- its not a Masterpiece...!!! 2/13/2010 12:00:00 AM by bk_connection
I was reading the "Board" of MNK, and there was this view someone wrote, and I couldn't have written it better, but this is very honest writing: Now don't get me wrong, I am no SRK hater. I have seen MNIK and it's a strictly OK film and it is certainly not by any means a path breaking piece of cinema. In fact, in many places it's way too sentimental and over the top. The overall message the film is trying to deliver is admirable, but it could have been much more effectively delivered were it not packaged as a typical "K-JO" love story. And therin lies the film's biggest flaw. A film on a subject like the one tackled in "My Name is Khan" should NEVER have been attempted by Karan Johar who is Bollywood's equivalent of Richard Curtis. Could you imagine Curtis directing "The Lives of Others" or "The Counterfeiters"? Of course not.
A 10 out of 10 rating should only be reserved for cinematic masterpieces which MNIK certainly is NOT. This is exactly why IMDb ratings for Bollywood movies can never be taken seriously. In my opinion, MNIK is a 6 out of 10 film at best. Possibly 7 for SRK + Kajol acting.
- Badly clichéd sans the sublime messages 2/13/2010 12:00:00 AM by sayakboral-1
Let's consider the film's basic aim - was it simply to make a statement about rising Islamophobia in the Western world and to proclaim in boldface "All Muslims are not terrorists"? Noble idea but then this message could have been delivered with much more impact and background research. I felt a strong sense of boredom after watching the following scenes.
1. The TV depiction of World Trade Center towers crashing -not, once again please (yawn) 2. Airport frisking scenes followed by security officials taking the unfortunate subject away for secondary questioning in a private booth. May I remind you random search happens to anyone who especially may be acting a bit strange, and not all is due to colour of skin, race, religion or your last name. 3. The passing of the Presidential motorcade and buffoon-like security personnel. 4. The ordinary people association of all things Muslims with terrorism looks unreal. Sure, there are a bunch of nutcases but not many people will bat an eyelid on seeing a hijab-woman. People tend to be more tolerant and accepting than they're given credit for. 5. Was SRK's portrayal of someone with Asperger's Syndrome authentic? He acted well but I'm not sure if that's how all autistic people behave. They do have good humour and over a period of time, learn not to take words and sentences literally. I think this part was a bit overdone.
The themes above had already been covered in great depth and detail by films in past few years such as the Pakistani "Khuda Kay Liye", "New York", "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay". Since, these scenes are integral to the plot, one could feel such a hackneyed sense of deja-vu.
Had this film not been made into something so easily predictable, scene by scene, I would have certainly rated it much higher. I really like an element of surprise to hold my attention. Maybe, there's a vast audience out there that loves to watch predictable feel-good outcomes but count me out of it please.
All being said, the film did have several redeeming features too. The depiction of SRK's character putting his life in jeopardy to rescue a Hurricane Katrina-like hit village in the American South was a real feel-good. Kajol's boy's's desire to win back his alienated White American best friend was touching, as he paid for it with his life in a ground of football bullies. On the other hand of the racial spectrum, it felt good to watch SRK's scenes with impoverished African-American characters - Mama Jay character resembled the Mammy of "Gone with the Wind" though. Also, the resonance between the "Hum Honge Kaamyab" tune with its English rendition "We will overcome" (no idea which one's the original) was done nicely.
- Appreciable effort to bring a change in the society but would find it hard to convince the people who are well familiar with the works of Dustin Hoffman, Sean Penn & Tom Hanks 2/13/2010 12:00:00 AM by bobbysing
After watching this prestigious project of King Khan, the most interesting revelation to make is, that in MNIK the two close friends of Khan, Kajol & Karan have scored well ahead of Shahrukh in all respects. In other words, the movie and its emotional experience entirely belongs to Kajol, for her outstanding performance and Karan, for his unexpectedly hard hitting & thoughtful direction.
It right away starts off with the already famous scene of Shahrukh's interrogation at the airport and then keeps on moving into a series of flashbacks. The first half has a slow pace and is more or less predictable. Still, the subtle scenes between Shahrukh & Kajol are nicely written and finely executed. However the scene where Shahrukh shows Kajol, the city from a hill top is quite similar to the one in "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi". Besides this, the childhood sequences of Khan's life, lack the required depth and could have been much better.
The real action starts post intermission, which also leads to major glitches in the screenplay. The sequences where Shahrukh is travelling through various places, meeting variety of people is a bit lengthy also highly inspired from Tom Hank's "Forrest Gump". Actually as the main emphasis shifts onto the theme of meeting the President, the film takes an unexpected turn and goes over the top to some extent. The un-necessary focus on media coverage and political references takes away the emotional essence of the story, making the viewer a little uninterested.
To be precise there are three strong merits in MNIK.
1. One is the amazingly natural and highly expressive performance by Kajol. In fact I would like to rate Kajol's emotional scene with her son, as one of best ever tragedy scenes in Hindi Films till date. The sequence reminded me of an equally great hospital scene of "Sharaabi".
2. Second is the director Karan Johar, who surprisingly returns with a more realistic, dark and controversial subject, completely in contrast with all of his previous projects.
3. Third and the most important merit of the movie is its solid and hard-hitting message to the world that "Everyone in a particular religion or community cannot and should not be punished for the inhuman crimes committed by a few people of the same origin." Coming back to Shahrukh Khan, the hard work is clearly visible and the effort is quite admirable. Shahrukh no doubt comes up with a noticeable performance as The Khan. But truly speaking, there are undeniable glimpses of Dustin Hoffman & Sean Penn, clearly visible in his autistic act. Khan's performance will surely impress millions of his Bollywood fans who love watching only Hindi Films. But for the movie buffs who are well familiar with Dustin Hoffman in "Rainman", Sean Penn in "I am Sam" and Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump"??., Shahrukh has simply done a good job. He visibly tries hard to move away from all the above references and does come up with a fine performance. But the impact of all the above three names in their respective roles is so huge that it unintentionally leads you to a comparison.
In addition to this, the writing also shows some major faults in the screenplay. For instance, I am still not able to figure out that which Hindu-Muslim Riots happened in 1983 in Mumbai. Secondly, in the few initial scenes, it's shown that Shahrukh has a serious problem with Yellow color. Yet in the second half he is shown holding a yellow cardboard in his hand.
Lastly in the final hour, everything just goes on happening so easily, which completely contradicts the realistic feel of the movie and lessens its final impact on the viewer. The movies also raises a question that why Karan approved of making "Kurbaan" on a similar subject of 9/11 impact on Muslims in America, when he was himself making MNIK on the same subject? Apart from the impressive Kajol act, Jimmy Shergil excels in his few scenes and so does Sonya Jehan who plays Jimmy's wife. Parveen Dabbas shines as a Sikh who opts for cutting his hair after 9/11 in order to survive the hate attacks. Both Vinay Pathak and Zareena Wahab make their presence felt in their small roles.
Cinematography is great with some new unexplored locations looking fresh on screen. But I found Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music lacking the melody part once again. However, Karan very intelligently, uses only few full length songs in the movie and rest of them are just there as a part of the background music.
Summing up, "MNIK" is surely one of those few good movies which are capable of raising a question and starting a debate. Many of the viewers might miss the regular glossy & romantic feature of a Shahrukh-Karan film. But MNIK is a clear indication of changing times in Bollywood and should be taken in good spirits.It's not a perfect piece of art but a laudable effort indeed from Dharma Productions.
- Powerful, Heartbreaking and Elevating.... 2/20/2010 12:00:00 AM by simplyfsl
I stepped into the theater to watch 'My name is Khan' 1 month after I had watched Avatar,so I was mentally prepared to be let down as the bar raised by AVATAR was sky high.Also I felt that this movie would be a typical KARAN JOHAR flick with love story intermingled between family ties,also in bollywood,most over-hyped movie really disappoint,but 15 minutes into the movie,I just got absorbed in it,such that the magic continued till the end.
The movie is basically comprised of adventures and misadventures of an Autistic named Rizwan Khan but beware,it is not one of those movies which cash on the sympathy of suffering from a anomaly,it does have a hero who has a heart of gold,but the movie carries a marathon message,it raises questions,like WHY ARE MUSLIMS SUFFERING POST 9/11? ARE ALL MUSLIMS TERRORISTS? WHAT EXACTLY DOES Islam TEACH AND MEAN? Being a Muslim myself and having suffered same extra security checks at airports just because of my religion,I really got connected to the movie instantly,the realistic depiction of life after 9/11 is much more effective than KHUDA KE LIYE or NEW YORK..But its not a movie for Muslims only,it asks non-muslims to judge the person and not the religion.Something any other bollywood movie hasn't ever done.
Now to the performances,MNIK was tailor made for Shahrukh Khan as Rizwan Khan and it demanded an equally towering performance.Shahrukh has always been criticized for similarity in his acting performances but this role is entirely different.To play an autistic and deliver is not easy,and Shahrukh does it so naturally and perfectly.You get in love with SK in the very first scene in airport,you cry with him,you laugh with him,you fall in love with him and as the movie ends,you feel good for him,its not an easy task at all to accomplish,this is Shahrukh's best performance to date and this really silents people who question his number one slot in bollywood.
Kajol has always been a class to see and this time its the same with her.Being a mother of 2,she doesn't look aged at all,though this time Karan Johar doesn't give her much screen time as compared to previous movies,but still when she is on screen,you just feel so fresh.Her role as Mandira who falls in love and marries Rizwan is a delight especially her scenes as mother.SK-Kajol Chemistry has always been a blockbuster (BAAZIGAR,DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAAEN GE,KARAN ARJUN,KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI,KABHI KHUSHI KABHI GHAM) this is now 6/6 for their roles together and what an achievement that is.
The rest of cast does fine especially Navneet Nishan does make you smile whenever she is on screen.The music of the movie is according to the flavor of the movie,cute,melodious and unlike other bollywood movies,doesn't slow down the progression of the movie.
Another plus of this movie is the script written perfectly by Shibani Bhatija.The teachings of Islam intercombined with Sk's character,love story,sub plots all blend well,not a single piece of dialogue is weak,not a single scene blunt,but perfectly executed.
Since he rose to stardom as director of KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI,there is always a lot of expectation from Karan Johar which rises with each of his movies,this time he changes gear to pure DRAMA,the movie has a Hollywood look to it,the scenes captured are really pleasant,be it Washington DC or Georgia,as you travel with SK,the camera angles the sky views,the scene where SK takes Kajol to top of a hill,the roads of Sans Francisco,its all a journey from A to Z and Karan's direction makes it utterly enjoyable.Well done.
A lot of people have complained about the sub plots in 2nd half in the movie but people,this movie is just not a love story,but about the problems of Muslims in USA and also about the life of RIZWAN KHAN,so sub plots were needed to carry the movie forward.Don't listen to people who are criticizing this master piece,its an Indian epic and a very very different movie.Go watch it,feel it,and come out realizing NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS.
- 'My Name is Mansoor and I Hope I'll be a Better Human' 2/13/2010 12:00:00 AM by blindlover3
Rizwan Khan walking with Mandira Khan amidst crowd while credits rolled and i asked myself. Will i be able to review this experience i just witnessed? Words can do justice? Let me try.
Story: My Name is Khan, a journey of Rizwan Khan -Sir Shah Rukh Khan- to win his love Mandira Khan -Kajol Devgan- back in an unconventional but an inspiring way. It's story of a human being who on his way inspired a nation which apparently looks unrealistic but underneath it's real on term 'Hope'. A Phrase we usually say 'Chah Ko Rah' proves it. He touch you with humanity, with love and with his rawness. It's a journey of Mandira Khan who live an old song 'Hum Honge Kamyab', it's a journey of her fights and her iron conviction. In the end it's a journey of everyman who believe in goodness. Its a journey of a lesson Rizwan carried and spread unknowingly.
Screenplay: Shibhani Bhatija is one who deserve accolades for her Brilliance in writing and sheer conviction in it. She doesn't sacrifice her write-up anywhere. If first half went in a blink of an eye, second half doesn't even give you that liberty. Shibhani, write more and more.
Direction: I always loved Karan Johar's direction, whether if was Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. He is known for his Candy-floss Cinema, but he proved everyone today he is not limited. He is in fact sharing Top Spot in Bollywood among the geniuses. The angles, the layers, perfect. Karan Aced this one.
Cinematography: Ravi K Chandran excels here with his top-notch work with camera. He surely is one of best Bollywood has today.
Music: Shankar Ehsan Loy each score is a gem in it's genre and it's perfect use in movie without disturbing the flow makes it even more enjoyable. Noor-e-Khuda leads and heals listener in a magical way. Background score is enduring as well as intriguing.
Dialogues & Lyrics: Niranjan Iyengar with his lyrics and Dialogues by him and Shibhani Bhatija are powerful.
Performances: I always hold an opinion about Sir Shah Rukh Khan that he is best Bollywood ever produced but from this he openly entered a new Era of Global Contender. Sum-Up his career and put it one. That's Rizwan for you. He aced it. I read, i saw a lot about 'Asperger Syndrome' and i can say he nailed it. He proved his talent, this one surely should shut mouths of critics. And if they still argue, they deserve to live on Mars. Kajol, after a big gap came and won it all over again. She excels in her portrayal of Mandira Khan, a mother and a fighter. She gives her best performance till date. Evergreen chemistry between Shah Rukh and Kajol is visible on a different scale altogether. Supporting Cast as well is Good to Magnificent, Jimmy Shergill as Rizwan brother was good, Soneya Jehan was superb and Zareena Wahab was excellent in her brief role. Special Appearance by Vinay Pathak and Tarun Mansukhani were good too.
Best Scenes: I still can't pick one here are few of gems.
1-Church Scene. 2-Mosque Scene 3-Sam's death 4-Rizwan and Mandira Separation 5-Motel Leaving Scene.
On the whole, My Name is Khan is an exceptional experience. In Rizwan and Mandira's Journey you will laugh, you will cry and in the end it will shake you within demanding some questions. Are we good enough? If audience can take 25% of movie home with them, world will be a better place. This venture of Karan Johar has Top Notch Story, Hard Hitting Dialogues, Stellar Perofmrances and one of best Directions in near or far times. Don't Miss It.
5/5 Exceptional 'My Name is Mansoor and I Hope I'll be a Better Human'