I cannot speak about My Name is Khan without shortly mentioning Berlin experience. I can live very well without visiting the city anymore, but I appreciate it manages to attract thousands of cinema lovers during The Berlinale. Some of them are weird, some of them are adventurers, some of them are normal, but all of them are ready to queue for hours just to buy the golden tickets.
I had my MNIK ticket reserved for 13th. But I wanted to go on 12th, as the most beloved trio – Karan, Kajol and Shahrukh - was going to attend the premiere. It would have been a win-win situation anyway. If my haunt for tickets on ebay had failed, I would have got the Red Carpet chance to see them close, get an autograph or even hug Shahrukh. But what I wished more was to be in the same hall watching the movie together.
And I don’t regret this, as I felt like one of just a few real supporters in the middle of a crap audience – most of them people who entered via invitations and who had no idea what they were coming to see. Three guys, who stayed near me and had some VIP badges on the chest left after 20 minutes. I am very sorry I could not see their names. But if they ever read this, they will know I am talking about them – Shame on you, impotent bastards. Fans paid impossible to utter amount of money to be inside and you dare get out? And shame on you Berlinale organizers for letting in such persons, instead of giving this chance to someone who really loves and respects the work of movie-makers and deserves the special moment of a premiere.
Now that I expressed my rage against the atmosphere inside, which should have been really hot (proof? the second watch on 13th was really amazing – the love exuded in the cinema hall was almost material, like a thick silky veil), maybe time has come to focus on the movie in itself.
Karan had guts to do such a movie. First of all, non-believers, detractors, haters, would say: “Oh, no, did we need another Forrest Gump or another Rain Man”? Well, even so, what is wrong to see more stories about similarly challenged people? Let me tell you something, the trailers are misleading. I got in the same trap. I thought I knew what the story would be about and what was the message, blah, blah… He,he,he…Karan managed to surprise me, right from the very first seconds of the movie. The way camera moves, following Rizwan Khan, the music, which is absolutely brilliantly used, marks the beginning of a journey that will enchant you, will make you clap, tear, suffer, laugh and smile.
I will not detail the narrative thread, as this is not important now, but I will mention the very-well written script (puzzle-like sometimes), the incredible cinematography, a neat and very much westernized editing and decent Americans actors (for a change - this is an aspect I use to hate in Bolly movies).
There are two big moments in the movie, when time seems to stop and the world freezes. One belongs to Kajol, one to Shahrukh. Both of them are catharsis creators. Brace yourselves for a mother in pain and for the church speech. Those who saw/will see the movie and remain(ed) untouched by these 2 moments lost something precious in their lives – sensibility and love.
The movie has the quality of a bildungsroman and it can be interpreted and analyzed at many levels. I would recommend you to forget about analysis and simply enjoy the story, the rhythm, the fun, the jokes, the magic and charm of a special jodi, the kids acting in the movie (very good), the breathtaking images, the drama, the tears (yes let them flow – they will purify your soul), the Hollywood style ending, the humanitarian message, the incredible eyes of Shahrukh (dead, but expressing million things in the same time – I really cannot remember/imagine other actor of such a performance), the wide, beautiful smiles of Kajol, Zarina Wahab as Rizwan’s mom (adorable), the serene presence of Sonya Jehan, a delicious Vinay Pathak in a short role…and I can continue like this for pages and pages...
The movie can come over you like an avalanche. The desire to know how the story goes on and what happens next can make u impatient and hence, for some people, MNIK will be too long. That is why a second watch is a must. As then you can taste all those little details that first time seemed of no importance to you.
Trying to be objective as much as I can, I must say that My Name is Khan is one of the most powerful movies I have seen lately and appropriate both for Western and Asian audience. A Shahrukh-Kajol-Karan fan doesn’t need any reviews, any opinions or any ratings and the experience will be mind-blowing for him/her.
In the end, if you read these lines, please, go and see the movie. You will rediscover love. And love. And more love.