My Name is KHAN…It’s regular Bollywood fare, yet perhaps somehow, just like the protagonist can sense his beloved’s presence by the merest whiff of her perfume, one can tell…can tell that Rizwan Khan’s tale is one with a difference!
Set in the post 9/11 era, it traces one man’s journey, his journey to keep his promise, to prove his innocence and a journey, beyond all, to win back his only love.
This Johar movie has all it’s essential ingredients in SRK, Kajol and the Shankar-Ehsan-Loy music and background score, it’s got the singing of ‘Hum honge kamyaab’ in a foreign land and is yet again based in America… Yet it comes with a difference. The tone is perhaps a shade obtuse and the message is delivered full on and blunt (the only way that Rizwan Khan identifies with). But perhaps, it’s because in today’s world there is no place for subtlety. Our ears are deafened by thunderous explosions, our vision blurred by blood stains and our intelligence obscured by prejudices, it leaves one with no choice but to brusquely state, “My name is KHAN, and I’m not a terrorist!”
Adding an interesting twist to this tale, is the curious case of Asperger’s Syndrome which the protagonist lives with. It’s a related to autism and curbs one’s ability for social interaction, norms and etiquette, and in this case restricts him from freely expressing his emotions. Yet it is this unique (dis)ability of his that perhaps entails him to see the world in a different hue. Whether it’s to dissuade people from using mobile phones, because it’s potentially dangerous for bees or when he sets of to the middle of the hurricane heartland because he has two people out there, it’s his inimitable manner. And so his wife and he set off on two converse paths to reach the same destination! While she candidly states that ‘love’ shall weaken her and only nafrat (hatred) can drive her forward, he spreads love. All he knows is to be a ‘good man’, like the stick figure who gives him a lollypop, a lesson his mother taught him during his formative years… And one that has to be reinforced in us on our ‘re’formative years!
Watch MNIK for the sincerity of the makers, for the belief placed in it by it’s actors. Kajol journeys from rapture to despair, shaking you with laughter and stirring your soul when she grieves. She plays the different roles of mother, friend, partner and warrior with sublime ease, while SRK is history in the making. A Grade A performance which makes you want to empathize with him yet not pity him. ( And thankfully does not overcook it a la the limp and sullen act in KANK). The SRK- Kajol chemistry has progressed from the charm of adolescence in DDLJ to all new heights with this mature act, and it’s, well, sealed with a covalent bond!
MNIK is entrenched in love. In an age marred by hatred and partioned by biases, it calls for a paradigm shift. Spread the message of love.
It’s time to say” I’m proud to be ‘human’, and I will be a ‘GOOD’ one!”