My Name Is Khan
|My Name Is Khan|
|Directed by||Karan Johar|
|Written by||Story and Screenplay:|
|Cinematography||Ravi K. Chandran|
|Edited by||Deepa Bhatia|
|Box office||est. ₹285 crore|
My Name Is Khan is a 2010 Hindi-language drama film directed by Karan Johar, written by Shibani Bathija and Niranjan Iyengar, produced by Hiroo Yash Johar and Gauri Khan, and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. Set in the United States, the film centers upon Rizwan Khan, a Muslim man. His stepson Sameer is killed in an assault and his wife blames him for it. This leads to Khan setting out on a journey to meet the president.
My Name Is Khan marks the debut film for distributor and co-producer 20th Century Fox, which had bought the rights for the film for a sum of ₹1 billion (US$14 million), making it the most expensive Bollywood film of 2010.
My Name Is Khan premiered on 12 February 2010.The film was released in India on DVD on 21 April 2010, Blu-ray in India, plus a DVD release worldwide followed on 17 August 2010.
Rizwan and his wife, Mandira, live next door to the Garrick family, comprising Mark and his wife and son Reese.
The Khans' perfect existence gets disrupted after the September 11 attacks. Mark Garrick goes to cover the war in Afghanistan and dies there. One afternoon an argument between Rizwan's stepson Sameer and Reese turns into a fight between older students where Sameer is killed.
Shocked beyond belief, Mandira blames Rizwan, stating that Sameer "died only because of his surname." She sarcastically says that to be back together, he has to tell the people and President of the United States that his name is Khan and he is not a terrorist.
Rizwan, taking her words literally, sets out on a road trip to first meet President George W. Bush and later President-elect Barack Obama. While at a mosque in Los Angeles, he overhears a violent speech from a doctor named Faisal Rahman who is quoting his religious texts. While waiting in a crowd to meet President Bush, Rizwan aggressively shouts out loud: "My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist!".
Rizwan is interrogated as a terrorist suspect. He is later released after a media campaign by some Indian student reporters Rabees Kumar, Barakah Dutt and Bunty, who claim his innocence by revealing his attempts to inform the FBI about Faisal Rahman. Meanwhile, Reese finally reveals the identity of the boys who killed Sam and they are arrested shortly. Rizwan is then stabbed by one of Rahman's followers but later recovers, and meets Obama, who tells him: "Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist."
- Shah Rukh Khan as Rizwan Khan, Sameer's stepfather
- Kajol as Mandira Rathore, later Mandira Khan, Rizwan's wife and Sameer's mother
- Jimmy Shergill as Zakir Khan, Rizwan's brother
- Sonya Jehan as Haseena Khan, Zakir's wife
- Zarina Wahab as Razia Khan, Rizwan & Zakir's mother
- Vinay Pathak as Jitesh, motel owner
- Navneet Nishan as Rita Singh
- Parvin Dabas as Bunty, a news channel reporter
- Arjun Mathur as Rabees Kumar
- Sugandha Garg as Barakah Dutt
- Sumeet Raghavan as Dr. Faisal Rahman's follower
- Arif Zakaria as Faisal Rahman
- Sheetal Menon as a psychiatrist
- Pallavi Sharda as Sajida Khan
- Kenton Duty as Reese, Sameer's neighbour
- Katie A. Keane as Mrs Garrick, Reese's mother
- Christopher B. Duncan as President-elect Barack Obama
- Shane Harper a 9/11 bereaved family member, Tim
- Kavin Dave as Computer Hacker
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as cameo
*Arjun Aujila as Sameer Khan, Mwndira's son and Rizwan's adopted/stepson
According to director Karan Johar, My Name Is Khan 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. In an August 2009 interview, Shah Rukh 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."
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.
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." 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."
Johar said in an interview with Bollywood Hungama: "MNIK is an unusual Bollywood film, if at all, and doesn't have those quintessential pre-requisite elements that any Bollywood film has. It's telling a story with a strong message, professing humanity and goodness and putting it out on a big cinematic scale. So all put together it is definitely a different experience for mainstream India ... All I can say is that MNIK is going to 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."
Casting and filming
Production of the film took place in India and the United States. Filming began in Los Angeles during December 2008 and one of the locations used was UCLA. Johar next continued production in Mumbai during April 2009. During June 2009, production moved to San Francisco and the Bay Area, where they filmed a key scene at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.
Khan and Kajol were cast in the lead roles, reuniting them after many years. The film faced a temporary setback in late December when actor Aamir Bashir was denied a visa to the United States. He was eventually replaced by Jimmy Sheirgill as Khan's younger brother. Although Shabana Azmi was originally cast as Khan's mother she left the production after his shoulder injury delayed the filming schedule, and was replaced in the role by Zarina Wahab; child actor Tanay Chheda portrayed a younger Rizwan as a child living in the Borivali section of Mumbai. Chheda was chosen because he resembles Khan and because he is recognizable to an international audience after portraying "middle Jamal" in Slumdog Millionaire. He had earlier worked with Khan in the remake of the 1970s film Don: The Chase Begins Again, while American actor Christopher B. Duncan was chosen to portray President Barack Obama in a special appearance. Duncan is known for his impression of Obama on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Johar had difficulties finding a mosque to film in. According to actor Arif Zakaria, who plays an important minor character, "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." 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.
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. Johar admitted that "Shah Rukh'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, Shah Rukh developed severe headaches as result of all the pressure it would put on his head so he had to see a neurosurgeon for that."
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." He described working with both 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."
Johar also asked Khan to co-produce the film under Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Talking about the initiative, he 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 Shah Rukh.
My Name Is Khan debuted in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 10 February 2010. It released globally in cinemas on 12 February 2010. 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.
My Name Is Khan was screened as part of 60th Berlin International Film Festival's Official Selection in February 2010, out of competition. The website eBay auctioned the tickets for the film's screening at the Berlin Film Festival for a record price of £1,000 (₹60,000) each. All the tickets were sold out in five seconds.
The first look of My Name Is Khan unveiled at a grand function at Mumbai by Johar, Khan and Kajol and was then beamed across 70 countries worldwide on the Star TV Network. Johar was excited and noted, "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." The trailer of the film was released at the premiere of the Hollywood film, Avatar. 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.
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
– Shah Rukh 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 spent approximately ₹40 million (US$560,000) in a month-long 360-degree integrated marketing campaign which ran across all India to co-promote the brand and the film. Reebok created an entire MNIK footwear and apparel collection to promote the film.
On 1 February 2010, Khan and Kajol became the first Indian film 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. 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.
On 7 August 2009, Johar signed a deal for ₹1 billion (equivalent to ₹2.0 billion or US$28 million in 2019) with Fox Searchlight Pictures, who will market and distribute it in worldwide (Fox Searchlight). It covers all rights except music, which has been secured by Sony Music.
The film received highly positive reviews. 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." 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." 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." 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."
Raja Sen of Rediff.com gave a 3.5 out of 5 star rating explaining that "Reference points aside, My Name Is Khan is a film that will have the galleries cheering and making sure there aren't many dry eyes in the house. The applause will ring wild and while many might complain that Johar has simply ditched old movie cliches for more American ones, none can argue that the segue seems surprisingly seamless." 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." 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." 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." 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." 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."
Rotten Tomatoes lists an approval rating of 85%, with 23 positive and 4 negative reviews. 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 7 reviews.
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." 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."
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."
My Name Is Khan opened very well in most places across the world, and set many records in the process. 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. By 4 April 2010, the worldwide gross revenue for My Name Is Khan from the box office was US$36,145,870. Domestically in India, My Name Is Khan generated a net of ₹825.2 million (equivalent to ₹1.5 billion or US$21 million in 2019) and a gross of ₹1.15 billion (equivalent to ₹2.1 billion or US$29 million in 2019). The film's final worldwide gross was ₹223.44 crore (US$31 million), including US$23.5 million (₹1,088.3 million) overseas.
In India, the film opened with a massive ₹295 million (US$6,356,688), which was 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 ₹460.8 million (equivalent to ₹830 million or US$12 million in 2019) in its first week.
In rankings based on distributor share, My Name Is Khan comes in fifth behind Dabangg, Raajneeti, Golmaal 3 and Housefull; in a way bearing out Sajid Khan's boast that Housefull will surpass MNIK in India. The film managed to retain the No. 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, the film earned ₹82.52 crore (US$12 million) in India.
My Name Is Khan grossed US$23.5 million in the overseas markets, making it the highest-grossing Indian film overseas at the time, the first Indian film to gross over ₹1 billion (US$14 million) overseas,. The film grossed the biggest opening day overseas, taking an estimated ₹170 million (US$2.4 million), beating the overseas opening day collections of 3 Idiots. The film also grossed the biggest opening weekend overseas, taking an estimated ₹255 million (US$3.6 million), again beating the overseas opening weekend collections of 3 Idiots which grossed ₹185 million (US$2.6 million). In its first week, it grossed ₹393 million (equivalent to ₹710 million or US$9.9 million in 2019). 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.
In the UK, it made £123,000 on its opening day, 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.
My Name Is Khan debuted in USA in 120 theatres, breaking the record set by 3 Idiots which debuted in 119 theatres. The film broke the record for an opening weekend in the US, earning US$1,994,027. The film debuted at No. 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 (₹193,820,016), breaking Shah Rukh 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.
In Australia, the film earned A$39,000 (₹1610,000) 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). 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 end of its theatrical run, the film earned NZ$232,586.
In the Middle East, the response to the film has been described as "huge" and it earned approximately US$300,000 on its opening day. In Egypt it earned one million Egyptian pounds. By the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed US$517,018.
My Name Is Khan also opened well in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Far East. The film is the highest-grossing film in Pakistan, breaking the records set by Avatar, 3 Idiots and Wanted. By its third week, MNIK became the highest-grossing Bollywood film in the Middle East, earning US$3.3 million. In South Africa, the film earned US$85,214 (₹39.28 lakh) in its opening weekend. In Malaysia, it earned RM 105,527 (US$31,106) in its opening weekend, and by the second weekend, the film had earned RM 410,864 (US$120,452). In Nigeria, the film earned an "impressive" ₦2,310,137 (US$15,362) in its opening weekend. In Ghana, the film earned GH₵10,599 (US$7,443) by the second weekend. In Indonesia, the film grew from 6 to 14 screens and saw a jump of 300 percent in week three. The film has also grossed $425,825 in 7 weeks at the Bahrain box office. The film has also grossed an impressive $55,073 in Poland in its opening weekend. The film grossed $270,698 in South Africa. In South Korea, the film grossed $2,618,866. The film also made $58,683 in Lebanon. My Name is Khan released in Hong Kong on 5 January 2012 and collected US$107,197.
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.
The film faced considerable falls in collections after its first week. The drops in collections became 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 2017, Khan was honoured at the San Francisco Film festival for his role in the film, seven years after the release of MNIK.
|My Name Is Khan|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||1 January 2010|
|Studio||YRF Studios, Mumbai|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Sony Music Entertainment|
The soundtrack is composed by the critically acclaimed Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who previously teamed up with Johar to give hit music for his previous films Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006). The lyrics are penned by Niranjan Iyengar. The audio rights of the film were purchased by Sony Music Entertainment, which had also previously released music for all of Johar's past releases, which gained global musical success. The album was released on 1 January 2010. The musical soundtrack consists of 6 original songs and 4 bonus tracks that are taken from Johar's previous successful films featuring 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 Ustad Rashid Khan is another example of Sufi thematic song. The soundtrack is thus representative of the "indie fusion genre". Unlike all of Johar's other films, none of the songs plays in lip-sync format, instead playing in the background.
Although Iyengar is alone credited for writing the lyrics for the songs, he penned the only two Sufi songs in the film, "Sajda" and "Allah Hi Rahem". Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's previous collaborator Javed Akhtar was approached to write the lyrics for the remaining three songs. Earlier it was reported that Akhtar refused to write lyrics because he did not want to share credits with another lyricist. Later, Johar confirmed that Akhtar penned the remaining songs, but did not want to be credited as lyricist when the soundtrack released. Akhtar 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."
All music is composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, except the instrumental track "Khan Theme" was composed by Indrajit Sharma.
|1.||"Sajda"||Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan, Richa Sharma||06:05|
|2.||"Noor-E-Khuda"||Shreya Ghoshal, Shankar Mahadevan, Adnan Sami||06:37|
|3.||"Tere Naina"||Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan||04:38|
|4.||"Allah Hi Rahem"||Rashid Khan||04:01|
|6.||"Rang De"||Suraj Jagan, Shankar Mahadevan||03:45|
|7.||"We Shall Overcome"|
|Indo-Asian News Service||link|
Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics. Gianysh Toolsee of Planet Bollywood stated that the soundtrack was "very much about transcending the boundaries set by Bollywood by venturing into an emotional state through Sufism and spirituality." and gave the album 8/10. Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama gave the album a three out of five stars, suggesting that 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." Hindustan Times rated the album 3.5 out of 5 and stated "Every song in the album is above average. The composers have stuck to the theme of the film and the soundtrack has the potential to rock the charts." Sukanya Verma of Rediff gave the album 3 out of 5 stating, "As for the soundtrack, it's neither fancy nor groundbreaking but warm enough to make us like it." Glamsham rated the album 4/5 with a statement "Karan has crafted a beautiful film, while SRK has authored a marketing strategy that will be hard for even Aamir Khan to beat!" The BBC review stated, "With four bonus songs taken from the director's box office successes that have featured Shah Rukh and Kajol together (plus a theatrical trailer for My Name Is Khan), there are plenty of extras goodies for hardcore Bollywood fans. But placed side by side, Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy's latest soundtrack may not seem as memorable as past collaborations."
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 to promote My Name Is Khan and to participate in 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, 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.'"
Khan said he was told that it was because "they said my name was common to some name that popped up on the computer." 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 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."
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 A. P. J. Abdul Kalam earlier in the summer).... I think it is a procedure that needs to be followed. But it is an unfortunate procedure.
While he was not allowed to use his own phone, Khan was permitted one phone call. 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. 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." When asked if he would demand an apology, Khan replied that he would not.
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 a 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." During a January 2010 interview, Khan referred to the implication that the event was a publicity stunt for the film as "lowdown and cheap." 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."
In addition, the incident sparked debate and commentary among Indian politicians, actors, and others. It also led to demonstrations in India. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger later invited Khan to have dinner with him "in a bid to diffuse what has become a slight diplomatic row."
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. In relation to Khan's comments, The Economic Times has raised concerns over the new body scanners and the possibilities of it being abused to distribute naked pictures of celebrities. His comments have restarted the debate in Britain over whether the new scanners violate individual privacy.
Shiv Sena controversy
After Shah Rukh Khan (who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team) criticised 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." 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." 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 said that he was willing to meet with Bal Thackeray to discuss the issue.
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. However, on 17 February 2010, when cinemas opened for advanced 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. In response, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan threatened to withdraw security cover for party leader Uddhav Thackeray. Later, some security was withdrawn and the Maharashtra government has "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 leave of all police officials were cancelled. The distributor, Fox Star, stated that the film would still be released on its scheduled opening date, 12 February. It opened to full cinema houses across India.
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