Movies To Watch Before You Die #1: My name is Khan
Terrorism is an issue that hinders the unity of mankind. It finds pleasure and joy in giving innocent people nightmarish dreams at night, making little children orphans at a split-second, causing catastrophes in cities, and putting a certain percent of the population in an utterly terrifying situation.
Every time terrorists attack, we point fingers at a particular race of people even though we do not exactly know who is the mastermind behind the dastardly act that wastes human lives. Racist remarks are constantly given to anyone who isn’t white, thinking that they are the ones who are behind this atrocity.
My name is Khan is a Bollywood film that garnered huge publicity because of three things:
- Shah Rukh Khan returns to the bigscreen as a lead role.
- Khan and Kajol, otherwise known as the golden pair, reunion. Lastly,
- The controversial issues that surrounds the film.
Shah Rukh Khan plays the role of Rizwan Khan, a Muslim with Asperger’s Syndrome who moved to San Francisco to live with his older brother Zakir (Jimmy Shergill) after their mother’s death. Despite of his limitations, Rizwan managed to have a job as a sales representative in Zakir’s company and there he met Mandira (Kajol), a Hindu woman who has a son from a previous marriage. In Muslim tradition, it is prohibited to marry a woman outside his religion still; Rizwan and Mandira marry and settled down with her son.
All was well for the family until a terrorist attack happened at the World Trade Center on September 11 and at the same time, the situation in Afghanistan worsens. They are met with hostility and racist acts from people around them, even from their fellow Muslims. Sameer, Mandira’s son, became a victim of schoolyard fight and later died because of his injuries. This made Mandira act indifferent towards Rizhan and believed that Sameeer died because he took Rizwhan’s surname. Determined to win Mandira back, Rizwhan is determined to meet the President and tell the whole of United States that his name is Khan and he is not a terrorist.
Another reason to watch this movie is because it addressed one of the many issues that American movies have mostly avoided– the racial profiling of people who are considered a part of the minorities.It also gives a glimpse of the lives of Muslim-Americans in their country and how they are treated differently.
Surely, Western ideologies have conditioned our minds to falsely believe in everything they say or do, to treat their enemies as our own enemies. However, in a westernized world we should remember that our race and religious beliefs cannot be put into criteria made by a dominating power no matter how influential they are. Our beliefs and the color of our skin shouldn’t matter — we should embody the determination of Rizwhan in correcting misconceptions no matter how absurd people think it is (case in point: travelling from state to state to meet the president).
Truly, it is a movie worth watching.