My name is Khan: 3.5/5

Karan Johar first started out with the concept of "love your friends", matured with "loving your parents", went on to "love someone else's wife" and now has decided to "love thy countrymen". The message is stronger than any of his previous efforts, made a whole lot heavier thanks to the unnecessary (created?) controversy for the past two weeks. Eventually, it all helped the audience to converge down to the message of the movie.
My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist.

Rizwan Khan (SRK), lives in Mumbai with younger brother and mum. He is suffering from asperger syndrome ( a disorder in which people show difficulties in social interaction along with restricted and repititve patterns of behavior...says wikipedia). In layman's terms he is afraid of noise and yellow color, cant communicate properly with people etc. His early days in Mumbai make us believe that he was indeed smarter than Ranchordas "Rancho" of 3 Idiots fame. Indeed, how he manages to pump out water during a flood stands testimony to that. Next, he turns into a terrific mechanic, proving his capabilities in science and engineering both. But then the movie is not about his intelligence.

After his mom's death, he packs his bags to America to stay with his bhai (Jimmy Shergill). He also steps onto Rocket Singh's shoes by selling some beauty creams as well. And this sales experience wins him an introduction with Mandira (Kajol). From there on, its familiar territory for the lovable pair as they reignite sparks once again onscreen. Mandira is a divorcee and has a son from her previous wedding. However, there is nothing stopping Mandira to become Mandira Khan and reels later there is a weddig song as well. Unlike Karan Johar's tryst with dhoom dhadaka shaadi songs, this one is really subtle and sweet.

So, looks like all is well...until 9/11 happens. The movie now becomes all the more serious, talks religion, talks ideology, talks righteousness and all that people should do. Will Mandira take Khan back in her life? is what the trailors talk about. But Khan talks more than about love, he preaches an overdose of humanity.

Now to the cinematic aspects...

The camera does travels places. From the long road leading to the sea setting of San Francisco, to Washinton D.C., to Georgia, to Texas...I just felt I was applying for GRE once again. However, to Ravi Chandran's(Director of Photography) credit, America is indeed nicely captured.

Karan Johar excels in song picturizations, and in this one he places scenes between songs which hold your attention for ample time till the song again takes over. That was nice. The music has a classical and spiritual touch and rightly is limited to only 3 songs. Sajda takes the cake.

A whole lot of talented actors in the movie. Good show by Jimmy Shergill and Sohan Jenab (Shergill's wife). Rest of the cast is supportive enough. Kajol...she was amazing in the first scene, but slowly her effect starts to wane. Somehow she has missed her usual self in this movie. The 2nd half completely relegates her into the support staff category making way for the Khan. Khan delivers...he is all talk before his release...but when it comes down to delivering the results...SRK makes sure he is almost as good as his closest rival (Amir) if not better than him.

The social message is loud and clear. Even though it is aimed at the USA, the essence can be felt in India too. So, full marks for Karan Johar for preaching secularism and goodbye to communal hatred. However, on the flip side, Karan Johar tries too hard to drive his point, plus many sequences remind you of New York ( I havent seen Kurbaan or Khuda Kay Liye, but there may be some resemblances there too).

So, I came out with a buzzing head, with feelings of harmony, peace and as if I was lectured by a professor. The old school love that Johar was marketing all this while didnt register anywhere.

I hope Yashraj/Johar camp now finally puts an end to its 9/11 syndrome and gets back to making nice romantic movies which people like.

Rating: 3.5/5.


Assorted Twitter moments of the weekend

Drove Sougat's Ford 4am...on a happy high note...
Felt my stomach churning in the morning when I read about the high profile mowing down of 4 innocent people by that lady.

Prithvi theatre ki chai/coffee and the gurukul like effect the place has on you...With scripts all around you, there is so much creativity in the air. Love that place

Saw Omkaara look-alike Ishqiya over the weekend. Movie was theek hi thaak...Warsi-Vidya chemisty sizzled while the movie fizzled out of my mind.

Went to that huge Palladium Mall in Pheonix Mills. And cudnt control my shock when I saw an Armani shirt with a price tag of Rs.23000/-!!! I seriously thought of hitting the trial room for a once in a lifetime moment.

Found out that my vocal chords are still alive and kicking...Lively jamming session at Jajoo's friends home.

All in all 7 pegs, and 2 buffets later, I have decided to have a health conscious next week.


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