Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Name Is Khan - movie review

FR: What shit!

I remember sending an SMS during the interval to my friend. It read "engaging so far". A few minutes into the second half and I was looking for a place to bang my head open. No wait. That was my cousin. I was looking for a more painless way to die, having endured enough pain from the movie. Anyway, I could write a separate post about the jokes cracked on this one, so I'll save that for some other day. Moving on to the matter at hand...

Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan),who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, is on a mission to tell the President of the United States that his name is Khan and that he is not a terrorist. Why he wants to inform the President of this very important fact forms the crux of this story. While on this journey, Rizwan goes back in time to his childhood days. His Ammi teaches him at a very young age, that there are only good guys and bad guys, and that should be his only source of distinction between people. Zakir (Jimmy Shergil) is Rizwan's younger brother who often resents him for getting all the attention from their mother. He shifts base to the US as soon as he turns 18 and marries Hasina (Sonia Jehaan). After the death of his mother, Rizwan moves to US where Zakir gives him the post of salesman of a women's cosmetics company. This is the first ridiculous aspect of the story. People with Asperger's syndrome rarely talk, even to people who they know very well and here we see Rizwan rattling off all the pros of the cosmetics he wishes to sell. Moving on..

While on this job, he meets a beautiful hairdresser, Mandira (Kajol). He soon falls in love with her and she agrees to marry him if he shows her some place in San Franciso which she has never seen before. Soon, Rizwan, Mandira and her young son are seen happily walking hand-in-hand. I found this part of the plot highly implausible as people with Asperger's syndrome need to be taken care of and I believe Mandira already had enough on her plate in terms of her son. Either ways, 9/11 happens and the world comes crashing down. Mandira's son is killed in a racial attack and in her hysterical state, she blames Khan for it. If her son's last name was Rathore, she opines, he would have still been alive. She asks Khan to "GO AWAY" and return only when he has told the President of the US that her son was a Khan but he wasn't a terrorist. Khan takes Mandira literally and starts on a journey to meet the President of the US, while Mandira steadfastly fights for her son's justice.

Till the plot is related to these 2 stories, it remains powerful and heart-wrenching. What plays spoiler is when Rizwan goes to save a village from hurricane Katrina. People with Asperger's syndrome rarely take the initiative to direct hundreds of people to a rescue mission. In the second half, its just one implausible incident after another, till you wonder, what the hell was K-Jo thinking? The background music is jarring and I found myself covering my ears and hunching like Rizwan several times during the movie. There are such gaping holes in the logic that you wonder if the scriptwriter was sleeping while writing. For more loopholes, visit

Average music, decent cinematography and a hackneyed plot do not let My Name Is Khan become the best movie ever. However, Shah Rukh Khan's Rizwan is innocent and makes you laugh most often than not. Kajol's Mandira is also loveable though her eyebrows were much less done than Shah Rukh's which is strange considering she is playing the part of a hairdresser. All in all, worth a watch once, but don't blame me if you end up tearing out your hair towards the end.


  1. There was some antique movie where the protagonist is wrongly accused of being a bad guy. He then starts to do good social deeds to show that he is not a bad person. But this movie has portrayed this in the US. Well, it was great that Mr. Khan got a work permit so easily in the US but to make the US his karma bhumi to prove he is not a terrorist goes against the principles of the movie Swades. I really hate those movies where the viewer must fill in the loop-holes and make impossible "considerations".

  2. My name is Sanket and I am being terrorised by such movies! While K-JO is not a terrorist, he is certainly the biggest movie-killer.

  3. @Chinmay: I didn't think of the whole green-card, Swades angle! Even so, Shah Rukh is just an actor and not the voice behind the 2 contradictory feelings :)

    @Sanket: Hehehee :D