9. My Name is Khan – Georgia Village Episode
My Name is Khan released earlier this year in February. The movie slipped in and out of controversies throughout its making, in the months leading to its release and even after that. It had the largest pre-release hype with a grand media conference organized for the unveiling of the first promo which was telecasted live through many multiple channels. The comeback of the winning Kajol-Shah Rukh Khan pairing was the perfect lure for the audiences to make a trip to the 70mm screen.
The movie opened to great responses nationally as well as internationally. It received commercial success and critical acclaim likewise for its stellar performance and captivating theme. However even this blockbuster had a spoiler sequence that didn’t go unmentioned, raised several eyebrows and questioned authenticity of the lead character.
San Francisco based SRK’s character Rizwan Khan suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, which deems him sensitive to certain loud sounds, flashy colours and strange new places. Despite this he embarks on a road trip through the US with little to no money and nil assistance. While he wanders in the desert, lands in Georgia, leaving us with a most implausible geographical diversion, he meets Mama Jenny from a black community who gives him food, clothing and shelter for a while. Couple of reels later when Georgia is hit by a Tsunami-kind of flood situation, SRK returns there all by himself to save the hurricane-ravaged village.
The fact that the sequence was neglected by the art and costume directors, making it look like belonging to a mismatched era didn’t help much either. Director Johar did a half-decent job at portraying optimism but couldn’t resist going in for the mushy cheesiness and milking emotional contents in all possible ways; he did go overboard with this one too. Fortunately he eventually decided to do away with this sequence in some of the international releases.