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Good, but could be Great
Feb 15, 2010 04:09 PM 934 Views





MNIK is about a Muslim's life in a post 9/11 world. However since this is a Karan Johar movie, the emotions have to be hyper amplified. Also, SRK has co-produced this film - so his character had to be a little “hat ke”. Result, Rizwan Khan, a Muslim young man suffering from Aspargus syndrome. There are a few holes in the logic of My Name is Khan. If you are willing to forgive these, then this is an extremely well intention, and a fairly well made film.

But to begin at the beginning, Rizwan is brought up by a strong mother in a typical muslim ghetto. But on her death, he leaves India and joins his younger brother in America. Once there his younger brother recruits him to go and sell his beauty products and while selling these products he meets, and falls in love with, Kajol.

Kajol is a single mother, who rather quickly falls in love with Rizwan and soon Rizwan, Kajol and her son are one happy family. This is pretty much the first half of the film. So far Karan does a great job - not only does he make us fall in love with the endearing Rizwan, Karan also does a surprisingly good job of showing Rizwan growing up in a Bombay chawl. But at the interval, an unexpected event changes things dramatically. Kajol (very very illogically) throws out Rizwan, and he begins his journey to convey a message to the American president.

In these parts, we are supposed to feel sorry for Rizwan as he is implicated and questioned by the FBI - but these scenes cannot even begin to compare with the similar scenes in the recent ‘New York’. In these parts, Rizwan becomes a bit of a hero because of his crusade in rescuing a negro village - but these scenes just do not convey the social impact we have recently seen in ‘gandhigiri’. And come on, this is a Karan Johar film, so no one is expecting brutal reality. Why did Rizwan’s crusade have to impact only America (and partially in) India? To show the impact of Rizwan’s crusade, we just have a couple of characters: a heckled shopkeeper and a verbose pensioner. Why could it not have been shown as having a larger worldwide impact?

As expected, by the end of the movie, Kajol, rather accommodatingly accepts Rizwan back and Rizwan also fulfills his promise of conveying his message to the American president. As expected, the camerawork by Ravi K Chandran and editing by Deepa Bhatia are excellent. Shankar Ehsan Loy’s music is very good - but the one big blockbuster song is missing. On the acting front, Arif Zakaria, Parvin Dabbas, S M Zaheer, Vinay Pathak, Sumeet Raghavan and many other actors are called in for a scene or two, and do quite well. Zarina Wahab, Jimmy Shergill, Tanay Chheda and Sonia Jehan with a few more scenes are impressive. Kajol, is very good, but playing a bubbly young mother does not tap her potential. But finally, the movie belongs to Shah Rukh Khan. He makes Rizwan Khan extremely vulnerable, but still gives him tremendous dignity … even when Rizwan cannot be completely expressive he makes us laugh, and he makes us cry.

In conclusion, it must however be said that Karan Johar had the potential to make MNIK a really great movie - but he only delivers a good movie. We give it 4 stars out of 5.

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My Name is Khan