Want to know how is My Name is Khan? Go to Google and start typing, “My Name is Khan and ” Stop. You will see the first suggestion there. My Name is Khan and I am not a Terrorist. Yes, you get an idea about the movie.
The best thing about My Name is Khan is that finally Karan Johar moves over himself. With the same Shahrukh Khan and Kajol with whom he made his debut film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Though this very fact makes me wonder how much of his typical audiences are going to like it. Who knows what’s on girls’ minds after all?
To start with, I do not think My Name is Khan deserves five stars, but certainly the one star there, Shahrukh Khan, has worked well enough to make it a very watchable movie. At the same time, Karan Johar comes up with a good story and works even better on it. Additionally, you have some wonderful music that suits the film, thanks to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and their selection of singers, be it Shafaqat Amanat Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan or even Adnan Sami Khan. Not to mention Shankar himself. No, I didn’t forget Richa Sharma and Shreya. They are great too.
My Name is Khan is exactly what the name claims, an all in all Shahrukh Khan show. Kajol gives a great performance there which comes naturally, but it’s Shahrukh who has the limelight over him. And while he does a role that doesn’t come naturally and demands a lot of homework, Shahrukh seems to have tried hard and worked hard, as he gives a lovable performance. The good thing about his acting is that he is quite consistent throughout the movie except for some rare points where he seems to pull a sentence or two a bit too much. Much better than I had expected anyway.
Talking of the movie in terms of Story and Screenplay, My Name is Khan has a lot of material, probably a bit too much in places. While the movie moves slow and builds a good rapport in the first half, the second half doesn’t cash it so good as one might expect as Khan keeps on going one thing after the other. In fact, in this part Forrest Gump comes back to me even though I had completely forgot about the alleged similarities of topics. The African connection adds to the Gump effect. Basically the film moves you but in parts. The story is good but the movie didn’t cast a spell on me, the one that lasts after the movie too. I wonder if it will turn like Kal ho naa ho which I like more every time I watch it.
Moving towards technical aspects (or whatever I know of them) My Name is Khan is quite good. The movie has some crisp editing. The first song is introduced quite late and all the songs in the movie fit really well in their locations. In fact all the numbers from the soundtrack don’t even show up in the movie as Shankar Mahadevan Suraj Jaggan’s Rang de is nowhere and a great song like Allah hi Rehem manages to find place only at the end credits. Also, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s background music is wonderful. But Ravi K Chandran goes below expectations in cinematography, especially at some specific points where you expect something really big.
One interesting thing about the movie is that Karan has gone over the top while selecting his actors. While the movie is a Shahrukh Khan show, Kajol doesn’t have all that you expected in her role. In fact some other actress could have done it too, though that would reduce the charisma that Kajol brings with her. Zarina Wahab is a perfect choice for Khan’s mother and so is her son, played by Tanay Chheda. Jimmy Shergill has a small role as brother while Sonya Jehan performs her act gracefully. Arjun Mathur gets yet another role of an achiever in the making. But what made me wonder was the small role that is played by Vinay Pathak. And then there is veteran S M Zaheer in a nobody’s role and even for the smallest role there is Navneet Nishan. Still, the overall cast of the film is good and mostly effective.
Overall, My Name is Khan is something that lifts both Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar a level up. The movie is good and certainly worth a watch. If not for the story and it’s treatment, watch it for Shahrukh Khan’s acting. And not just his name.
PS: Just realized, Shahrukh doesn’t spread his hands anywhere in the movie. Now that’s another thing positive about the movie.