Inspired by real-life events, the film looks at how religions perceive one another, how Muslims perceive each other and how outsiders act on false judgements, sometimes with serious consequences. Writer Shibani Bathija does not tread lightly around matters, yanking on heartstrings at times.
But what makes Bathija’s scenes work are the performances from both Khan and Kajol. While Khan (the actor) convinces us of his character, acting against social norms and carrying on naive conversations, it’s Kajol who brings true conviction to her role, pouring grief into her scenes as she breaks down in tears, and bursts into flames when she angrily lashes out against Khan during a fight.
Yet through the tough stuff, Bathija tosses in some hilarious one-liners, like when Khan, who works for a beauty products company, makes sales pitches verbatim off his training script or tells Mandira on their wedding night that he’s been reading Intercourse for Dumbos.
However, one of the most interesting aspects of the film is its portrayal of multiculturalism. The variety of races and religions evident in this film serve as a constant reminder that while this may be the perspective of one person, My Name is Khan is about a human issue, regardless of background. B-