My Name is Khan (2010) *HQ*

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Questions of religious and national identity, of the sense of right and wrong, of combating a certain isolation that comes with a behavioural disorder. But what triumphs over all the complexities unfolding in a tumultuous post 9/11 America is Rizwan Khan and his essential goodness that tells you unwaveringly – his name is Khan and he is not a terrorist.

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Jimmy Shergill

Director Karan Johar is in unfamiliar territory here. No candyfloss romance, no sweet nothings, nobody breaking into song. Just the super intelligent Rizwan, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, his halting voice with his inability to communicate, and his many relationships – with his mother, his brother, and yes, Mandira, and her son Sam.

Move over Rahul, Rizwan is here. Shah Rukh makes the transition from the eternal romantic to the intense Rizwan who finds love and loses it some years later when his Khan identity becomes all important in a tense, suspicious America. You sit through three hours waiting to get a glimpse of Shah Rukh through Rizwan Khan, but it doesn’t happen.If Shah Rukh lives and breathes Rizwan in what is one of his finest roles, Kajol as Mandira, the vivacious single mother, is also good – as always. The chemistry between them if not always crackling, then heartwarming.

It’s an unlikely romance, not very easy to portray. But it’s dealt with a light touch. There they are sitting on either side of the bed after their wedding with Mandira telling Rizwan, who doesn’t like to be hugged, that this is something they can’t do without touching. It’s a scene that could quite easily have gone wrong, but it doesn’t.

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