My Name is Khan is Shah Rukh Khan's movie and SRK-Kajol pair performs very well. Karan Johar's direction is excellent though the script could have been better. I felt some scenes like Shah Rukh helping the hurricane victims in Virginia were a bit too contrived. It's not India, where state help doesn't arrive for a long time. Honestly, when I was watching this part of the movie, it reminded me of Tum Mile, with unimaginative sets.
I feel, MNIK is largely driven by Shah Rukh's vision of Islam as a religion and his efforts at bridging the gap and building bonds. However, audience don't want to learn from cinema. They go to the theaters to be entertained. Also, part of the script with interpretations of Quran, the holy book may be directed towards Muslims and except for the core message, that Islam doesn't talk of hatred or violence, and all religions are same, some of the messages may be lost.
While dealing with the sensitive portrayal of post 9/11 world scenario, the movie has its own share of cliches, which have been already framed on celluloid by other film makers. Whether it's change in attitude of common people towards Muslims or people trying to hide their religion or even, police torture or profiling at airports. So, here's my warning: audience will need to go through the scenes with some patience.
Shah Rukh performs superbly in the role of Rizwan Khan, afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome, a kind of autism. Comparisons will surely be drawn with Amitabh Bachchan's performance as the kid with Progeria. On a lighter note, it's good to see so many mainstream Bollywood movies taking on the mantle of educating the audience on rare diseases.
Kajol brings a lot of determination and character to her role and her pairing with Shah Rukh after a long time and their on-screen chemistry coming from their off-screen friendship and comfort level with each other is one of key ingredients in the movie.
Performance wise, all the supporting cast do their job well, especially Jimmy Shergill as Zakir Khan (Rizwan's brother), Sonya Jahan as Zakir's wife, Zarina Wahab as Rizwan's mother. Even the foreign cast like Reece, his mother and others were well selected for their roles.
Music of the movie could have been better. S-E-L delivers an average fair and it's unlikely to linger on, long after you leave the theater.
MNIK is not your usual mushy romance or family drama, that you expect from Karan Johar. Now, whether the audience will throng theaters to watch this film, all the controversy notwithstanding will only be known in the coming days. I would recommend the movie to all, for SRK's vision for the medium to bring about change and his inspired performance.