“My Name Is Khan” is a 2010 Bollywood blockbuster film. It is one of India’s celebrated contemporary films. Distributed by FOX Star Entertainment, the movie is the fourth film directed by Karan Johar. It stars Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, both Indian superstars.
The movie is about a Muslim man with Asperger’s syndrome who struggles to prove that he is a good man. The man, Rizwan Khan, grew up as a different person. He fears color “yellow”, is easily confused when there is chaos or too much noise, and has a special ability to repair mechanical things. His brother Zakir sponsors him and comes to live with him in San Francisco. Later, he meets a Hindu woman, Mandira, and her young son Sameer. Despite their religious differences, they eventually get married and live together. When terrorism disturbed New York City in September 11, Khan’s life was changed. Many Muslims are discriminated and his son Sameer gets killed by bullies. The death is too difficult for the couple. Khan then embarks on a journey to meet President George W. Bush to tell him he is not a terrorist. But each time he fails to meet the president, he touches several lives… And unknowingly shows the world what true kindness and humanity means…
The movie crosses several themes as it deals with many current and complex issues. It deals with relationship between two people, between man and his neighbor, and between man and his country. It discusses issue about autism, about Islam and Hindu conflict, about discrimination, and about being a good person. With each attempt to touch these issues, the movie has not failed. It is thought-provoking, informative, and an eye-opener.
There is too much to learn from the movie. It is very deep, emotional, appealing, and satisfying. It is worth the two-and-a-half-hour watching. The actors are also brilliant, very believable, though I only understood dialogues through the subtitles. Unlike other Bollywood films, the movie lacks the overdone musical and dance productions which are oftentimes unnecessary.
There are particular scenes that I loved the most. I cannot forget the part in the beginning when his mother asks young Rizwan about who is the Muslim and the Hindu in her drawing, and he can’t tell. She then says, “There are only two kinds of people in this world. Good people who do good deeds. And bad people who do bad. That’s the only difference in human beings.” Very meaningful words! The hero in the movie as well has quite memorable lines like “Do not die, Mandira. Do not die” and “My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist”.
Overall, the movie is well-received. It is presently the third highest-grossing Bollywood film. It also has 80% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and 87% at Metacritic. Further, the film was screened as part of 60th Berlin International Film Festival’s Official Selection in February 2010, out of competition. In India, it has garnered numerous local awards. Truly, “My Name Is Khan” is one of India’s biggest hits in 2010.
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