Fox’s foray into Bollywood examines the fallout of 9/11 on NRIs (‘Non Resident Indians’) in Bush’s America. Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), a Muslim man with Asperger’s syndrome, travels across the USA in order to meet the President. ‘My Name is Khan; I am not a terrorist’ is his mantra. Karan Johar, Bollywood’s biggest director, admirably addresses a sensitive topical issue within the widest commercial context. He incorporates marital strife, communal conflict, racism, bullying, a ‘mamma’ subplot, and a catchy soundtrack (frustratingly not subtitled) to convey his progressive agenda. The result is a film of tonal inconsistency which reflects its simplistic ‘good people/bad people’ view of human nature. Technically accomplished, it’s always engaging due to the credible performances from its beautiful leads, the charismatic Khan and Kajol. Worthy, but flawed.
Cast and crew
Shah Rukh Khan