My Name Is Khan

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For the Dhallywood film, see My Name Is Khan (2013 film).
My Name Is Khan
My Name Is Khan.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Karan Johar
Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar
Karan Johar
Gauri Khan
Shah Rukh Khan
Screenplay by Shibani Bathija
Story by Karan Johar
Shibani Bathija
Starring
Narrated by Shah Rukh Khan
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Cinematography Ravi K. Chandran
Edited by Deepa Bhatia
Production
company
Distributed by Fox Star Studios
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release dates
  • 12 February 2010 (2010-02-12)
Running time 161 minutes[1]
Country United States
India
Language Hindi
English
Budget INR38 crore (US$6.2 million)[2]
Box office INR200 crore (US$32 million)[3][4]

My Name Is Khan, commonly referred to as MNIK,[5] is a 2010 Indian drama film directed by Karan Johar, written by Shibani Bathija and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the lead roles. Produced by Hiroo Johar, Gauri Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, the film was jointly produced by Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment at a budget of INR38 crore (US$6.2 million). My Name Is Khan's distribution rights were bought by Fox Star Entertainment for a sum of INR100 crore (US$16 million), making it the most expensive Bollywood film of 2010[6] and also the highest-value buy over for any Indian film, surpassing the previous record of INR90 crore (US$15 million) set by Ghajini.[7]

Before its release, the film generated a great deal of publicity for three main reasons: first, the many political controversies surrounding the film and its lead actor; second, Khan's presence in the film (he was last seen in a leading actor role in December 2008, when Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was released); and third, the reunion of the "golden pair" of Khan and Kajol, who last appeared together in the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001.

My Name Is Khan debuted in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 10 February 2010.[8] It premiered globally in cinemas on 12 February 2010.[1] It was also screened as part of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival's official selection the same month.[9]

On its release, the film broke many box office records.[10] My Name Is Khan was the highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas at the time. Within four weeks, the film crossed the INR70 crore (US$11 million) mark in India and became the first film of 2010 to do so and is the highest grossing film released in February. The film earned good reviews from the critics . Khan was praised for his amazing performance as Rizwan Khan in the film. In the overseas markets, the film grossed US$23 million(INR103 crore).[10][11] My Name Is Khan is currently the 10th highest grossing Bollywood film with a worldwide gross of INR200 crore (US$32 million).[3][4] The film was released on DVD in India on 28 April 2010. Blu-ray in India, plus a DVD release worldwide followed on 10 August 2010.[12]

Plot[edit]

Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is a Muslim child who grew up with his brother Zakir (Jimmy Shergill) and his mother Razia Khan (Zarina Wahab) in a middle-class family in the Borivali section of Mumbai. Rizwan is different from other children, however. He has certain gifts, particularly a special ability to repair mechanical things. His difference leads to special tutoring from a reclusive scholar and extra attention from his mother, both of which lead to heightened jealousy from his brother Zakir, who eventually leaves his family for a life in the United States.

Despite this resentment, as an adult Zakir 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 with Asperger syndrome. Rizwan also begins to work for Zakir where Zakir runs 'Mehnaz Herbal Beauty Products, 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. Despite Zakir's hostility to the match, Khan and Mandira marry and settle down in the fictional town of Banville. 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 (Katie A. Keane) is a friend of Mandira.

The Khans' perfect existence gets disrupted, however, after the September 11 attacks. Mark goes to cover the War in Afghanistan and dies there, much to both Sarah and Reese's distress. At the same time, the Khan family begins to experience post 9–11 prejudice in their community, and Reese begins to turn against an older Sam (Arjan Aujla) as well. One afternoon, an argument between them turns into a racially motivated schoolyard fight between Sameer and a gang of older students. Reese, acting on behalf of Sam, tries to stop the fight, but is held back. Sam dies of a ruptured spleen in the hospital. A shattered Mandira blames Rizwan for Sam's death, stating that Sam "died only because his last 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 U.S. state to another, to first meet President George W. Bush (Brent Mendenhall) and later the new President-elect. During this quest, he travels to Wilhemina, Georgia, and befriends Mama Jenny and her son Joel. Later, in 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 clubbed down, arrested and placed in a prison by police who misinterpret his statement thinking he said he was a terrorist.

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, a remorseful Reese confesses to Mandira and reveals the identities of the gang who killed Sam. She informs Detective Garcia (Benny Nieves) who has been assisting her on the case, and he arrests the gang. Mandira later gets a call from Sarah to forgive Rizwan, "I've lost my husband; don't lose him."

Mandira realizes her error, she joins Rizwan in Georgia, and their love rekindles. However, at the moment she arrives, Rizwan is stabbed by one of Faisal Rahman's followers (Sumeet Raghavan), who accuses him of being a traitor to Islam, and Rizwan is rushed to the hospital. With Mandira's help, Rizwan survives and meets the new President-elect Barack Obama (Christopher B. Duncan) who tells him, "Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist." The film concludes with Rizwan and Mandira going back home.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Themes[edit]

According to Karan Johar, writer, co-producer and director of My Name Is Khan, the film is about "a multitude of perspectives of the various opinions, facts, and propaganda that comes with the global issue of discrimination and intolerance towards a race of people completely unassociated with the evils of terrorism."[13] In an 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 are the three important components: a love story, Islam, and a mild form of autism."[14]

"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."[15]

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

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."[16] 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."[17]

Karan Johar explained that MNIK lacked "quintessential pre-requisite elements", describing it as "a story with a strong message, professing humanity and goodness and putting it out on a big cinematic scale." He also affirmed that the film would "open windows and doors to many people who have stories to tell and are shy to put their story on the celluloid." When asked about comparisons between the film and the 2009 release Kurbaan, noting that both have dealt with similar topics, he added: "I'd say that Kurbaan didn't have 'hope', whereas MNIK had 'hope'. Kurbaan was more darker, grittier and a grey look at a situation, whereas MNIK is a hopeful, far more positive and a lot more positivity in its finishing reels with a triumph to the human spirit. Kurbaan was very cinematic and interesting in its approach but it didn't offer a solution. Rather it just tells the problem. MNIK offers you that solution."[18]

Casting and filming[edit]

Production of the film took place in India and the United States. Filming began in Los Angeles during December 2008[17][19] and one of the locations used was UCLA.[20] Johar next continued production in Mumbai during April 2009.[21] During June 2009, production moved to San Francisco[22] and the Bay Area, where they filmed a key scene at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.[23]

Shahrukh Khan and Kajol were cast in the lead roles, reuniting them after many years.[24][25] The film faced a temporary setback in late December when actor Aamir Bashir was denied a visa to the United States.[26] He was eventually replaced by Jimmy Shergill as Khan's younger brother.[27] Although Shabana Azmi was originally cast as Shahrukh Khan's mother[28] she left the production after his shoulder injury delayed the filming schedule.[17][29] She was replaced in the role by Zarina Wahab.[30] Tanay Chheda portrayed Shahrukh Khan's character as a child living in the Borivali section of Mumbai.[31] Chheda was chosen because he resembles Khan and because he is recognisable to an international audience after portraying "middle Jamal" in Slumdog Millionaire.[21] He had earlier worked with Khan in the remake of the 1970s superhit Don: The Chase Begins Again. American actor Christopher B. Duncan was chosen to portray President Barack Obama.[32][33] Duncan is known for his interpretation of Obama on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[34]

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 Shahrukh Khan on the set of a mosque constructed at The Club in Andheri."[35] Johar also shot for an important scene inside of the studio of CBS 5 . San Francisco's Film Commission Director Stephanie Coyote was responsible for giving permission to the crew to shoot in the film studio.[36] While shooting for the film, Khan suffered from severe pain in the neck and headaches which were caused by the expressions and posture of Rizwan Khan. His character in the film who has Asperger's Syndrome, has a way of jutting his neck out at a particular angle and wears an expression which has his eyebrows raised in every scene. As he would shoot for hours, he'd get severe migraines. Director Karan Johar admitted that "Shahrukh's character Rizwan had to arch his eyebrows and focus his eyes on a certain place before every take. Halfway through the shooting of the film, Shahrukh developed severe headaches as result of all the pressure it would put on his head so he had to see a neurosurgeon for that."[37]

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."[27] He described working with both Shahrukh Khan and Kajol again as "magic. They build an inexplicable energy on screen." Johar also stated that he was "blown away by Shahrukh who had done monumental research on his autistic character in the film. I was zapped by how much he knew about the subject."[27]

Johar also asked Khan to co-produce the film under his production company Red Chillies Entertainment, Talking about the initiative, the director said:"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 Shahrukh."[38]

Release[edit]

My Name is Khan debuted in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 10 February 2010.[8] It released globally in cinemas on 12 February 2010.[1] MNIK had a two phase release. To begin with, it had a mainstream release in India coupled with a regular Diaspora release in UK, US, Gulf, Australia and various other countries. "After that in the months of April and May, we would be looking at a mainstream theatrical release in countries like Germany, Poland and other parts of North America," detailed Johar.[39]

Marketing[edit]

Khan, Kajol and Johar while unveiling the first look of the film

My Name Is Khan was screened as part of 60th Berlin International Film Festival's official selection in February 2010, but went out of competition.[9] The website eBay auctioned the tickets for the film's screening at the Berlin Film Festival for a record price of £1,000 each. All the tickets were sold out in five seconds.[40]

The first look of My Name Is Khan unveiled at a grand function at Mumbai by Johar, Khan and Kajol and was then be beamed across 70 countries worldwide on the Star TV Network.[41] Says Karan, "This is a first in the history of Bollywood – that the promos of a film will play across such a wide platform. And, this has mainly been made possible because of our synergy with Fox Star Studios...and also the first time a Bollywood company is tying up with a mainstream Hollywood studio. So, there are many firsts to this venture."[42][43] The trailer of the film was released at the premiere of the Hollywood film Avatar.[44] My Name is Khan marked the first instance of a film using the Roadblock advertising technique to market a film, in which the three-minute trailer was aired on all leading television channels simultaneously.[45]

"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 the subject material is adapted in terms of humanity in a very entertaining way [...] 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"[46]

Shahrukh Khan's response to questions siting the film as "international" with a "far reaching influence" that should be seen by all

The makers of the film made various brand tie-ups to for the promotion of the film. Dish TV entered into a strategic marketing alliance with Fox Star and spend approximately INR4 crore (US$650,000) in a month-long 360 degree integrated marketing campaign which ran across all India to co-promote the brand and the movie.[47] Reebok created an entire MNIK footwear and apparel collection to promote the film.[48]

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.[49] 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.

Pre-release revenues[edit]

On 7 August 2009, Karan Johar signed a deal for INR100 crore (US$16 million) with Fox Searchlight Pictures, who will market and distribute it in India (Fox Star Studios) and worldwide (Fox Searchlight).[50] It covers all rights except music, which has been bagged by Sony Music.[6] The satellite television rights for showcasing My Name Is Khan were sold to Star Plus for a sum of INR15 crore (US$2.4 million).[51]

Reception[edit]

India[edit]

My Name Is Khan received generally positive reviews by top critics in India. It received 3.7/5 at Wogma.[52]

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."[53] 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."[54] 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." [55] Sarita Tanwar of Mid-Day gave the film four and a half out of five stars and described it as "near-perfect", concluding that "The Karan-Shah Rukh-Kajol combo strikes once more."[56]

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."[57] Sudhish Kamath from The Hindu wrote, "My Name is Khan is populist, yet layered with rich political subtext. It's all about types, yet every character feels real. It's about generalisations and yet it chooses to dwell on the specifics. It's all heart and spirit that you can't help but overlook the flaws and admire it."[58] According to BBC critic Manish Gajjar, who gave the film four out of five stars, the film is "a fiction-based film refreshingly told with realism of racial profiling on American soil. It's a rare treat for Hindi commercial cinema and a crossover audience."[59] Pratim D. Gupta from The Telegraph in a positive review concluded, "My Name Is Khan has conscience and courage and two heartfelt performances. It can try your patience a bit but it will not leave you untouched."[60] Namrata Joshi from Outlook, giving the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, described it as "a gentle, affecting and heart-warming film that makes you smile through your tears. It looks at contentious issues but offers overwhelming hope and renewal."[61]

United States[edit]

The film received mostly positive reviews from American 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.[62] Rotten Tomatoes lists an approval rating of 80%, with 4 positive and 1 negative review.[63]

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.) Skilfully 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."[64] 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."[65] 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."[66] 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."[67]

My Name Is Khan was not India's official entry to the Oscars as best foreign language film, but it made it to the reminder list of films eligible for the 83rd Academy Awards.[68] This means that it was eligible to win in any category.[69]

Box office[edit]

My Name Is Khan opened very well in most places across the world, and set many records in the process.[70] However, the performance of the film could not sustain beyond the first or second week in some places, including India and USA. It grossed INR1.10 billion (US$18 million) domestically,[71] but still is generally regarded as "below expectations" due to the high price, while the overseas performance of the film has been record breaking. The film's worldwide collections reached INR2.14 billion (US$35 million).[4] and an 'All-time 2nd biggest' in overseas markets, where it was the second highest grosser ever.[72]

India[edit]

My Name is Khan worldwide Collections breakdown
Territory Gross (After entertainment tax)
India INR1.10 billion (US$18 million)[73]
Distributor share:
INR1 billion (US$16 million)
Entertainment tax:
INR240 million (US$3.9 million)
Overseas
(Outside India)
US$29million[10]
US$4,018,771 (United States)[74]
Worldwide INR2 billion (US$32 million)[4]

In India, the film opened with a massive INR295 million (US$4.8 million), which was the third-highest weekend 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 collect INR460 million (US$7.5 million) in its first week[75] 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,[76] becoming only the second hit of 2010 (after Ishqiya). It was the ninth highest-grossing film according to Indian collections that time, and the fourth highest-grossing film of 2010. In rankings based on distributor share, My Name is Khan comes in fifth behind Dabangg, Rajneeti, Golmaal 3 and Housefull.[77][78] 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 INR734 million (US$12 million) in India.

Overseas[edit]

My Name Is Khan grossed $29 million in the overseas markets making it the highest grossing Bollywood film overseas at the time.[10][79][80] The film grossed the biggest opening day overseas, taking an estimated INR17 crore (US$2.8 million), beating the overseas opening day collections of 3 Idiots. The film also grossed the biggest opening weekend overseas, taking an estimated INR25 crore (US$4.1 million), again beating the overseas opening weekend collections of 3 Idiots which grossed INR18 crore (US$2.9 million). In its first week, it grossed INR39 crore (US$6.3 million). As of August 2010, the film has grossed $4,018,771 in the United States and $37,001,087 elsewhere for a worldwide total of $41,019,858.[81]

In the UK, it made £123,000 on its opening day,[82] which was more than the combined total of 3 Idiots in its first two days (£121,000). By the end of the second week, My Name Is Khan 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.[83]

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$3,868,89, 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.[81][84]

In Australia, the film earned an impressive A$39,000 on its opening day, and was ranked No. 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).[85][86] 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[87][88] the response to the film has been described as "huge" and it earned approximately US$300,000 on its opening day.[89] In Egypt it earned more than 2 million Egyptian pounds.[90] 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.

My Name is Khan also opened well in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Far East. The film became the highest-grossing film in Pakistan, breaking the records set by Avatar, 3 Idiots and Wanted. [91] By its third week, My Name Is Khan has become the highest-grossing Bollywood film in the Middle East, earning US$3.3 million.[92] In South Africa, the film earned US$85,214 in its opening weekend.[93] In Malaysia, it earned MYR105,527 (US$31,106) in its opening weekend, and by the second weekend, the film had earned MYR410,864 (US$120,452).[93] In Nigeria, the film earned an "impressive" NGN2,310,137 (US$15,362) in its opening weekend.[93] In Ghana, the film earned GHS10,599 (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.[92] The film has also grossed $425,825 in 7 weeks at the Bahrain box office.[94] The film has also grossed an impressive $55,073 in Poland in its opening weekend.[95] The film grossed $270,698 in South Africa.[96] The film also made $58,683 in Lebanon region.[97] My Name Is Khan released in Hong Kong on 5 January 2012 and collected $107,197.[98]

Box office records[edit]

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 third second highest-grossing film in overseas markets, next to 3 Idiots and Dhoom 3.

Performance analysis[edit]

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 popular on screen pair of Khan and Kajol, who last appeared together in the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in 2001.[44][99] 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 scepticism 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, estimated to be around INR1 billion (US$16 million) (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 positive 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 No. 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 is a financial success owing to its record-breaking overseas collections and healthy domestic collections. In India, it was huge success.[100]

Awards and nominations[edit]

2011 Filmfare Awards

Won

Nominated

2011 Zee Cine Awards

Won[101]

Nominated[102]

  • Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – Song of the Year – "Sajda
2011 Star Screen Awards

Won[103]

Nominated[104]

6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards

Won[105]

  • Apsara Award for Best Director – Karan Johar

Nominated[106]

  • Apsara Award for Best Film – Dharma Productions
  • Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role – Female – Kajol
  • Apsara Award for Best Story – Shibani Bathija
  • Apsara Award for Best Lyrics – Niranjan Iyengar for "Tere Naina "
  • Apsara Award for Best Music – Shankar Ehsaan Loy
  • Apsara Award for Best Male Singer – Shafqat Amaanat Ali Khan for "Tere Naina"
  • Apsara Award for Best Female Singer – Richa Sharma for "Sajda"
International Indian Film Academy Awards

Won[107]

Nominated

Big Star Entertainment Awards

Won

  • Big Star Award For Best Film – Dharma Productions
  • Big Star Award For Best Music – Shankar Ehsan Loy
The Global Indian Film And Television Honors

Won[107]

  • Best Actor in a supporting Role – Female – Zarina Wahab
  • Best Actor in a Lead Role – Male – Shah Rukh Khan

Soundtrack[edit]

My Name Is Khan
Soundtrack album by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Released 4 January 2010
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 27:00
Label Sony Music
Producer Karan Johar
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy chronology
London Dreams
(2010)
My Name Is Khan
(2010)
Karthik Calling Karthik
(2010)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Bollywood Hungama 3/5 stars link
Indo-Asian News Service 3.5/4 stars link
Planet Bollywood 8/10 stars link
Rediff 3/5 stars link

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.[108] The music was released on 5 January 2010,[109] 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.[109] 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 song "Allah hi Rahem" sung by Rashid Khan is another example of Sufi thematic song.[110] 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.[111] The total runtime of the original soundtrack is 27 minutes.

Track Song Singer(s) Composer Duration
1 "Sajda" 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" 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

Reception[edit]

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."[112] 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."[113]

"Sajda" and "Tere Naina" 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 was not promoted heavily.[citation needed]

Lyrics[edit]

Although Niranjan Iyengar is alone credited for writing the lyrics for the songs, Niranjan penned the only two Sufi songs in the film, "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.[114] 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 released as he had to share the credits with Nirinjan Iyenger.[111] 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."[114]

Controversies[edit]

Airport security[edit]

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 of America 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,[115] questioned for over an hour (Khan himself has stated 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.'"[116][117]

Khan was told his "name was common to some name that popped up on the computer."[118][119] 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 he "was taken to a room where many people were awaiting a secondary check on visa; most were South 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."[118][120]

"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 (in reference to the frisking of President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam earlier in the summer), I am nobody.[...] I think it is a procedure that needs to be followed. But it is an unfortunate procedure."

Shah Rukh Khan on being frisked at Newark Airport[118]

While he was not allowed to use his own phone, Khan was permitted one phone call.[116] He was thus released after officials from the Indian Consulate intervened. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel stated that the event would be further explored with U.S. officials.[119] 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."[121] When asked if he would demand an apology, Khan replied that he would not.[122]

Karan Johar, the director of My Name Is Khan, 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."[123] During a January 2010 interview, Khan referred to the implication that the event was a publicity stunt for the film as "lowdown and cheap."[124] 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."[33]

In addition, the incident sparked debate and commentary among Indian politicians, actors, and others.[125][126][127][128][129] It also led to demonstrations in India.[130] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger later invited Khan to have dinner with him in a bid to defuse "what has become a slight diplomatic row."[131]

In another event, on 5 February 2010, while promoting My Name Is Khan on the British talk show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Khan stated 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. However, a BAA spokeswoman for Heathrow Airport denied this and called Khan's assertions as being "completely factually incorrect", stressing that images captured using the equipment could not be stored or distributed in any form and that Khan's claim "simply could not be true".[132]

Khan's remark has restarted the debate in Britain over whether the newly introduced body scanners violate individual privacy.[133] The Economic Times raised concerns over the new body scanners and the possibilities of it being abused to distribute naked pictures of celebrities.[134]

Shiv Sena controversy[edit]

After Shahrukh Khan (who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team) criticised the fact that members of the Pakistani Cricket Team were not brought 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."[135] 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."[136] 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.[137][138]

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.[139] However, on 10 January 2010, when cinemas opened for advance bookings, individuals disguised as "cinegoers" began to attack cinemas and booking centres. Director Karan Johar and distributors met with police to ask for additional security.[140] In response, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan threatened to withdraw security cover for party leader Uddhav Thackeray.[141] 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.[142] The distributor, Fox Star, stated that the film will still be released on its scheduled opening date, 12 February.[143] It opened to full cinema houses in quite a number of places across India.[144][145][146][147][148]

See also[edit]

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