I'd been wanting to see this or a while and only managed to get the chance tonight. I was expecting a lot, as the trailer made it seem inspirational, and recommendations from friends only enforced that expectation. I have to say that not only were my expectations met, but they were surpassed. It is a truly beautiful film in every possible way. The story it has to tell, the way it is shot, the actors and their characters, the overall feel of the film is just absolutely stunning. I was taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotion as one moment I would be laughing my head off, and the next I'd be literally in tears. This film is not just here to entertain and make money (although I'm hoping it does a lot of both), but it sends out a very important and poignant message about the image of Islam in the world since the shocking and terrible events of 9/11. Not just Islam, but it sends out a message about all religion with the use of a very simple statement; "Good people who do good deeds. Bad People who do bad. There is no other difference". Such a strong message to send and it says something so simple. We're all human and regardless of the religion we live by or the culture we have, our deeds are what make us good or bad people and not those labels applied by those other parts of our lives.
The story follows the journey of Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), a Muslim man with Asperger's Syndrome as he writes a letter to his wife Mandira (Kajol) while he is on a journey to give the President of the United States a message; "My Name Is Khan, and I am not a Terrorist". Through this letter he is writing, we come to learn about the emotions he truly feels and can't express when speaking due to his condition. We learn about his upbringing with his brother Zakir and his Mother in Mumbai, his arrival in America to work with his brother and his eventual falling in love with the woman who would be his wife, Mandira. Rizwan achieves the impossible. He has made a happy life for himself in America and kept a promise he made to his Ammi. This happiness is not to last, however, as the tragedy of 9/11 occurs turning Riwan and Mandira's life upside down in very frightening and tragic ways. The stereotyping of the Muslim terrorist begins to make its mark on the couple and put a strain on their relationship but, one day things hit rock bottom and their son, Sameer (Yuvaan Makaar) is killed in a racially motivated attack. This is the final straw and the relationship breaks apart and Rizwan is told to leave and in the heat of the moment, only to return when he has given the message to the US President.
Out of my little description, I've missed out so much. There's a lot to take in from this film and something that you will enjoy as the film runs. Shah Rukh Khan deserves a very prestigious western award for his role in this film. Possibly even going as high up as an Oscar (although I'm sure there's some rule that would prevent that from ever happening) as his performance is magnificent and he is truly deserving of wider recognition in the western world. He steals the show as the personality and mannerisms of the character are maintained beautifully throughout, from the twitching of the neck to simply the way he speaks. There are times when his traits are hilarious, and others when they are frankly annoying. But you never lose sight of the genuine and caring nature of this character and you become adoring of his flaws as they simply vale what is a very sweet personality.
This, in a sense, gives you more of a respectful understanding of the condition and how difficult it may be to cope with, especially in social circumstances, when you want to say something, but simply cannot express it the way you want. The message of everyone being simply being defined as being part of one of two groups, good or bad people, is one that I truly admire and taking on the topic of religion during such a raw and emotional time, and offering it from the perspective of an Asian family is a very brave and meaningful move.
A beautiful film with a beautiful message, and by far the best film I've ever had the pleasure of watching.
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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