It was yet another attempt to elicit emotional response about discrimination against race and religion. In particular, this film deals with our favorite incident that has left a permanent scar in the history and changed the way we live our life. Especially, if you happen to be a Moslem living in the U.S. I was of course, talking about the 9-11. Though I hadn’t seen that many of their works, this film was Shahrukh Khan’s and Kajol’s best efforts. However, the film was overlong, too preachy, and disintegrated almost completely during the third act.
Shahrukh Khan is Rizvan Khan. An Indian immigrant in the U.S. He has an Asperger’s syndrome, and he was a Moslem. First time we saw him, it was a typical Moslem experience in the U.S. Security Airport. Thorough, and uncompromising body search. We learn right away that Khan is on his way to meet the POTUS and deliver a message. That his name is Khan and he is not a terrorist. He wrote about his experience in his journal and narrated his story that brings us back to his childhood in India and his colorful life up to the point where he took his journey.
The film, as evident as in many other Indian films, take a leisure to progress. It ran a solid 166 minutes with one intermission in between. For me, the film gave me a two very distinct experiences before and after intermission. It started nicely, and has a solid built-up, until it, like I said, earlier, disintegrated almost completely. Ironically, the film’s flood scene is probably the most responsible scene that caused this film to drown in such a fashion.
The film spent an enormous effort during the first half to built the characters and their respective interaction that became the foundation of an emotional clash that prompt our hero to take his journey. It is clear that the film wants its audience to like Khan and to root for him and his well being and, even if some questionable flaws were apparent (i.e. wasn’t the color orange and yellow falls within the same range spectrum?) to some extent, it worked. Khan delivers as Rizvan Khan. He is likable enough without portraying his case of Asperger’s syndrome, which is like an icing on the cake, an extra layer of saccharine to break the last defense of the most skeptic audience. I’m willing to bet, unless you’re not paying attention during the built-up, you’re ended up going to like Rizvan Khan and wishes nothing but to romantically involved with the woman of his choice, as played by Kajol.
Leisurely, the film came to its height when finally we learned the exact nature of Rizvan Khan’s journey to meet the POTUS. It was I think, the moment when Kajol really shines. I love that scene. Unfortunately, the film went downhill from there. The totally unnecessary Wilhelmina, Georgia scenes are rubbish at its best, and ruins everything that has been built. The scenes were meant to show how compassionate Rizvan is as a Moslem even if he has been undergone a non-fair treatment by many around him. But, there are limits to anything, and the scenes were boldly (and stupidly) break everything by putting almost anything to make sure we get the message. Okay, okay, we get the message, just sent it to an end, already. Again, unfortunately, the dealing with Wilhelmina takes almost an entire final scene of the film. It left a sour after taste in my mouth.
My rating: * / **** A pity actually, the third act of this film is overlong, meant as a tear jerker, and way way WAY too preachy for my taste. I’m usually a crier in the film (heck, I’ve got a glassy eyes during “Valentine’s Day”), but no, the film’s third act kept me at a distance and shaking my head. If you asked me, the third act is a complete disaster, just like an unintended cough that crumples the whole house of cards that has been meticulously and carefully crafted during the fist half.