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Life Talk!

My name is Khan - Tragedy of Muslims in USA after 9/11




Rizwan Khan (Shahrukh Khan) is a Muslim child who grew up with his brother Zakir and his mother (Zarina Wahab) in a middle class family in the Borivali section of Mumbai. Rizwan is different from other children as he has autism. However, he has certain gifts, particularly a special ability to repair things. His difference leads to special tutoring from a reclusive scholar and extra attention from his mother, all which leads to a heightened level of jealousy from his brother Zakir, who eventually leaves his family for a life in the United States .

Despite this resentment, as an adult Zakir (Jimmy Shergill) sponsors Rizwan to come and live with him in San Francisco after the death of their mother. It is at this time that Zakir's wife, Haseena (Sonya Jehan) diagnoses Rizwan as having Asperger's syndrome. Rizwan also begins to work for Zakir and in the process he meets a Hindu woman, Mandira (Kajol) and her young son, Sameer or Sam (Yuvaan Makaar), from a previous marriage. Mandira is a hairdresser by profession. Despite Zakir's hostility to the match, they marry and settle down in the fictional town of Banville, where both Mandira and Sameer take Rizwan's last name as their own. They also live next door to the Garrick family. Sameer is close to their young son, Reese (Kenton Duty) and Michael Arnold) while Mark (Dominic Renda) is a reporter and Sarah (September 11 attacks on the twin towers in New York City. Mark goes to 2001”>post 9-11 prejudice in their community and Reese begins to turn against Sam as well. One afternoon, an argument between them turns into a racially motivated schoolyard fight between Sameer and a number of older students. Reese tries to stop the fight but is held back and Sam dies from his injuries. A shattered Mandira blames Rizwan for his death stating that Sameer "died only because his name was Khan." She then tells Rizwan that she no longer wants to be with him. When he asks her what he has to do to be together with Mandira, she sarcastically tells him that he has to tell the people of the United States and the President that his name is Khan and that he is not a terrorist .

Rizwan takes Mandira's request seriously, and thus sets out on a journey that takes him from one US state to another, in order to first meet President George W. Bush and later President-elect Barack Obama. During this quest, he travels to Wilhemina, Los Angeles, he prays in a Mosque and overhears violent rhetoric from Faisal Rahman (Arif Zakaria). He reports this to the FBI but there is no response at that moment. Later, while waiting in a crowd to meet President Bush and repeating again and again, "My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist," Rizwan is arrested and placed in a prison by police who misinterpret his statement.

While in the prison he is interrogated as a terrorist suspect and meets the psychiatrist Radha (Sheetal Menon) who believes he is innocent. He is later released after a media campaign by some Indian student reporters Raj (Arjun Mathur) and Komal (Sugandha Garg) and Bobby Ahuja (Parvin Dabas), who prove his innocence by unearthing his attempts to inform the FBI about Faisal Rahman. After his release, he returns to hurricane-hit Wilhemina to help Mama Jenny and her son. His efforts attract media attention and numerous Muslims come to help as well. At the same time, Reese confesses to Mandira and reveals the identity of the boys who beat up Sam. She informs Detective Garcia (Benny Nieves) who has been assisting her on the case, and Detective Garcia arrests them.

After they are brought to justice, she joins Rizwan in Georgia. At the moment she arrives, Rizwan is stabbed by a follower of Faisal Rahman and is rushed to the hospital. With Mandira's help, Rizwan survives and meets President-elect Barack Obama (Christopher B. Duncan) who tells him: "Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist . "

[edit] Cast Actor/Actress Role Shahrukh Khan Rizwan Khan Kajol Mandira Khan Yuvaan Makaar Sameer (Sam) Zarina Wahab Razia Khan (Rizwan's mother) Tanay Chheda Rizwan Khan (as a young child) Jimmy Shergill Zakir Khan Sonya Jehan Haseena Khan Parvin Dabas Bobby Ahuja Arjun Mathur Raj Burman Sugandha Garg Komal Sheetal Menon Radha Christopher B. Duncan Barack Obama Kenton Duty Reese Garick Michael Arnold Reese Garick (as a child) Umesh Tonpe Sandip Chotala (as a friend of Rizwan in US) Dominic Renda Mark Garrick Katie A. Keane Sarah Garrick Harmony Blossom Karma Girl Arif Zakaria Faisal Rahman Vinay Pathak Jitesh Jennifer Echols Mama Jenny Adrian Kali Turner Funny Hair Joel Benny Nieves Detective Garcia [edit] Themes

In an August 2009 interview, Shahrukh Khan stated that My Name Is Khan is "not about terrorism, or 9/11. It’s about a relationship between two people, between an individual and the State, and between an individual and the country. In short, there the three important components: love story, Islam and a mild form of autism."[13]

"I think it’s an exceptionally relevant time, as the unity of our nation is of paramount importance, and I am very happy to witness such a movement in front of my eyes. We are all coming together to fight for a common cause – called humanity. Everyone knows that terrorism has no religion and it will never have a religion. As a filmmaker, I believe that I have a social responsibility and I promise to fulfill that."[14]

Karan Johar's response to the increased unification between Hindus and Muslims in India, especially after 26/11. As said to Madhureeta Mukherjee.

In an earlier July 2009 interview, Khan also noted that the film focuses on themes concerning "the relationship between the Western world and Islam and how that has changed over the past few years." He describes the film as about "the journey of one family and how it changes because of 9/11" and suggests "we touch upon that in a very unbiased and educated way."[15] In another early interview, he also stated that, "it’s not about a disabled man’s fight against disability. It’s a disabled man’s fight against the disability that exists in the world — terrorism, hatred, fighting ... My Name is Khan is also about Islam and the way the world looks at Islam but we are not taking any sides. We are only trying to say that there are only good people and bad people. There are no good Hindus, bad Hindus, good Christians, bad Christians. Either you are a good person or a bad person. Religion is not the criterion, humanity is."[16]

[edit] Production and publicity [edit] Pre-production and casting

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol were cast in the lead roles, reuniting them after many years.[17][18] The film faced a temporary setback during late December when actor Aamir Bashir was denied a visa to the United States.[19] He was eventually replaced by Jimmy Shergill as Shahrukh Khan's younger brother.[20] Although Shabana Azmi was originally cast as Shah Rukh Khan's mother[21] she left the production after Shahrukh Khan's shoulder injury delayed the filming schedule.[16][22] She was replaced in the role by Zarina Wahab.[23] Tanay Chheda portrayed Shah Rukh Khan's character as a child living in the Borivali section of Mumbai.[24] Chheda was chosen because he resembles Shah Rukh Khan and because he is recognizable to an international audience after portraying "middle Jamal" in Slumdog Millionaire.[25] American actor Christopher B. Duncan was chosen to portray President Barack Obama.[26][27] Duncan is known for his interpretation of Obama on [28]

Johar also asked Khan to co-produce the film, as "we were both passionate about the subject, we said why not co-produce the film? We’ve known each other so long ... that this new initiative is just an extension of our emotions. Besides, I can never make a film without Shah Rukh. He is a big part of me and my family. He’s like the older brother I never had. I love SRK as a unit — that includes his wife, children, sister and his in-laws."[29]

[edit] Filming and post-production

Production of the film is took place in India and the United States. Filming began in Los Angeles during December 2008[16][30] and one of the locations used was UCLA.[31] Johar next continued production in Mumbai during April 2009.[25] During June 2009, production moved to San Francisco[32] and the Bay Area, where they filmed a key scene at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.[33]

Johar had difficulties finding a mosque to film in. According to actor Arif Zakaria, "I don't know if Karan tried to get permission in Mumbai. But we were to shoot in a mosque in Los Angeles and hard as Karan tried to convince the authorities that his film would not propagate anti-social values, he was denied permission [...] We finally shot the two-day scene with Shah Rukh Khan on the set of a mosque constructed at The Club in Andheri."[34]

After filming in Los Angeles was completed, Johar stated that, "in all my 11 years as a filmmaker I’ve never felt the experience to be so different. The content of My Name Is Khan is diametrically opposite to whatever I’ve done in the past."[20] He described working with both Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol again as "magic. They build an inexplicable energy on screen." Johar also stated that he was "blown away by Shah Rukh who had done monumental research on his autistic character in the film. I was zapped by how much he knew about the subject."[20]

[edit] Pre-release publicity and distribution

On 7 August 2009, Karan Johar signed a deal for INR 1 billion with Fox Searchlight Pictures, who will market and distribute it in India (FOXSTAR) and worldwide (Fox Searchlight).[7][35] Shahrukh Khan was later asked in a December 2009 interview if he feels that My Name Is Khan is "a more international film which should be seen by all and will have a far reaching influence." Khan responded that:

I have never been a strong advocate for global cinema because I don't think our films turn the tide around though my directors and distributors feel otherwise. Having said that, I will add that MNIK is a very special topic about humanity in the garb of a Muslim character [...] The film is made on a large canvas and made larger with Fox coming on board. The subject material is adapted in terms of humanity in a very entertaining way. And with Karan, the best filmmaker in India today directing the film and Fox distributing it - the message of love, the way it has been shot internationally and the way of releasing it, might have all the possibilities of an international release. It is going to be released in a way no Hindi film has been released internationally before with mega prints and the trailer releasing with Avatar in a first of its kind.[36]

On 1 February 2010, Khan and Kajol "became the first Indian movie stars to ring the opening bell of the New York stock exchange NASDAQ." They were invited by Fox Searchlight Pictures to do so as part of their promotion for My Name Is Khan.[37] Shahrukh Khan also appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross as part of its promotion in the UK, becoming only the second Indian after Shilpa Shetty to do so.

[edit] Revenue

My Name Is Khan opened very well in most places across the world, and set many records in the process.[38] However, the performance of the film could not sustain beyond the first or second week in some places, including India and USA. The film's performance in India was quite good but still is generally regarded as "below expectations" due to the high price, while the overseas performance of the film has been record breaking. As of 4 April, the worldwide gross revenue for My Name Is Khan from the box office is US$ 36,145,870.[39] Domestically, My Name Is Khan generated INR 731.4 million net (equating to INR 1.2 billion gross), while overseas the film generated roughly INR 735 million at the end of its first phase, the rough INR 1.95 billion worldwide gross makes this film the third-highest-grossing film according to worldwide collections behind 3 Idiots, which grossed INR 4 billion and Ghajini with INR 2.2 billion.

[edit] India

In India, the film opened with a massive INR 295 million (US$ 6,356,688), which is the third-highest weekend net for a Bollywood film, behind 3 Idiots and Ghajini. It recorded the third-highest first day business across India, behind 3 Idiots and Ghajini at the time of release. The film broke the record of Race for the biggest opening weekend in the first quarter of the year. The film was reported to have done very well in multiplexes, but comparatively on the lower side in single screens. The film managed to net INR 460.8 million (US$ 9,952,857) in its first week[40] and debuted at #1 at the Indian box office, thus attaining the third highest first-week net collections, again behind 3 Idiots and Ghajini.

After its first week, the film began experiencing large drops in collections from many parts of the country. The drops ranged from 60 – 70% for the first few weeks, and started reducing for the later weeks. The film generally did not sustain well at most places, and was therefore given a "Hit" tag, becoming only the second hit of 2010 (after Ishqiya). It is currently the seventh highest-grossing film according to Indian collections, and the highest-grossing film of 2010. The film managed to retain the #1 spot at the Indian box office for two consecutive weeks, and remained in the top five for six consecutive weeks. At the end of its theatrical run, My Name Is Khan earned INR 731.4 million (US$ 16,419,056) in India.

[edit] Overseas

My Name is Khan grossed the biggest opening day overseas, taking an estimated INR 170 million, beating the overseas opening day collections of 3 Idiots. The film also grossed the biggest opening weekend overseas, taking an estimated INR 255 million, again beating the overseas opening weekend collections of 3 Idiots which grossed INR 185 million. In its first week, it grossed INR 393 million (US$ 8.5 million). In its first phase, the film earned a reported US$ 9,676,758.

In the UK, it made £123,000 on its opening day,[41] which was more than the combined total of 3 Idiots in its first two days (£121,000). By the end of the second week, MNIK became only the third Bollywood film to cross the £2 million mark in the UK, after Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Veer-Zaara, according to the exchange rates prevailing at their respective times of release.[42]

In Australia, the film earned an impressive AUS$ 39,000 (INR 16.1 lakhs) on its opening day, and was ranked #11 in the market. By the first weekend, the film earned US$ 437,687, defeating the previous record set by 3 Idiots (US$ 350,000).[43][44] In New Zealand and Fiji, the film earned NZ$ 13,627 on its opening day, and earned NZ$ 144,831 (US$ 100,698) in its first week. By the second weekend, the film earned NZ$ 268,838 (US$ 184,933).

In the Middle East and Pakistan,[45][46] the response to the film has been described as "huge" and it earned approximately US$ 300,000 on its opening day.[47] In Egypt it earned more than two Million Egyptian Pound.[48] By the end of its first weekend, the film grossed US$ 890,000, breaking the previous record set by Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (US$ 830,000). It broke all previous box office records by the end of the first week, earning US$ 1.75 million. The film is the highest-grossing Bollywood film in Pakistan, breaking the records set by Avatar , 3 Idiots and Wanted. [49] By its third week, MNIK has become the highest-grossing Bollywood film in the Middle East, earning US$ 3.3 million.[50]

My Name Is Khan debuted in USA in 120 theaters, breaking the record set by 3 Idiots which debuted in 119 theaters. The film broke the record for an opening weekend in the US, earning US$ 1,994,027. The film debuted at #13 at the American box office. By the end of the first week, the film grossed US$ 2,552,283, second only to 3 Idiots which had a Christmas holiday week. By the fourth week, the film earned US$ 3,868,891 (INR 193,820,016), breaking Shahrukh Khan's previous record set by Om Shanti Om. On the 51st day of screening in the US, My Name Is Khan broke the US$ 4 million barrier, and became only the second Bollywood film ever to cross this mark, after 3 Idiots. It is currently the second highest-grossing Bollywood film in the US.[when?][51][52]

My Name is Khan also opened well in Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Far East. In South Africa, the film earned US$ 85,214 (Rs. 39.28 lakhs) in its opening weekend.[53] In Malaysia, it earned MYR 105,527 (US$ 31,106) in its opening weekend, and by the second weekend, the film had earned MYR 410,864 (US$ 120,452).[53] In Nigeria, the film earned an "impressive" NGN 2,310,137 (US$ 15,362) in its opening weekend.[53] In Ghana, the film earned GHS 10,599 (US$ 7,443) by the second weekend. In Indonesia, the film has grown from six to 14 screens and has seen a jump of 300 percent in week three.[50] The film has also grossed $425,825 in 7 weeks at the Bahrain box office.[54] The film has also grossed an impressive $55,073 in Poland in its opening weekend.[55]The film grossed $270,698 in South Africa.[56] The film also made $58,683 in Lebanon region.[57]

[edit] Satellite rights

The satellite television rights for showcasing My Name Is Khan were sold to Star Plus for a sum of INR 150 million (US$ 3,314,303).[58]

[edit] Box office records

My Name Is Khan created several records, both in India and around the world. In India, the film smashed the record for a Bollywood release in the month of February, breaking the previous two-year record held by Jodhaa Akbar. The film also broke the record for a Bollywood release in the first quarter of the year, breaking the previous two-year record held by Race. In the UK, the film broke the four-year record of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, and became the highest-grossing Bollywood film in the UK. In the Middle East it is also the highest grossing Bollywood film. As of date My Name Is Khan is the highest-grossing film in overseas markets.[11][39]

[edit] Performance analysis

Before its release, My Name Is Khan generated a great deal of publicity for itself due to three main reasons, the first being the multiple political controversies surrounding the film and its lead actor, second because of Shahrukh Khan's presence in the film (he was last seen in a leading actor role in December 2008, when Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi released), and third being the re-unision of the "golden pair" of SRK-Kajol, who last appeared together in the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001. Most trade analysts were optimistic about the film. Box Office India stated that, "It would be interesting to see if the film does well as the SRK-Kajol fan base was at its prime roughly ten years ago. The question is whether that fan base is still as strong today", while others stated that the film would open very well and had the potential to become a very big success. Several media outlets predicted that My Name Is Khan would give very significant competition to 3 Idiots, both in India and especially in the overseas markets. However, there was a good amount of skepticism and criticism for the film due to its very high selling price. The film itself was made at a comparatively small budget, but was bought for a huge amount, estmated to be around INR 1 billion (although this was never confirmed by Vijay Singh, CEO Fox Star India) which many thought would be difficult to recover. There was also some discussion about its content, which was "serious" and "thinking", not a satirical entertainer like 3 Idiots.

It was generally agreed that My Name Is Khan would require an excellent opening at the box office, and would also require very significant "repeat value" so as to be able to recover its costs. Early positve reports and much comparisons between this film and 3 Idiots resulted in a massive turnout for the film during its initial weekend. However, Mumbai – the prime contributor to any Bollywood film's revenue, parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat posed a major problem to the film because of severe protests against the screening of the film in these places. This resulted in a limited release in these areas, which reportedly hurt its opening weekend collections.

The film faced considerable falls in collections after its first week. The drops in collections is evident from the fact that 63% of the film's net collections came from the first week, as compared to 54% for Race, 56% for Ghajini, 49% for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and 39% for 3 Idiots. In spite of this, the film managed to retain the #1 position at the box office for two consecutive weeks. It was in the top 5 list of the Indian box office for six consecutive weeks. Though the mid-week collections saw a drop of 60% from the opening weekend, it held up well against other major releases and secured the highest first quarter collections, a record previously held by the 2008 film Race. Thus, the film can be called a financial success owing to its record-breaking overseas collections and healthy domestic collections.[59]

[edit] Critical reception [edit] High profile screenings

My Name Is Khan was screened as part of 60th Berlin International Film Festival's Official Selection in February 2010, out of competition.[10] The website eBay auctioned the tickets for the film's screening at the Berlin Film Festival for a record price of EUR 1,000 (INR 60,000) each. All the tickets were sold out in five seconds.[60]

[edit] India [hide] Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Bollywood Hungama 4.5/5 stars[61] NDTV 3/5 stars[62] CNN-IBN 3.5/5 stars[63] Indiatimes 3.5/5 stars[64]

My Name Is Khan received generally positive review by top critics in India. It received 6.5/10 at ReviewGang.[65] The website AllBollywood.com has a consensus rating of 91%, which is graded as A+. Yahoo! Movies has a user consensus grade of A.[66]

Subhash K. Jha (film critic and author of The Essential Guide to Bollywood) gave My Name Is Khan a rave review arguing that Rizwan Khan "repairs almost anything, including irreparably damaged relationships. But this film about damaged lives needs no repairing. My Name Is Khan is a flawless work, as perfect in content, tone and treatment as any film can get [...] My Name Is Khan is no ordinary film. Long after the wary-of-physical-touch Rizwan has finally shaken hands with President Obama, long after the heat and dust of racial and communal hatred has settled down the core of humanism that the film secretes stays with you. Yes, we finally know what they mean by a feelgood film." [67] Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India also gave it five stars, describing My Name Is Khan as, "indubitably one of the most meaningful and moving films to be rolled out from the Bollywood mills in recent times."[68] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave My Name Is Khan four and a half out of five stars and argues, "When a film stars two of the finest talents of the country, you expect nothing but the best. SRK, well, how does one describe his performance? To state that this is his best work so far would be cutting short the praise he truly deserves [...] Kajol is pure dynamite and casting her for this character was the most appropriate decision. No other actress could've matched SRK in histrionics the way Kajol has. In fact, SRK and Kajol complement each other wonderfully well and this film only proves it yet again. It's a powerhouse performance from this supremely talented actress." [69] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave My Name Is Khan three and a half out of five stars, arguing that "the film shamelessly tugs at your heartstrings and on more than one occasion wallops you to weep. Aided by solid camerawork, tight editing and a layered story, Johar crafts an engaging, stirring saga that is earnest and noble. With this message movie in the mainstream format, the director takes a step in the right direction."[70] Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL India too rated the film 3.5 out of possible 5 stars and stated, "‘MNIK’ is not the strongest screenplay to have been made into a film. But the message and the performances make it a movie you should really not miss" [71] NkS Reviews It rated My Name Is Khan 3.5 out of 5 stars and said, "My Name Is Khan is among the best journeys in Bollywood. All of its angles like love, Islam, humanity, relationships & drama are done likeably. It is unbiased and outspoken with a steadfast message." [72] Omar Qureshi of Zoom gave five stars and the comment "zoombastic".

[edit] USA

The film received mixed to positive reviews from U.S. critics and media outlets. As of 21 February 2010, the film has a score of 50 out of a scale of 100 on the review aggregate website Metacritic, based on seven reviews. According to user ratings, the film has 87% positive response.[73] The IMDb website has given the film a user rating of 70%.[74] Rotten Tomatoes lists an approval rating of 83%, with 5 positive and 1 negative review.[75]

Rachel Saltz of The New York Times states, "Khan is one of a handful of Hindi films (New York, Kurbaan) about Indians living in a paranoid, post-9/11 America, and there’s something fascinating about looking at this country through a Bollywood lens, even when the story is a kind of fairy tale. (Most interesting here is the link made between black Americans and Indians, especially Muslims.) Skillfully directed by Karan Johar and with an evocative score by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy, Khan jerks tears with ease, while teaching lessons about Islam and tolerance." [76] According to Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter, My Name Is Khan is, "a film that delves compellingly into Americans' anti-Muslim hysteria" as it tackles "a subject American movies have mostly avoided—that of racial profiling and the plight of Muslim-Americans. It also allows Shah Rukh Khan to display his talent to an even wider audience. It's well worth the 162-minute journey."[77] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times argues that My Name Is Khan is "a potent, energetic heart-tugger and Khan and Kajol, major Bollywood stars, are highly appealing and equal to the demand of their emotion-charged roles."[78] Jay Wesissberg of Variety describes My Name Is Khan as a "riotously overstuffed and enormously enjoyable drama" with "confident camerawork [which] is matched by exceptional production design" He also states that Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol are a "delight together and her natural warmth makes the relationship even more believable." [3]

[edit] Soundtrack

The soundtrack is composed by the critically acclaimed Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who previously teamed up with Karan Johar to give hit music for his movies like Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006). The lyrics are penned by Niranjan Iyengar.[8] The music was released on 5 January 2010 ,[79] by Sony Music Entertainment (India) who has also previously released the music for Karan Johar's movies Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…(2001) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, which gained global musical success.[79] The musical soundtrack consists of 6 original songs and 4 bonus tracks that are taken from Karan Johar's previous successful films that have featured Shahrukh Khan. The soundtrack includes one instrumental called 'Khan Theme', composed by Indrajit Sharma and the strings for the song are performed by the Bombay Film Orchestra. The songs such as Noor-e-Khuda blend western bar blues and techno sounds with Indian classical styles such as Sufi and Hindustani. The soundtrack is thus representative of the "indie fusion genre". Unlike Karan Johar's other films, this film has no lip-sync songs. All the songs are in background.[80] The total runtime of the original soundtrack is 27 minutes.

My Name Is Khan Soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Released 4 January 2010 Genre Feature film soundtrack Label Sony Music Professional reviews Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy chronology London Dreams
(2010) My Name Is Khan
(2010) Karthik Calling Karthik
(2010) Track Song Singer(s) Composer Duration 1 Sajda Tera Sajda Karoon Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan, Richa Sharma Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy 6:05 2 Noor E Khuda Adnan Sami, Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy 6:37 3 Tere Naina Re Shafqat Amanat Ali Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy 4:38 4 Allah Hi Rahem Rashid Khan Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy 4:01 5 Khan Theme Strings Indrajit Sharma 2:43 6 Rang De Shankar Mahadevan, Suraj Jagan Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy 3:45 [edit] Reception

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics. Gianysh Toolsee of Planet Bollywood states that the soundtrack is "very much about transcending the boundaries set by Bollywood by venturing into an emotional state through Sufism and spirituality."[81] Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama gives the album a three out of five stars, suggests that director Karan Johar along with musicians Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and lyricist Niranjan Iyengar "have brought not a partial but a substantial difference to the way music in [Johar's] films is being looked at."[82]

'Sajda' became an instant favourite among the audience on its release, whereas 'Noor-E-Khuda' was appealed by the masses after the film's release since the song wasn't promoted heavily.

[edit] Lyrics

Although Niranjan Iyengar is alone credited for writing the lyrics for the songs, Niranjan penned the only two sufi songs in the film, i.e., 'Sajda' and 'Allah Hi Rahem'. The famous lyricist, Javed Akhtar was approached to write the lyrics for the remaining three songs. Earlier it was reported that he refused to write lyrics, because Javed Akhtar did not want to share the credits with another lyricist since Niranjan Iyengar has written two songs for the film."[83] Later Karan Johar confirmed that Javed Akhtar penned the remaining songs, but Javed did not want him to be credited as the lyricist when the soundtrack relesed as he had to share the credits with Nirinjan Iyenger.[84] Javed confirmed this and said, “I don’t like to share the credits. I would have got the publicity but the other person, who has done a fine job, wouldn’t have. I have read the songs penned by Niranjan and I think he has done a great job.”[83]

[edit] Controversies [edit] Airport security

Khan has stated that due to his last name and religion, he (like Rizwan Khan) is frequently subject to excess security checks at airports. On 14 August 2009, Khan arrived in the United States in order to both promote My Name Is Khan and to participate in various South Asian-related events around the country (including Indian Independence Day). Upon arriving at Newark Airport in New Jersey, he was pulled aside by Immigration officers after his name popped up on their computers,[85] questioned for over an hour (Khan claims it was at least two hours) about the nature of his visit, and was later released. According to the Times Online, "In Delhi, Timothy J. Roemer, the American Ambassador to India, said that the embassy was trying to 'ascertain the facts of the case.' He added: 'Shah Rukh Khan, the actor and global icon, is a welcome guest in the United States.'"[86][87]

Khan said he was told that it was because "they said my name was common to some name that popped up on the computer."[88][89] The officials asked if he could provide names of people to vouch for him. Khan noted that he "had all the documents; they were asking me where I was going to be staying. I gave the name of FOX people with whom I had finalised a deal a few days ago as contacts." However because they wanted to check his luggage which the airline had lost, Khan said that he "was taken to a room where many people were awaiting a secondary check on visa, most were Asians. In fact many officers were reluctantly vouching for me, some people were asking for autographs and a Pakistani fan even said he knew who I was. But the officers said it was procedure and kept taking numbers from me."[88][90]

"I did feel bad for a lot of people in that room, I know because I had an escort and someone would recognise me, I will get out. Others may face more trouble [...] I have extra security because of my name. I can handle this but when you have someone as respectable as an ex-president getting frisked, I am nobody (in reference to the frisking of President Shah Rukh Khan on being frisked at Newark Airport[88]

While he was not allowed to use his own phone, Khan was permitted one phone call.[86] He was thus released after officials from the Indian Consulate intervened. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel stated that the event will be further explored with U.S. officials.[89] According to the BBC, "Elmer Camacho, a spokesman for the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, said the questioning was part of the agency's routine process to screen foreign travellers."[91] When asked if he would demand an apology, Khan replied that he would not.[92]

The director of My Name Is Khan, Karan Johar, was asked during an August, 2009 interview with MiD DAY if the event was a publicity stunt for the film. Johar denied that it was and responded: "It's upsetting because I got a text message this morning asking me if it was publicity plug for my movie. (Sarcastically) I mean, if I had that much power over the Homeland Security, why would I allow Shah Rukh to go through something like this? [...] What's really shocking is the fact that when I was writing the film, I never thought that what happened to the protagonist of the film would happen to Shah Rukh."[93] During a January 2010 interview, Khan referred to the implication that the event was a publicity stunt for the film as, "lowdown and cheap." [94] American actor, Christopher B. Duncan who portrays President Obama in My Name Is Khan, also commented on the incident stating: "I was very disappointed with what SRK experienced at the airport. We’re living in times where the levels of fear can sometimes spill over into paranoia. Here’s a man who is an international superstar, being detained for an excessive amount of time at an airport in the United States. It had to be very upsetting for him. Imagine Oprah (Winfrey) being detained at an airport in India for a long time, during a kind of interrogation." [27]

In addition, the incident sparked debate and commentary among Indian politicians, actors, and others.[95][96][97][98][99] It also led to demonstrations in India.[100] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger later invited Khan to have dinner with him "in a bid to diffuse what has become a slight diplomatic row."[101]

In another event, on 5 February 2010, while promoting My Name Is Khan on the British talk show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Khan claimed that female security staff at Heathrow Airport in London had printed a naked image of him taken using the newly-installed body scanner that he was asked to go through. He said that he autographed it for them, though it is not clear if his comments were intended as a joke. A BAA spokeswoman for Heathrow Airport, however, has denied his claim. She claimed that it was“completely factually incorrect”, stressing that images captured using the equipment could not be stored or distributed in any form and that his claims "simply could not be true."[102]

The American radio host Lord Adonis the week before stating that scans are deleted "immediately"and staff carrying out the procedure are fully trained and supervised. The incident has become an issue tying in to current concerns over whether the body scanners violate rights to privacy and whether it can be abused by staff in order to distribute child pornography or naked pictures of famous people.[103] In relation to Khan's comments, The Economic Times has also raised concerns over the new body scanners and the possibilities of it being abused to distribute naked pictures of celebrities and famous people.[104] His comments have restarted the debate in Britain over whether the newly-introduced body scanners violate individual privacy.[105]

[edit] Shiv Sena controversy

After Shahrukh Khan (who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team) criticized the fact that members of the Pakistani Cricket Team were not bought by the clubs competing in the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL), he was condemned by Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist political party. There were consequent protests and demonstrations against him and demands that cinemas in India refuse to screen My Name Is Khan. Khan responded by stating, "What did I say that was wrong? All I said was that I wanted people to come to my country."[106] Khan continued by stating that: "I have no idea what I am supposed to apologise for [...] If I am in wrong I would like to apologise but someone needs to explain to me what is wrong."[107] He also stated that he does "not want any confrontation. I am trying to explain myself on every platform [...] I have not said anything that is anti-national." Khan also said that he was willing to meet with Bal Thackeray to discuss the issue.[108][109]

Initially, Shiv Sena rescinded its demand to block release of My Name Is Khan after it was announced that Khan would be allowed to release it "in as many theatres" as he would like to.[110] However, on 10 January 2010, when theaters opened for advanced bookings, individuals disguised as "cinegoers" began to attack theaters and booking centres. Director Karan Johar and distributors met with police to ask for additional security.[111] In response, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan threatened to withdraw security cover for party leader Uddhav Thackeray.[112] Later, some security was withdrawn and the Maharashtra government has also "called in five battalions of the State Reserve Police Force to protect 63 cinemas in the city that will screen the film directed by Karan Johar from this Friday." There were multiple arrests and leaves of all police officials were cancelled.[113] The distributor, Fox Star, stated that the film will still be released on its scheduled opening date, 12 February.[114] It opened to full cinema houses in quite a number of places across India.[115][116][117][118][119]

[edit] See also

02:29 PM Jul 05 2010 |

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United States

This was long but it might be a good movie. My only confusion is I thought Khan was a Indian name mostly used by Seikhs. I don’t know much about such things though. You are aware perhaps that the seikhs here (and I apoligize for the spelling if I am wrong) actually suffered worse after 9/11 than the muslims did because most americans back then didn’t understand about turbans and many people were attacked for wearing them. Looks like a good movie though. Good luck.

And if Khan isn’t Indian, blame Kipling, he gave us Shere Khan and I think everyone who is familiar with the Jungle Book here knows the name.

06:17 PM Mar 22 2012 |



United States

This was long but it might be a good movie. My only confusion is I thought Khan was a Indian name mostly used by Seikhs. I don’t know much about such things though. You are aware perhaps that the seikhs here (and I apoligize for the spelling if I am wrong) actually suffered worse after 9/11 than the muslims did because most americans back then didn’t understand about turbans and many people were attacked for wearing them. Looks like a good movie though. Good luck.

And if Khan isn’t Indian, blame Kipling, he gave us Shere Khan and I think everyone who is familiar with the Jungle Book here knows the name.

06:17 PM Mar 22 2012 |



Sri Lanka

Khan is a commom surname among North Indian Muslims, and is originally Mongolian – like those guys in history called Genghis Khan and Kublai Khan. Smile

Khanda is the religious symbol of the Sikhs, the followers of an Indian-based religion that believes in one god. Sheik(h) is Arabic for leader and is used sometimes as a name.  

11:38 AM Mar 28 2012 |



United States

Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to explain.

01:25 PM Mar 28 2012 |





I think you are confused with “Sikhs”, who follow Sikhism. They are NOT muslims.In fact they faught against foreign Islamic Rule of India.

“Khan” is a common surname among India Muslims, who claim to be decendents of “Pathans” (Afghans) .  

02:48 PM Mar 28 2012 |



United States

You may be right. I may have gotten the impression from Khanda as has been suggested, or from Kipling’s Jungle Book, of which you are probably aware. Thank you for helping me learn. Seikhs in the US, dispite not being Muslim, suffered worse after 9/11. It was rare before 9/11 to see a muslim woman in Hijab, and the men even more rarely cover their heads so many people here wrongly thought the people wearing turbans were muslim. Back then people in turbans ran a risk. Many were beaten, some were murdered, others had businesses burn. Idiocy. It seems to be much better now. At least most people now know theres a difference. 

08:41 PM Mar 28 2012 |



United States

I can’t believe I misspelled Sikh again. My apologies to those people.

08:43 PM Mar 28 2012 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

wow!!! thanks! new information for me, i learn sth new about the surname “Khan”, in persian we have this word with the same pronounciation as well, but i never thought that name is applied to someone special in india, in iran, it was used for kings or rullers in the past, today we use it just for calling people respectfully, “Khan” usually comes after a name.

05:07 PM Dec 07 2013 |