Make no mistake, schmucks.
* My Name is Khan is not in the Forrest Gump league (even if the first person narrative style going back years into the life story of our hero Rizwan Khan is reminiscent of Forrest’s and even if there is a Jenny in the Hindi film).
* No, My Name is Khan is certainly not in the Rain Man class either (even if our hero is an autistic character exhibiting quirky behavior).
At best, My Name is Khan is a desi chutiya take on the two Hollywood legends within the framework of a post 9/11 society in the U.S.
But, but a desi chutiya version of Forrest Gump/Rain Man within the 9/11 framework is any day better than what Shahrukh ‘Pakistan is a great neighbor‘ Khan has delivered in recent junk like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Billu Barber or Chak De India.
Narrated in flashback interspersed with the current, a style we’ve now seen twice in two days, My Name is Khan juggles three seemingly immiscible elements: Asperger’s Syndrome (a subset of autism), love and 9/11.
It’s the tension wrought by the collision of these three forces that forms the crux of this film.
In more capable hands, the tension and interplay of the three powerful elements could well have turned My Name is Khan into a classic.
But in the hands of a mediocre troika (director Karan Johar and lead stars Shahrukh Khan and Kajol) one should be merely content that the movie is not an unwatchable disaster.
Ask any more only at the peril of your intelligence being questioned.
Neither separately nor in their interplay are the three elements handled with an elan that could have set the My Name is Khan kite soaring. And that is a shame.
Not So Gripping Story
In its essence, My Name is Khan is the story of an autistic person Rizwan Khan (played of course by Shahrukh Khan) falling in love with a Hindu beautician Mandira (Kajol) and how 9/11 impinges harshly upon their lives in the U.S.
Although a gazillion times less annoying than the usual Bollywood Friday drivel like De Dana Dan or Veer, the My Name is Khan plot has a jerky feel not unlike a derailment on the orgasm train moments before you reach the destination!
For instance, the course of both falling in love or breaking up is slipshod. What Mandira sees in Rizwan is hard to comprehend.
However painful the loss of a loved one is, will that turn you off against another loved one so much so that you cast the other person out of your life?
Then the American response to Muslims is stereotypically addressed in hostile terms, an anomaly given that most Muslims in the U.S. do not suffer serious or any discrimination and in a million years would never ever want to return to their hovels in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, India, Egypt or elsewhere.
And even allowing for suspension of disbelief, it’s a wild stretch to think of a socially handicapped autistic immigrant giving succor to a hurricane-ravaged area in the U.S.!
Also, the core My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist message of the film that all Muslims are not terrorists has been so flogged to death by media pundits in America for the last nine years that it fails to strike a chord.
Maybe, it’d have resonated with us in 2002 or 2003 but, alas, not in 2010.
Two Mediocre Chutiyas
Shahrukh Khan is no Dustin Hoffman and certainly no Tom Hanks. Of that, you can be sure after watching this fella coast along with just average performances in movie after movie for over two decades.
In My Name is Khan, Shahrukh Khan does not stray far from his hallmark mediocrity.
His acting in a demanding role in My Name is Khan often seems contrived and he most certainly does not set the screen on fire. Simply because Shahrukh Khan lacks that kind of talent.
And to expect miracles from this fella is to expect the impossible.
The intensity and verisimilitude that great actors like Tom Hanks or Dustin Hoffman can bring forth to their performances and immortalize their characters is not in the Shahrukh DNA. Period.
Given our low expectation from SRK, we’re grateful he showed up but did not mess up totally in My Name is Khan. We’d go as far as to say this is one of SRK’s better films in the last few years.
Neither does the presence of Kajol in this film send a thrill down your spine. For far too long, this midget has earned an unsullied reputation for being head and shoulders above the rest of the crop of Bollywood actresses.
And still in My Name is Khan Kajol does not awe you with a jaw-dropping performance. Chalta hai, we’d say if you found us in a generous mood.
But in an industry lately much diminished by execrable freaks like Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor and Sameera Reddy, we’ll admit sotto voce we’re mighty grateful for Kajol.
Together, the SRK-Kajol pair was alright but we didn’t get the ‘they are made for each other’ DDLJ feeling.
Now, for the Other Stuff
The photography of either San Francisco or the other parts of the country that Rizwan Khan passes through during his months-long quest to meet the President is no feast for the eyes.
Music, a must-have for Bollywood films, falls short in My Name is Khan. Hard to remember a single song or tune a few hours after we stepped out of the hall.
Folks, if you are at a loose end this weekend and coins jingle endlessly in your pocket, by all means watch this movie.
Just don’t expect a mind-blowing experience despite all the unrequited hype.
Pak Loving Chutiya SRK Sobbing into His Beer; MNIK Falls 63% in 2nd Wknd vs 9% Drop for 3 Idiots
My Name is Khan Box Office – UK, U.S. Actuals
In New 4-day Estimates, MNIK Sails Past 3 Idiots
My Name is Khan Box Office – Average Gross Less than 3 Idiots
Will Allah’s Followers Save My Name is Khan?
Who’s the Bigger Chutia?
the indian media is giving out and out support to this movie.
Infact, both indian media and govt. is surprisingly indulged in fake publicity of this film. Indian news channels are showing this news (that film has got bumper opening, shiv sena has lost the battle to srk blah blah) round the clock as if there is no other news to show.
I just cant understand why a film has become so important that all other issues have been left behind.
This gives me a feeling that it is very easy to make Indians fool. Why the hell they should watch the movie to show solidarity with srk, they should only watch the movie if they like to not for showing sympathy.
The role of media is quite questionable, rgv has really shown actual face of media in rann which unfortunately did not work at box office.
You write above: the indian media is giving out and out support to this movie.
A big chunk of the Indian media is in bed with Bollywood.
And also easily susceptible to manipulation by the stars and Bollywood in general through asinine PubliShitty schemes orchestrated by PR folks.
The movie was laughably silly.
Karan Johar should stick to candy floss.
You write: The movie was laughably silly.
Then you can safely expect the movie to have a good run. 🙁
The movie is sick as expected. Just returned from morning show here in Qatar. Very High publicity for a silly movie.
I think it was a good plan by the makers to defy the Sena for increasing hype over the movie. And it has worked in India..
Headlines Today Channel Says it might break the records of 3 idiots.
You write above: Headlines Today Channel Says it might break the records of 3 idiots.
Whoever said shit doesn’t sell well in India.
Thank God, we canceled our subscription to Headlines Today in 2008.
No way it can break records set by 3i.
Inspite of being repeatedly airing on media that film has been released in Mumbai, the true fact is that the release was limited to a few screens only. In larger parts of Maharastra, Gujrat and some other states, the film was not released. Further, the actual word of mouth for the movie was not that good as shown by indian media. The film has no repeat value.
But for unknown reasons, all news channels are promoting the film round the clock as if being run by srk or kjo.
1. You write: In larger parts of Maharastra, Gujrat and some other states, the film was not released.
Won’t that make the hoi polloi more eager to watch the film.
After all, scarcity raises the value of a product.
2. We suspect the tussle with Shiv Sena is more of a publiShitty stunt. Chutiyas try chutiya tricks.
2. Also, the Muslim community will likely go all out and watch this film of a devout Muslim taking on the might of America.
Osama of bin Laden infamy might even issue a fatwa urging all devout Muslims to watch My Name is Khan. 😉 Who knows.
@SI: “Osama of bin Laden infamy might even issue a fatwa urging all devout Muslims to watch My Name is Khan. Who knows.”
Gosh, SI, the funniest comment thus far!! lol..
@rajesh: “I just cant understand why a film has become so important that all other issues have been left behind.”
We Indians have been made to look like fools, yet again. However, never before have I seen the publicity of a movie make such a colossal mockery of the Indian public and expose our innate stupidity and phobias by a non-actor, a useless excuse for a political party, and a media conglomerate that looks like it had an orgy in Glenn Beck’s trousers. Better sense cannot prevail in our society as we will continue watching this clown parade continue its march in the movie theaters, on the TV screens and on the streets of Mumbai, while a hungry, helpless farmer kills himself or a poor woman or child becomes a victim of incestuous rape. We truly deserve this ridicule.
“Why the hell they should watch the movie to show solidarity with srk”
I think the above paragraph says a lot, but to append to that: You cannot expect much from a group of bug-eyed, brain-dead idiots who cannot see a “misdirection” even it’s one THIS obvious. Will we ever see a bunch of these dingbats hang from a noose or slash their wrists should their moron of a demi-god kick the bucket some day? I’d sure hope so.
You write above: However, never before have I seen the publicity of a movie make such a colossal mockery of the Indian public and expose our innate stupidity and phobias by a non-actor, a useless excuse for a political party, and a media conglomerate that looks like it had an orgy in Glenn Beck’s trousers
Well, it doesn’t take much to pull the wool over our people’s eyes.
As for Glenn Beck and his daily Foxy assault against ‘progressives,’ all we’ll say is that we have yet to see a better performance on the small screen. The other day this weirdo was suggesting Americans should ‘reboot’ just like we reboot PCs to fix the current economic crisis.
which is the best of these three movies 3 idiots,veer,my name is khan?who has acted better shahruck,aamir,salman?which gives more torture veer,3 idiots,my name is khan?
We’d say My Name is Khan is the least offensive. But that’s really like saying horse shit is less malodorous than bull shit. 😉
To use an American analogy, we’d say the Khans/Muslims/Bollywood establishment is like the Republican party, which often outmaneuvers the numerically larger but lobotomized Democrats (read Hindus/the masses/moviegoers).
Every media is saying MNIK rocks. It is 100 % opening (all petty jokes)
Reality in India – it grossed 8 crore in Friday (flops like Veer and De Dana Dan grossed 7 crore in opening day whereas Aamir khan film Ghajini and 3 Idiots grossed more than 10 crore.
and Headlines today it will break record of 3 Idiots.what a joke.
Let’s wait for a few days and see how it does before anointing it a success or record-breaker.
It’s because of Shiv Sena row in Maharashtra. Almost 30-40% of Indian collections come from Maharashtra only. If it was released properly there then it might have grossed somewhere around 12-13 crores on first day in India.
But look at the free publiShitty generated worldwide by the tussle.
Even the NYT had a piece on their home page the other day.
who are u kidding ?
except Bangalore and surrounding areas 3 Idiots is far ahead of My Name is Khan in other areas in its opening day.
In fact films like Veer and De Dana Dan has performed better than My Name Is Khan in some places in India in its opening day.
My Name is Khan will be just average success in India.
You write above:In fact films like Veer and De Dana Dan has performed better than My Name Is Khan in some places in India in its opening day.
If true, this would be astonishing.
But what proof do you have for the above point on Veer & De Dana Dan doing better in some areas. You must provide some credible links.
I am not just making some nonsensical comments.
It is true.
In places like Rajasthan and Central India Veer has done better than My Name Is Khan and the same case for De Dana Dan.
My Name Is Khan did truly great business in South and Delhi territory (but still there it is behind 3 Idiots).
The fact that My Name Is Khan is all-India hit is all lie. It is only big city hit.
Going by early numbers, i.e. Rs 8-crore business on opening day (after the Mumbai, Pune issues) it’s fair to hypothesize that MNK will find it hard to ultimately outscore 3 Idiots unless there’s a miracle. And we see no miracles on the horizon.
If what we saw yesterday at Regal was any indication, South Asian Muslims in the U.S. will turn up in strength to boost the total here.
@ amitshetty: // The fact that My Name Is Khan is all-India hit is all lie. It is only big city hit.//
Ok,as of now,we’ve to agree with your statement.
@Amit,it indeed got a 100% opening in all screens,and I myself struggled to get the tickets on Friday in a local theatre (Rarely,it witnesses such crowds.).
Except,in Mumbai,Mysore and Gujarat regions where it couldn’t get a proper release,it has broken or matched 3 Idiots’ first day figures in all areas.
8 crores in First day (In India) is 4th best opening day figure.(After 3 Idiots,Ghajini and Love Aaj Kal)
What say you, Amit?
BTW, what is your source, Ganesh?
This is also a good joke.
btw My Name Is Khan did better than 3 Idiots only in Mysore.
Forgot to mention the sources:
Comparisons of MNIK and 3 Idiots’ gross in some areas:
Did you get my review?
Reading it now.
Theeratha Vilayattu Pillai review published.
u must hear anupama chopra’s review in NDTV ……..one of the few unbiased reviewers left …
Watched the above video.
Wonder what Anupama has to say on her husband Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s embarrassment of a production 3 Idiots.
Now that 3 Idiots has been released, made money and starting to fade out of the screens, guess it’s alright for Anupama to open up on the film.
Anyway,Karan Johar’s previous movies too have broken records only in Overseas,while at home;Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham was just superhit,and KANK barely managed to be a hit (Due to opening.).
We’ll know tomorrow how MNK has fared in the major overseas market, the U.S.
[deleted] – If you like then keep the comment else your wish 😉
Thought it was a bit offensive. 😉
i was not aware that Anupama is Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s wife ……….but her reviews are always good ……….
Saw MNIK today ……….its a comedy movie …………first half is just ok ………and then the movie takes a bizarre turn in the second half ………….it gets more and more bizarre and reaches a crescendo in the climax …………..
the biggest question here is Karan Johar and SRK approving of such a bullshit Story ………few scenes here and there stand out ……….kajol screams…..what’s happen to her voice ……..SRK has acted quite well ………
Karan Johar’s films are not meant for you guys, they are targeted at the NRIs in the U.S. Filmed here, released widely here, with the story theme more in tune with NRI sensibilities…
BTW, was it a full house? What kind of occupancy did you see in the theater? Multiplex or single screen?
The media has been clever enough by glossing over the huge advance Booking in Overseas and the Big cities in India and thus covering up the fact that it didn’t do well in the Interiors.
And my first statement was partly correct,it indeed got huge opening in my city. 😉
But,it won’t end up like Kurbaan as the report predicts.
My friends reported that SRK did the Dustin Hoffman act from Rain Man; and that made me decide I dint want to see this movie, ever. Am giving this one a miss, can’t let Mr. Khan destroy my memories of Rain Man 🙁
1. Forget former superstar SRK ever matching up to Dustin Hoffman. That ain’t gonna happen in the Anno Domini.
SRK couldn’t even match up to then 12-year old Miko Hughes, who played the autistic kid Simon in the Bruce Willis film Mercury Rising.
2. BTW, …..any of the quadrupeds in your area watched the not-for-humans film Kedi? 😉
The only time me or my friends watched any part of Kedi was when the television set at the Begumpet Railway station aired it’s trailer. We were waiting for our morning local, and did not have anything else to do 😉
Bet the trailer was traumatic…and you/friends are exhibiting strange behavior after the trailer affliction. 😉
Gora sighting on the SI blog. It’s been awhile, but had to sound off on this. In Dubai at the moment and saw this last night at the Mall of the Emirates. The theater was full, about 200 seats sold out and it was one of several shows that was sold out on the day/Sunday.
Here is a reason why Karan Johar just blew another opportunity for broader American society to take a film like this seriously: The scene in the Church of Rock in Georgia where they are all getting up to speak about their loved ones at the memorial… it is in a church full of black people who all speak ENGLISH, yet for some reason, Khan makes his speech in HINDI and magically, everyone understands what he says and they all start nodding and crying and come up to give him hugs and then little Joel breaks out into song of We Shall Overcome.
The bits with the guy walking by the electronics store and shouting whatever stuff he does to the Muslim worker, that stuff never happens, especially not in broad daylight. Also, I’m not sure where a bunch of 10-year-old kids would have known where to find, download, draw and stuff a locker full of Osama Bin Laden photos. Also, this is San Francisco. Are we to believe Sam is the ONLY desi kid going to a school in suburban San Francisco, an area with a relatively high concentration of desis?
The list goes on. Somehow the audience broke out into a thunderous applause at the end of the show. I was struggling to figure out why. Okay, so it wasn’t Chandni Chowk to China, which I’m sure they were all grateful for, but it was far from a masterpiece that’s for sure.
You write above: Somehow the audience broke out into a thunderous applause at the end of the show. I was struggling to figure out why
Our hypothesis is that this movie has a struck a chord with Allah’s acolytes, the Muslims who relish the anti-American theme and tone of the movie.
BTW, the film seems to be having a decent run, both in the U.S. and India. No small thanks to the publiShitty stunts at Newark airport and the threats from some cartoon of an Indian political party called Shiv Sena (founded in real-life by a cartoonist).
I don’t remember if it was Shiv sena activists or who, but there were some idiots goin about attacking any girl or boy, if they were found together, sayin that it was against “Indian culture”. WTF?
That became popular all over India. These idiots stopped at nothing. According to them, it was against “culture” for a girl to talk with a guy, for women to wear modern dress, to celebrate Valentine’s day et al. PATHETIC!
Worse, they said they thought of the victims (this was said by those few men who were arrested, during interrogation by the police), who they assaulted without any mercy, as their “brothers and sisters”.. !!!
1. The Valentine attacks was a groping tactic by frustrated youths financed by the rightwing Hindu political parties.
2. We think Valentine’s day should be celebrated as Topless Day in India. 😉
Formal Weekdays, Casual Saturdays and Topless Valentine’s Day….What say you?
I like your comment where you told you canceled the HT subscription.
Absolutely trashy news network – Aaj Tak and Headlines Today. Also try seeing if you can get any clips of one channel – India TV- it is to date the most Faltoo news channel I have come across.
We’d have loved to get NDTV but unfortunately the Dish receiver we had was incompatible with NDTV, which required DirecTV.
Have you read the blog: http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Open-letter-Mr-Shahrukh-Khan-SRK/blog-348.htm ? Pretty interesting!! What is your opinion?
You write: Pretty interesting!! What is your opinion?
Just read the piece in your link.
An interesting post but we do not agree with the author’s point that Muslims may have reason to be upset with the West and the U.S.
Pakistan’s raison d’etre is hatred of India and for
SRKPLC (Pak-Lovin-Chutiya) to describe Pakistan as a great neighbor is beyond the pale.
It is sad that you dont view Marathi movies.
I am not a Marathi or any Shiv Sainik or Maharashtra Sainik but I will say :
In recent times Marathi films are best films produced in India.
eg : – recent 2 films
Hindi – Veer and My Name Is Khan (crap)
Tamil – Goa and Asal (crap)
Telegu – Kedi and Leader (crap)
Marathi – Natarang and Harishchandrachi Factory (Superb films).
Marathi films have some of most talented people like Atul Kulkarni or Ashok Saraf (a better comedian/actor than likes of Vadivelu or Brahmandam).The only problem is they go unnoticed because of their low production values (their budgets are less than a crore).If these problems gets sorted out Marathi films could achieve innumerable achievements.
We’re not aware of Marathi films releasing here. Maybe they do in some theatres
Just checked Netflix. Harishchandrachi Factory is supposed to be coming there. Will watch when it gets there.
Atul has acted in Tamil movies.. was quite impressive in Run. F*cker has acted in all south indian languages in addition to Hindi and Marathi… out of a total of less than 50 movies.. that must be some kind of record.
You write: Atul has acted in Tamil movies.. was quite impressive in Run.
– Excerpt from our review of Run of a few years vintage (pre-SI blog)
We’ve seen Atul in several Tamil films including some trashy ones like ATM et al.