Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Name is Khan-a week later, almost

I have been musing over My Name is Khan--I re-read the post I made fairly soon after seeing the movie, and realized I was gushing. I have had time to contemplate, and discuss the movie, as well as read many other reviews. I do agree, the movie is not perfect--some stuff is pretty hokey, other stuff just uncomfortable--there are times when SRK is in the small village(which reminded me of some 'historic' museum) seem pretty weird. Still, the movie is moving and helps to make a point.

Today I have been reading accounts by SRK of plans of Fox's to re-edit the movie for the American audience-even SRK says the film is too long for American tastes. After sitting in the audience of mostly Americans when I saw the Mira Nair film The Namesake--that did not seem too long--hopefully Fox bigwigs will realize that Americans can sit through a long movie. I have been contemplating what Fox might cut out--it would be hard to remove parts of the movie without totally changing it, and then it would be a terrible film. My main hope is that Fox does not dub the film, hopefully they realize that Americans aren't stupid and can read subs, sure that will limit folks going to a film with sub-titles, but it will not exclude all that many. It certainly would not exclude My Name is Khan from Oscar contention--let us hope that is their plan!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Name is Khan

So, I have now had 3 days to digest and replay this movie in my head. This is another very different Bollywood---no song picturizations, no crazy slapstick. This is a serious love story, story of hope, and how a simple man can make a huge difference. Yes, I have read all the reviews in all the various Bollywood news sources, Times of India, New York Times, and many other places. This movie is not perfect, Karan Johar has said that he let Shahrukh take the lead on lots of scenes, and Shahrukh did his homework. You really do see SRK as a man with Asperger's syndrome--an man who is brilliant, yet innocent, awkward and only sees things in black and white, no grey. SRK uses his skill as an actor to carry this movie. After watching many of his films over the years--from the great to the horrid--you can see SRK grow as a person and an actor--and this movie is proof of his skill.
I thought that Rab Ne Bana di Jodi and Chak de India really showed SRK's skill, but this movie tops that. I really don't want to give too much of the story away--but when Rizwan feels that he needs to prove a point to regain the love of his point--he sets out to do so. This quest makes the world realize that an honest, innocent man can change the world---you think this is not true? There have been many honest, innocent men who have done so in the past--Jesus, Mohammed, Gandhi--have changed the world. Rizwan sees the world as being inhabited by good people or bad people, and he is out to help those who need help.

This movie will change your ideas about Bollywood films--they can do socially important topics and do them well. It is not to say that Karan Johar could not have done better-the story in the first half could have been a bit tighter, and the second half's unevenness could have been smoothed over. Interviews with Johar have had him saying that SRK did lots of directing--maybe that should be the next step for SRK--let us see him do the directing!

This movie is a must see.