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Sunday, February 14, 2010

My name is…

After a long time, I finally managed to leave a theatre smiling, after watching a Hindi movie. (Usually, my reactions range between frustration, irritation, despair, or plain old rage.) But, after watching SRK’s histrionics on the silver screen at a rather decrepit hall in Jamshedpur, I was nothing but numb – numbed by mediocrity, and the typical Karan Johar – SRK type movie.

One of the Bollywood wannabes had once commented, “Only sex and Shahrukh sell’. I’d like to correct her and say that, “Only sex, Shahrukh and controversy sell.” There was much hullabaloo about the movie after the Shiv Sainiks (once again) ran riot, screaming their guts out. Ironically enough, the movie released on the day of ‘MahaSHIVaratri’ – SRK must’ve been thumbing his nose at Messrs. Thackeray and Co. at that.

Today, an impromptu brainwave by a friend led 30 of us poor, unsuspecting souls to cram into autos and rush to the nearby shady hall – Payal, in the hope of catching a good movie for once. (Ah, how I wish I’d not nurtured that naive notion!)

Ok, so in a nutshell, Mr. Khan suffers from autism aka Asperger’s syndrome – he fears crowds, loud noises, and the colour yellow. His mom seems to alienate her younger son (played by Jimmy Shergill) through her over-caring attitude for the elder Khan. (Our dear Mr. Khan is inventive, as he shows by draining the front yard of his tutor’s flooded house, using a bicycle-run pump. Inspired by Aamir’s 3 Idiots? :| )

So, the intelligent younger son flies off to the US, and gets married to a Muslim girl there. After the demise of the mother, Mr. Khan goes to the US too, in the hope of fulfilling his mother’s wish of a happy life. He picks up a job at his brother’s firm, selling beauty products to beauticians and hair saloons.

(In an apparent dig at his Lux commercial, the Khan is seen trying out the products he sells, in a scene where he has a green facepack on himself.)

He meets Kajol (aka Mandira), who works at a saloon and the two hit it off. Kajol has a young son, Sam, who hits it off with Khan too. Like in a typical story, a whirlwind romance later, the two are happily married. (Btw, the name is Khan, with the ‘kh’ being pronounced ‘from the epiglottis’ – does this remind you of Achmed, anyone? Or was it just me? :| )

Since this takes only about one hour, the director now decides to take us on a rougher ride, to give us our money’s worth. 9/11 happens, and the world changes for the Khans. In a school brawl with racist undertones, the young Sam is beaten up and succumbs to his injuries.

A bawling, screaming Kajol throws out Khan and asks him to return only when he tells the US President, “Mr. President, my name is Khan and I’m not a terrorist.” (This is the turning point. This is where you ought to turn and flee the hall, lest you lose your sanity through the rest of the movie.)

Well, on the way our man has many adventures, the most notable one being wading through flood waters with ease to reach the state of Georgia – devastated by Hurricane Katrina. (I wish George Bush had called Khan over to help, instead of calling in the US Army for help, when the actual hurricane happened. Gah! We always knew Bush was no good, didn’t we?)

So, whether Khan gets to meet the President or not is something you ought to watch and find out. (Honestly, it doesn’t even matter.)

Some of the salient points from this movie:

  • Kajol – grow up! You’re past the age when you could essay screaming, yelling teen girl characters with aplomb. (Maybe, my 29-year old eardrums have just become more sensitive.)
  • I have never been so irritated on listening to ‘We shall overcome’ or ‘Hum honge kaamyaab’. AARRGGHHH!!
  • SRK is a pale shadow of Forrest Gump. Yes, he attempts to maintain the simplicity of the character and try to display the wit and sarcasm, but largely fails. (Not his fault, it’s just that the director wanted to have too many subplots.)
  • The film is SLOW. I could play it at 1.5 times the normal rate and still find it slow.
  • There are good moments – ones that make you laugh or ones that just leave you with tears. But too few and far between.
  • Jimmy Shergill and the others were overpaid for this movie. They didn’t have to do much except twiddling their thumbs and watching SRK hog the screen.
  • I don’t understand movies. I didn’t get why SRK went off into a group mourning those who perished in the attacks, wearing a white ‘chikankari’ cap and chanted verses from the Koran, even though he did neither of these on a daily basis. (Maybe, the director was just trying to find a convenient reason to add an extra twist.)

Overall, I thought the number of films giving social messages is increasing a little too fast. Come on guys, I’d rather watch Crash or Forrest Grump instead.

P.S. I think the poor Shiv Sainiks were doing us a huge favour by stopping us from seeing the movie. I almost wish they had succeeded.Go, Sena! Go, Thackeray!


Lazy Pineapple said...

hahhaha complete paisa unvasool I guess...I am going to see a pirated version on zee internet...Thanks for the review :)

UnAnon said...

You couldn't have put the sentiments of the 50-odd people who watched the movie yesterday any better! I really felt like killing myself after the movie inspite of SRK's incessant pleas of "Dont Die, Dont Die", which were neither witty, nor funny... just plain boring

Siddhesh 'Ravan' Kabe said...

I dont go to see buddha buddhi romance...:P

Tangerine said...

thanks for the heads up... i was totally going to watch it in the theatre... bt now i m gonna go for good old pirated version!

Megha said...

it was clear that it was a good puplicity stunt, but it went beyond his control..remember the last stunt at US airport...

And Times gave it 5 stars...

Shahid said...

finally an honest review!!

Americanising Desi said...

i give it 10.1 stars on 10!

mystish said...

excellent review my friend.. you're going to give the likes of Nikhat Kazmi and Shubhra Gupta a run for their money(who btw were majorly besotted with the picture)

I slept through it. In the theatre. Honest.
hugs :D

Anonymous said...

:D who is watching the movie unless you are a complete-analog-nostalgic-moron who makes a 'slapper' out of an otherwise sweet self saying, 'omigod-shahrukh-itna-cute-hein'. yeah, i wanted to slap many a people on the same grounds. but could not, owing to obvious reasons. then the post made me vent my frustration out in a lol.

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