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Film Review - My Name is Khan

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Name is Khan - A Critical Review
Archana Verma 

This film created waves before it was released and on its first screening in India - not so much because of its aesthetic value, but more because of the cultural politics associated with it. In essence, this is an attempt by the popular culture of India to initiate a dialogue with the terror-struck West, especially America, in the post-9/11 world. However, because of several other issues that got involved with Shah Rukh Khan the actor who plays the leading role in the film, the reviews of this film have got tainted by those issues - the major one being the communalisation attempted by the extremist Hindutva party Shiv Sena on the day of its first screening.  Those who sympathise with the portrayal of a "victimised majority" in India have criticised the film and Shah Rukh Khan and Shiv Sena's opponents have given an excessively undue credit to the film as well as to Shah Rukh Khan. In this article I attempt to distance myself from this politics and look at the film from the aesthetic angle, as a member of audience interested in the art of cinematic narration. I do so after I have watched the film and have allowed the first impressions to sink in for some time.

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