Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010
My Name Is Khan review

Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Karan Johar
Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Karan Johar

'A rare treat for Hindi commercial cinema and a crossover audience', BBC Shropshire Bollywood
Rating: 4/5

Director: Karan Johar
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Christopjher B. Duncan, Jimmy Shergill, Patrick Weil, Parvin Dabas, Shane Harper
Information: Contains implied strong language, moderate violence and racist terms
Running time: 161 mins
BBFC cert: 12A
Release date: 12 February 2010 by 20th Century Fox

Young Muslim child, Rizwan Khan suffers from Asperger syndrome.

After his mother's demise, a grown-up Rizwan (Shah Rukh) moves to San Francisco, living with his brother and sister-in-law.

He falls in love with Hindu single mother, Mandira (Kajol) who he later marries against his brother's wishes. The couple live a blissful life managing their small hair salon.

But their happiness crumbles during the 9/11 attacks when attitudes towards Muslims see a sea of change.

They begin to face difficulties culminating into a tragedy forcing Mandira to separate from her husband.

But a confused Rizwan cannot understand why the love of his life has left him.

To win her back, he embarks on a poignant and inspiring journey across America.

Director Karan Johar deviates from his comfort zone of candyfloss romances by attempting a realistic subject with an underlying message.

Johar tackles the subject of autism and its effects on life's relationships through Rizwan's eyes with ease.

Khan's acting calibre stretched even further showing his versatality as an evolving actor
Manish Gajjar BBC Shropshire Bollywood

Whilst the first half concentrates on the couples' light-hearted love angle, the second half shows a gripping scenario of the troubled post 9/11 incident.

But the movie is a stark reminder of the Hollywood award winning flick, Rain Man (1988) seeing Dustin Hoffman playing an autistic character and his relationship with his brother (Tom Cruise).

Like Hoffman, we also see Shah Rukh Khan showcasing the same range of emotions of the amazingly intelligent autistic Rizwan and his relationship with Mandira. Both films show how we can strive to become better human beings.

Technically, the cinematography is superbly shot but Johar's well-researched script lives room for some criticism.

Scenes involving Rizwan's hurricane infested Wilhelmina rescue mission appears far-fetched and so does the Guantanamo-style torturing during his imprisonment. Leaving these scenes out would have made the film even more engrossing for the audience.

Performance-wise, this is King Khan's career best, with Kajol equally complimenting his every scene in the second half as the egocentric grieving mother.

Comparing his past releases, Khan's acting calibre is stretched even further in this film. It shows once again his versatility as an evolving actor setting new standards in Bollywood acting.

Kajol looks refreshingly beautiful giving a heart-rending performance especially in the second half of the film.

On the whole, My Name Is Khan is a fiction-based film refreshingly told with realism of racial profiling on American soil. It's a rare treat for Hindi commercial cinema and a crossover audience.

Reviewed by Manish Gajjar
BBC Bollywood correspondent


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