Archive for February 13th, 2010

13
Feb
10

Movie Review: My Name Is Khan

By Saurin Parikh

Indian filmmakers have a penchant – they tend to invariably ruin a movie by having a dumbass melodramatic climax. I don’t know why, but every filmmaker thinks that the Indian audience loves drama, and for a major part, they’re right too. Our aam janta laps up melodrama faster than Virendra Sehwag laps up milk. Be it in on TV or in our films, the more the drama, the more the eyeballs. And in achieving that, if a film is ruined, who cares, right?

Right now, I’m sure the producers and distributors of My Name Is Khan are laughing all the way to the bank. I still believe that the whole tamasha with Shiv Sena was nothing else but a publicity stunt. It achieved what every filmmaker wants – packed houses, especially in the opening weekend. After all the hullaballoo over whether My Name Is Khan would release or not, it finally did (of course) and people went rushing out to buy tickets. I did too, all giddy with excitement when I had the tickets in my hand, and seething with annoyance right now after having watching a just-about-average-highly-disappointing movie.

Firstly, the climax. A hurricane, none the less, engulfs certain parts of America. Rizwan Khan (SRK) has some friends supposedly trapped in a town that has been destroyed by this hurricane. Khan, who is out on a cross country trip to meet the President, somehow reaches that town even before any of the US authorities can. The people of the town can’t get out, but Khan can get in. Why? Obviously because his name is Khan. This heroic act by our superhero leads a nationwide movement wherein citizens are rebuilding cities and towns while the government sits back and does nothing. I think while writing and filming the climax, Karan Johar forgot that his film was based in America, and not India. Government authorities in USA don’t sleep, they’ll reach the needy before any Khan, Kahn, Khandekar or Khanna can.

The question then arises is whether the story required that amount of allowance? The answer is that it doesn’t matter because the story is nothing special anyway. You’ve seen pro-Muslim stories more times than you can count in the last couple of years; it’s the same post-9/11 thing again. The difference being that the protagonist here has Asperger Syndrome. Would it have mattered if he was a plain simple lunatic without a fancy syndrome attached to him? NO.

My Name Is Khan is a pendulum which swings between trying to be a movie about someone with Asperger Syndrome and the effects 9/11 had on Muslims. It excels at neither. If you applauded Amitabh Bachchan for his Progeria act in Paa then you’ll applaud SRK for his Asperger act. It’s definitely not his best performance (as is told to us by all and sundry in the mainstream media) nor is it enough to draw you back to the movie one more time.

Thanks to the publicity stunts and the first weekend booking collections, My Name Is Khan will be declared a superhit. It might break all erstwhile records, but I’m dead sure that most people will label it as an ordinary flick. By the way, it gave my dad a headache; he used the choicest cuss words for SRK’s ‘irritating act’.

Sometime back, I had tweeted that Bollywood spends more time on publicizing the movie then on crafting it. The same holds true for My Name Is Khan. Don’t even think of arguing against this review if you belong to the masses, and if you’re someone from the classes then don’t go for the movie if you already haven’t. Mediocrity has been shoved down our throats more often than not, the masses accept it because they’re used to it by now, I’ll just spit it out right here.

My Rating: 2 stars, both for Kajol who is the only redeeming factor of My Name Is Khan and lights up the screen with her presence.




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