The Stage and Cinema
2010 Independent and Foreign Film
Review Writing Contest
Runner up 1 Poornima Begur
Film: My Name is Khan
Language: Hindi, Urdu, English
Director: Karan Johar
These are tough times that we live in. Complex as the issues we face today are, there’s an urgent need to ask
questions, introspect and come up with convincing answers. In a world that’s torn with strife and violence, truth is as elusive as the
terrorists who plant bombs at will and escape. Are there any answers to why terrorists behave the way they do? No. But can we do something
about it? Can we at least promise not to get carried away by propaganda and peacefully coexist? The answer is yes.
My Name Is Khan explores the post 9/11 scenario with amazing grace.
There’s no blame game here. The characters are etched so well you can almost feel their pain, their joy and their sense of alienation.
Events happen and unfold as they do in real life. Passions run high and there’s an almost volcanic eruption of emotions that you can relate
to. There’s no melodrama here. It’s all about reality post 9/11. There’s a line in the movie that says it all – We look at the world as AD
and BC and now there’s a third reference point and that’s 9/11. And God how the world has changed after that! Can anyone blame anyone for
feeling the way they do? The film brings forth this point beautifully through the life and events of Rizwan Khan played by Sharukh
His mom’s the down-to-earth and ever so natural Zarina Wahab (remember the song ‘Gori There Gauv Bada Pyaara’?) She teaches him, early on in
life that there are only two kinds of people - the good ones and the bad ones. And there are no other barriers. Apt and so well-put! Kajol
plays the perfect mom and the mother-son relationship is so well brought out – all moms would know. There are many endearing moments in the
film. When the boy who was in some way responsible for Mandira’s (Kajol) son’s death tells Mandira that his mom won’t forgive him, Mandira
says “She will, because she’s a mom”. Another endearing moment in the film is when Rizwan asks Mandira to cut his hair and the expression
in Mandira’s eyes as she obliges, says it all. Great acting. One of the best yet, of these two much loved on-screen couple.
With the hurricane and the devastation it left being roped into the film, some may feel that there are too many
issues, leaving one confused. The point being made here was that these are natural disasters and like Rizwan says, “This one I can’t
repair.” The larger truth here being that terrorism is man-made and can be repaired. In a world that’s starved of food and where millions
are homeless, why are we wasting our energy on creating hatred between groups of people?
There are moments in the film when you almost feel like jumping out of your seat and telling everyone around that
that’s what you have been wanting to tell the world around you as well. Only, Karan Johar has done it so well this time - even a
two-year-old can’t miss the point. No wonder my son kept saying there are so many messages in this film. He told me “Every scene has a
message mom!” Watch it because you need to. Watch it because that’s the least we can do in a world that’s creating borders where none
exists. If you feel there’s no hope, watch this film for you can hang on to a semblance of hope -well some hope at least, in a world that’s