Thursday, 18 February 2010

MNIK- A significant film

Since I have so many opinions on movies I decided to take Shivangi's advice and review films that I see from now on. The last flick I saw was an impressive My Name is Khan and here is my review.

There is something about SRK. Over the years he has taught us to romance, to overact, to self promote but has done all of this with a lot of charm and energy. These two words along with sincerity are what make MNIK worth watching.

The film is basically about Rizwan Khan, who is a simple and pure person at heart and thus sees the world as black and white. People are either good or bad (as his mother had taught him when he was young) and leads his life as such (reflected cleverly in his salesman scenes). He comes to America falls in love with Mandira (Kajol) and ends up marrying her. They live a happy "suburban dream life" till 9/11 happens. Post 9/11 they are victimised for being Muslims and when Mandira loses her son to a bunch of yobs she blames Rizwan's last name for all of this. SRK then travels through America to meet the President and tell him what all of us know by heart by now ..My name is Khan and I'm not a terrorist.

Credit must be given where its due. It is commendable that Karan Johar has finally listened to his critics and made a film that has heart and rooted in reality. Especially heart warming is the detailing shown by Johar with respect to the house and locality Rizwan stays in. This coming from a director who not too long ago showed Ferraris speeding through Chandni Chowk! Even the technical department is five star with rural America never looking this pretty in a long time.
Coming to the performances Kajol is good though better than her character allows her to be. Her role is not too well written with most cliches intact but it takes an actor like Kajol to make everything seem effortless. She shines in a few scenes though (the hospital scene comes to mind) but her chemistry with SRK is just so natural and warm you seriously wish them endless screen time.
Shah Rukh Khan on the other hand delivers a stellar performance. His performance might not be Naseeruddin Shah in Sparsh or even Hrithik in Koi Mil Gaya but he has such fantastic believability and charm that he does win everyone over. When SRK underacts he is most enjoyable (Swades and Chak de case in point), in this film however he has treaded that fine line between believability and histrionics beautifully. There are many parts in the film where you cannot but have a lump in your throat and all because of Shah Rukh Khan's honesty .
This film is not above flaws though. It is still marred by Johar's habit of schmaltz and the background score jars at all the wrong moments. In fact those bits that do not have SRK tend to drag but the moment SRK comes on screen you are engaged.

A journalist recently asked Karan Johar how many years does he think the superstars of our industry have as out and out heroes and he said 3 to 4 years at the most. I think of all the current superstars Shah Rukh is really the one who has tried to somewhat break the mould in the last 5 years. With My Name is Khan he has taken it to another level.

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