This is the closest Karan Johar ever came (or will come, may be) to the so-called meaningful cinema. And I think he deserves an applause, specially for not making Kajol (in flowing dupatta or chiffon sari) and Shahrukh Khan (in that signature pose of his) dance to a romantic melody in a dream sequence.
I managed to watch the movie in spite of the hullabaloo surrounding its release. Actually I had booked the tickets in advance thinking everything will eventually calm down. Till I reached the theater I wasn't sure whether the show was on or cancelled. The situation was completely under control with the police and media persons surrounding the theater and there was no sign of any hungama. Thank God.
I am not an ardent SRK fan (except that I really liked him in Swades and Chak De). In the past few years we saw him giving average performances in Om Shanti Om, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Billu. So, this time too I sat in front of three big screen with almost zero expectation. Now I don't know if I liked 'My Name is Khan' because I didn't expect anything great from it or because it is a great movie.
It is a story of a man who suffers from Asperger's syndrome which is characterized by impaired social interaction skills. A man who was taught by his mother that there are just two kinds of people in the world- good and bad. A man who knew and felt but could not express. A man who meekly asked his wife "Mandira, main waapas kab aaoon" when she asks him to go away and leave her alone. Every word she said in answer to this question became his life. Not being aware of what he was doing, he gets caught in unfortunate circumstances, but keeps moving. And as always, in the end he succeeds. Two college kids who take up studying Khan's case for a project, an influential Sikh journalist, who was compelled to let go of his turban and hair because of the increased attacks on Sikhs post-9/11 and an African-American family comprising of Mamma Jenny and funny-hair-Joel were some of the people who helped Khan during his journey.
I will not say that this was Shahrukh Khan's best performance so far. I think Swades and Chak De were far better. But this one was surely one of his better performances. Kajol was great always. When I saw Kajol in Fanaa I thought she can never look more beautiful. I was wrong. She didn't have much of screen space in the second half of the movie, and I kept hoping to see more of her. The only negative point of the movie was the excess of drama element towards the end. But thankfully it didn't get on my nerves.
We get a taste of Khan's forthrightness because of his medical condition at several points during the movie. When he was asked which Church he belonged to at a Christian charity event for drought afflicted Africans, he replied after giving the 500 dollars, "Keep this for those who are not Christians in Africa". At another instance he scribbled in his diary after being tortured in the prison, "I think these people are angry with me because I don't know anything about Al-Qaeda. I should have read about it earlier".
Overall, MNIK didn't disappoint me at all. And I have been humming "Noor-e-Khuda" since that day. All the three singers Shanker Mahadevan, Adnan Sami and Shreya Ghoshal have sung this song really well. I like Shreya Ghoshal's part the most.
Ujde se lamhon ko aas teri,
Zakhmi dilon ko hai pyaas teri,
Har dhadkan ko talash teri,
Tera milta nahi hai pata.
Tu kahan chhupa hai humen ye bata,
Kya ye sach hai ke tu hai humse khafa...
Racial divides, discrimination based on religion, region, language and sex exists in today's world. If only people could think of more ways towards unification rather than finding reasons for exclusion.