What is it all about?
The reunion of arguably the best on screen pair Kajol and SRK in Karan Johar's 'MNIK' might be in news for every wrong reasons, but will make it present felt in the world for right reasons such as global subject shot in keeping the global audience in mind, the reunion of the most loved on screen jodi of SRK and Kajol in a Karan Johar film, powerful performance, message, women angle, identifiable emotions regarding Muslim identities with sense and sensibilities.
'MNIK' starring SRK and Kajol is at once a testament and a tribute to star power, a reminder of the good old chemistry these two actors displayed in their charismatic screen persona. While not exactly the same age and attitude, still there is a familiar quality about SRK and Kajol in 'MNIK', its innocent, touchy, moving, mature and very lovable.
SRK enters a new phase in his illustrated career with 'MNIK' the middle-aged Badshah of Bollywood seems to be in a giving mood: he wants to please his audiences. Displaying bravura technical skills, of a person suffering from Asperger (a syndrome where a person is preoccupied with a narrow subject, one-sided verbosity, restricted prosody, and physical clumsiness which doesn't require any diagnosis).
SRK shows the whole gamut of emotions in his interpretation of 'Rizwan' a truly original, good human type personality. In the past, we saw those commercially demanding SRK, the loving, cool, excessively obsess, jealous, SRK. But now we get to see more romantic and human side.
SRK gives his most memorable performance of his career; the actor uses asperger syndrome the way a stage actor uses a prop.
Kajol once gain proves why people wait patiently to see her come on screen. The actress gives a mature, flamboyant performance, maintaining her trade mark spontaneity with such an ease that will make any nari (women) cry for her in the scene when she losses her child, flawless.
SRK and Kajol is without doubt, the best thing in the movie which stands for basic human values: decency, honesty, integrity. The narrative of the movie is centered on the general atmosphere of hate post 9/11 in which the world is living.
Explains the repeated lines of all Muslims are not terrorist in a no preachy, humanistic, moving way with hardly any bloodshed.
The Story...... of course
The story is predictable but the scripting by Shibani Bathija where she makes the protagonist suffering from asperger new angle to this moving story of love and hope where Rizvan Khan (SRK), a Muslim man from India, moves to San Francisco and lives with his brother and sister-in-law. Rizvan, who has Asperger, falls in love with Mandira (Kajol). Despite protests from his family they get married and start a small business together. They are happy until September 11, 2001 when attitudes towards Muslims undergo a sea-change. When tragedy strikes, Mandira is devastated and they split. Rizvan is confused and very upset that the love of his life has left him. To win her back, he embarks on a touching and inspiring journey across America.
What to look out for?
Karan style of story telling is bang on target right from the first frame and keeps you engaged throughout. We watch the character 'Rizwan' and not the superstar struggling to win back his love. A rare achievement. The movie has some memorable moments like when Mandira agrees to marry Rizwan and the reaction of Rizwan and before that the lovely shot of that early morning is picture perfect. The first meeting of Rizwan and Mandira, the innocence in their love is finely done.
The movie also has strong women angles and post interval, the Kajol outburst on Sharukh after her son's accident is highly touchy and moving.
Dialogues by Niranjan Iyengar and Shibani Bathija are taken from the hard realities of life like 'Musalman kahe jane par apna kayda badal diya, magar ab ek musalman ko insaan nahin samjha jar aha toh apna schedule nahin badal sakte'.
Such writing makes the movie identifiable to thinking Muslims all over the world and widens its audience worldwide. The placing of the songs is prefect in this film where Shankar Ehsaan Loy makes us take 'Noor-e-Khuda' and 'Sajda' to our homes.
As usual production values are topnotch with polish technicalities where Ravi K. Chandran's camerawork is amazing. Deepa Bhatia's scissors are sharp and the sound by Dileep Subramaniam is apt.
Apart from the awesome work from the three 'Ks', King Khan, Kajol and Karan there are other remarkable performance in the film.
Jimmy Shergill, Soniya Jehan, Zarina Wahab, Parvin Dabbas, Yuvaan Makaar as Rizwan and Mandira's son, Tanay Hemant Chheda as junior Rizwan Khan, all in one word are brilliant.
Thoda kam entertain hota hai, the pace and there's too much of seriousness which makes it feel longer then it is. Blunders like that flood episode where totally uncalled for.
Recommended: Certainly for the audience with sense and sensibilities
[Rating * Yuck. ** Oh No. *** Hmmm. Well Done. **** Well done. Superb. ***** Priceless]