Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Great Movie - My Name is Khan

Just watched, for the second time, a great movie called "My Name is Khan". I love this movie. This is one I want in my personal collection.

The movie is almost 3 hours long. I laughed, I cried - what else do you want from a movie? Beyond that, I thought a lot about my own beliefs and behavior.

The couple at the center of the movie are famous 'Bollywood' actors, who are usually singing and dancing away in an Indian romance. Here they have shown that their acting capacity is way beyond what they have previously done. The charisma between them is hypnotic.

The movie is about Rizwan Khan (Shahrukh Khan), a Muslim man with Asperger Syndrome, who lives happily with his wife Mandira (Kajol), in San Francisco until a tragedy drives her away after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now he is on a quest to recapture the heart of the woman he loves. Traveling across America, Rizwan faces prejudice because of his religion and unusual behavior, but he also inspires the people meets with this unique outlook on life.

Some lines from the movie will stick with me forever: "We used to designate history as BC or AD. Now there is a third event: 9/11."

The story reveals prejudices on all levels. Framed within the story of immigrants to America, it shows the misconceptions many of us have regarding 'foreigners' and how they themselves respond and react to our treatment of them.

It also educates regarding the religion of Islam in a subtle, but effective way. Not just telling us about the religion, but by example...the best way.

Because of his so-called 'disability' Rizwan has always been marginalized in every society he has lived in... including his original homeland - India. He as always been an outsider. This has given him a unique perspective. He can objectively see what others cannot - what is really important in life. We learn that just because a person has a 'disability', that does not mean they are not intelligent, sensitive, compassionate and highly capable. So it is also a movie about prejudices regarding disability.

Early in life, his mother demonstrated to him in a graphic way that there are only two kinds of people - good people who do good and bad people who do bad. He has never forgotten this important lesson. And that is what the movie is really about.

Not to be overlooked, is the love story between the two major characters. How Rizwan wins Mandira's love, then is forced to regain it after a tragedy.

This is a 'must see' for anyone who is concerned about the current trend to demonize Muslims and how we must always keep our minds and hearts open to people who are different from us.
Here's a link to the movie website.