of his brother and start their own business. Their lives turn topsy-turvy after the 9/11 terror bombings of the World Trade Towers in New York. Rizwan Khan, because of his odd behavior is presumed to be a terrorist. He then starts a long and lonely journey to prove his innocence.
Shah Rukh Khan comes out with an extraordinary award winning performance, definitely his best till date and if this film goes for Oscars next year, it might be the first Indian film to win an Academy Award. Kajol has not lost any of her appeal or acting potential. She comes out with scintillating performance. Soniya Jehan, Jimmy Shergill and Zarina Wahab do well with author backed roles. Tanay Chheda as the young Rizwan is wonderful. All others fit into their roles effectively. Vinay Pathak, Sumeet Raghavan and Tarun Mansukhani are convincing in their special appearances. Christopher B. Duncan as Barack Obama is quite credible.
Karan Johar has matured as an entertainer. He narrates a complex story in simple terms. Though he touches terrorism, communal riots, racial hatred, typhoons and tragedies, they form a sort of metaphors for what is happening to the protagonist and never distracts the narration. The story by Karan Johar and Shibani Bathija is something out of the box and is thought provoking. Dialogues by Niranjan Iyengar and Shibani Bathija are apt and meaningful. Shibani Bathija’s screenplay is gripping. Music by Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonca is soulful and adds to the various moods of the narration. Cinematography Ravi K. Chandran captures USA like never before. Deepa Bhatia’s editing is crisp. The production values are very high.
My Name Is Khan is a must-see film for its wide canvas of good Vs evil, Shah Rukh Khan’s brilliant performance, Kajole’s splendid essay of her role and Karan Johar’s mesmerizing story telling. Rush to your nearest theatres.
Looks like the Shiv Sena took the wrong film to stop its release. Those who see My Name Is Khan will spew vitriol at the Sainiks for not allowing a beautiful, thought provoking, yet entertaining cinematic experience.
The Cast and Crew
Star Cast: Shahrukh Khan,Kajol,Soniya Jehan,Jimmy Shergill,Zarina Wahab,
Parvin Dabbas,Arif Zakaria,Navneet Nishan,Sheetal Menon,Tanay Chheda,
Arjun Mathur, Sugandha Garg,,S. M. Zaheer,Vinay Pathak,Sumeet Raghavan
Christopher: B. Duncan,Benny Nieves,Katie Keane,Kenton Duty,Yuvaan Makaar
Banner: Dharma Productions,Fox Star Studios,Fox Searchlight Pictures
Red Chillies Entertainment
Producer: Gauri Khan, Hiroo Johar
Executive Producer / Co-Producer: Apoorva Mehta
Director: Karan Johar
Singers: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan,Richa Sharma,Adnan Sami, Shreya Ghoshal, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Ustad Rashid Khan
Lyricist: Niranjan Iyengar
Music Director&Background Music: Shankar Mahadevan,Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
Cinematography: Ravi K. Chandran
Choreography: Farah Khan
Action: Shyam Kaushal, Spiro Razatos
Art: Sharmishta Roy
Editor: Deepa Bhatia
Screenplay: Shibani Bathija
Dialogue: Niranjan Iyengar,Shibani Bathija
Story / Writer:Karan Johar,Shibani Bathija
4 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar
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