My Name Is Khan (PG-13)
Released in February 2010 ‧ Bollywood ‧ 2h 45m Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol.
Directed by Karan Johar. Available on Amazon, Google play, iTunes, YouTube, Vudu
Even though I have lived nearly my whole life in the States, I love Bollywood movies! But I have to say I am pretty picky.
For a movie to capture my attention, it needs to not just have solid storyline, good dialogue, acting and direction as well as beautiful cinematography but also a soothing, uplifting and haunting musical score- the kind of music whose lyrics and melody linger with you long after the movie is done.
My name is Khan has all these elements and it is a movie that is relevant today as it was when first released seven years ago.
During these times, I am so aware of the importance of discovering and affirming our fundamental interconnectedness instead of focusing on our superficial differences which seem to divide and fragment. My name is Khan is a beautiful offering that speaks to the power of love to join and heal.
The movie at its heart is a love story between Rizwan Khan, a Muslim man from India with Asperger’s syndrome, who falls in love with Mandira- a Hindu single mother (also from India) now living in San Francisco, where the two meet.
Yet it is also a story about a love between a mother and her son, a father and his step-son, and the love between brothers and friends. It also speaks to the love that we may stumble upon unexpectedly when our life paths intersect with strangers who become lifelong companions. We come together to share about our loss and suffering- yet this very act of joining opens the doorway to healing and peace.
In the end, Khan’s life beautifully demonstrates what his mom taught him- there are no good or bad people. There are only two types of actions- those which foster separation and thus harm, or those actions that join us and thus heal. The choice is always ours.
The movie deals with many themes- living with Asperger’s, Muslim-Hindu intermarriage, as well as what it means to be a Muslim-American living in the aftermath of 9/11. The movie does not provide any ‘quick’ solutions but it does portray the power of choosing love and joining over fear and hatred and how that can be a beacon of light to many.
Here is a trailer with English subtitles if you want to take a peek.
And here are two of the beautiful songs from the movie: