I had no plans of watching this movie. So, all of Friday evening and Saturday morning I kept looking for tickets of Ishqiya and Valentine’s Day; so I could celebrate love on that day. But thanks to the ‘n’ number of prints of MNIK, other movies hardly had any good show-timings. I left it at that and just shutdown the laptop.
Come Sunday morning and something had to be done, we drove round the city from Koramangala to Marathalli, heading for Forum Value Mall. But soemthing inside made me take a right at this junction and stop at Innovative. I wanted to quickly run-in and check if Ishqiya was still available but no, I was a bit late for that. With no choice left, I picked up 2 tickets for MNIK for 3pm.
2.50pm, and we were outside the auditorium. We walked in quitely and sat in our seat. In a few moments I was beaming with pride. Fox-Searchlights presents… wow! Fox presenting an Indian movie, that really felt nice. The movie had hardly begun and SRK had already mouthed the lines ‘MNIK, and I am not a terrorist’. Quite a few people turned up late for the show, but they did not miss a thing. The movie was far too slow for that.
Within 50 minutes I was yawning and did not know where to rest my head, on my shoulder or in my palms covering my eyes. The movie was nauseatically manipulative. When a director makes the audience feel for the character, it works well. But when he tries to force something down the throat, all we can do is puke. Here, I did not feel anything for the character because there was no build-up. We could easily see-through the motive, and how contrived it was; just to get the audience to react emotionally. The message was nice, there are just good and bad people. But they went on and on with it; not sparing a sinlge opportunity to use this line to effect.
Lot of things were loud, as expected in Karan Johar movie. But I would not like to blame him entirely. SRK was the co-producer and he must take blame for the bad product too. Let me shed light on some of the glaring and obvious over-statements of the movie. All through the movie SRK is in blazer and trouser and other essential casuals. But during the 9/11 homage, he turns up in a blistering white pathan-suit and with a skull-cap. WTF! Why did he suddenly go out of character? And if that was not enough, he suddenly starts chanting verses from Quran, only to exaggerate the Islamic-phobia. That was a dis-service to the the community, more harm than good was achieved and Karan stereotyped the faith. All through Rizvan’s childhood, they neither showed him offering namaz; nor did he ever witness his ammi offering one. But conveniently they slip him into namaz mode only because they happened to write a golden line ‘namaz neeyat se padhi jaati hai’. Intentions are good, no doubt; but over-exaggerated, trying hard to pull every string of human emotions.
Another point of contention is Kajol’s addressing of SRK. Pre-marital mode, she called him Rizwan; but suddenly after marriage she starts calling him Khan. Who calls their hubby by their surname or last-name? But no, Karan Johar cannot cinematically drive home a point; so he has to drill it down by way of dialogs. So, we know that Khan caused the problems and not Rizvan. And last of my complains is with meeting-the-Prez scene. It was shown that SRK did not like shaking hands and he just says a ‘Hi’. But when he meets the Prez, he shakes his hands. No problem with that at all, special situations call for special greeting. But, he says ‘Salaam Walekkum’ to the Prez and not a ‘Hi’. Why? Why in the name of Lord would he do that, if not to show an Islamic pride. I would not have minded this, if he had greeted everyone in the movie with ‘Salaam Walekkum’, but he chooses that moment to say it. How suggestive is that?
As already mentioned before, the movie was long drawn and boring. Kajol’s wailing scene was overdone, reminded me of Karishma’s screech in Fiza; but Fiza at least deserved that scene. Here its done only to make sure that Kajol walks away with all the awards. I am quite sure SRK will also win awards and accolades for it, and not just Indian felicitation but international awards too. Karan will have some more trophies to adorn his showcase. But, do they deserve it! That’s the question they should ask themselves.
Rizvan Khan could have been a simple man with simple needs and how he reacts to post-9/11. But they chose to make him autistic because it suited the purpose of trying to show the inherent innocence of the character and his lack of knowledge of the way this world works; thereby seeing people in black or white with no shades of gray. I felt Jimmy Shergill’s character should have had a better progression than SRK’s, simply because he has done all the hardwork and obtained a scholarship, he has been loyal to the country and still his wife comes under fire. So, his charcater should have grown more and some substanial points should have been made through him. But Karan used Jimmy as a prop, that was a wrong move.
I have one last issue to bring up. Instead of first tackling and speaking about how muslims are discriminated in US, shouldn’t SRK see that back-home in India, in fact in western part of Inida, there were 2 major riots; Gujarat riots and Bombay riots. So, first let us solve our issues and douse the fire at home, then talk about the problems that muslims, not just Indian muslims, face in US. But they don’t have the balls to do that. Firstly, the movie may have got stuck with censors and if not, then the people on other side of the fence would have opposed the release of the movie. So, they took the more convenient path of blaming all ills on the general intelligensia and taking liberty in showing FBI’s iron-fist and tough security measures at airports; thereby generating more sympathy for the character. I would rather watch a stark portrayal of the after-effects of riots in movies like Parzania, Firaaq, Aamir than watch a glossed up and emotionally manipulative movie like this. These guys should just stick to candyfloss stuff rather than take such serious issue and make a mockery of it. By the way, can anyone tell me what was khan’s SSN number and what kind of visa was issued to him?