Repairs Almost Everything… But Almost!
Ratings: - * * *
It’s surprising to see a movie on world peace and about the portrayal of Islam coming from a man who is known for churning out tear-jerking love stories and family dramas. It’s even more surprising to see filmmaker Karan Johar using a character with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism) to prove his point. Although the film succeeds in the mission, it is the central character of Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) that you feel like carrying away more than the film because of a sloppy storyline and a stretched second half.
Right from his childhood, Rizwan Khan is told by his mother that human beings can be distinguished only as good or bad as religious differences pose no meaning. Despite, his autistic condition, Rizwan possesses a special skill of repairing all kind of gadgets. Hence, he can 'Repair Almost Anything'. He meets a pretty single mother Mandira (Kajol) when he is forced to migrate to the US with his brother Zakir (Jimmy Shergill). However, the 9/11 attacks change everything including the equations between Rizwan and Mandira. Now, Rizwan has only one mission – to meet the President of the United States just to say, “My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist”.
It is the character of Rizwan and his innocent activities that makes the film possible. He makes you laugh, cry, enlighten as well as rethink on certain issues. His each and every interaction is memorable, especially his comments, “Liar liar” for those who are ‘bad people’.
Johar deserves appreciation for bringing to light an important issue and for trying to spread the message of humanity. Also, he shows the plight of innocent Muslims after the 9/11 attacks without the use of melodramatic and round-the-mill dialogues. Plus, Rizwan’s encounter in Georgia is memorable and moving.
However, having said that, the problems in the story and script are too big to ignore. These include: -
- A character suffering from autism easily travels from one unknown destination to another without facing any problem whatsoever because his condition.
- Too many incidents added after the interval tests one’s patience. Needless to say, this also increases the length to a large extent.
- The motto of Rizwan (of meeting the President just to say that he is not a terrorist) isn’t appealing enough to generate backing from the audience.
- The reason for Rizwan getting arrested when he was standing in the crowd appears weird.
- Communal riots are shown taking place in Mumbai in the year 1983. They never happened in that year.
- Sadly, the list doesn’t end here.
It takes the genius of Shah Rukh Khan to make the character of Rizwan possible. Because of SRK’s charm, one doesn’t feel awkward or uninterested while watching an autistic character. He achieves perfection with regard to the mannerisms, way of speaking and gestures of an autistic character with ease, which is hugely difficult. In short, this surely deserves a place in SRK’s top 5 performances ever.
However, My Name Is Khan is not just about SRK. Kajol shows her brilliance as much as him. The actress achieves mastery while depicting every emotion whether it is love, comedy or tragedy. It is because of the absence of Kajol that some non-talented glam dolls have acquired the top spot these days. Jimmy Shergill, Soniya Jehan and all the supporting characters play their parts well. Zarina Wahab, as Rizwan’s mother, deserves special mention.
Because of the negative points (mentioned above), My Name Is Khan turns out to be just a one-time watch movie. Still it can be considered special because of SRK’s performance and the issue it focusses. The film is definitely going to enjoy huge profits because of the hype and the huge scale release but the collections are expected to come down after the first week or so.