India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

My Name is Khan: Gimmicky, average cinema


mnikThere is no easy way to say this. In spite of the hype surrounding it and for all the solidarity being expressed and the many, many hours of time and energy being spent  tweeting and talking about it — “My Name is Khan” is a very average, ordinary film that goes as haywire as the debate surrounding it has gone.

Subjects such as racial biases, the aftermath of 9/11 and war on terror are dicey topics to handle in real life, let alone on celluloid, and director Karan Johar falls in the same trap as films like “New York” and his own production “Kurbaan” — he oversimplifies the issue and overstates his message.

The film tells the story of Rizwan Khan, a man afflicted with Asperger’s Syndrome, a type of autism which allows him to lead a relatively normal life. However, he has problems understanding complex issues and cannot express emotions like love or sorrow as normal people can.

Brought up in a suburb of Mumbai by his mother (Zarina Wahab), Khan moves to the U.S. after her death, to be with his brother (Jimmy Shergill).

Tahaan: Stark, beautiful but with character flaws


When the credits roll at the end of Santosh Sivan’s “Tahaan” , there is a disclaimer which reads ‘This is a fable with fictitious people and non fictitious incidents,” or something to that effect.

TahaanThat sentence pretty much sums up this two-hour film. “Tahaan” has a surreal, almost fable-like look and feel to it, which remains consistent almost throughout the film.