My Name is Khan

This is a Bollywood film made in 2010 about an autistic Indian Muslim who moved to America and sets off on a mission to speak to a US President and say “Mr. President, my name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist!”

There a number of themes in this movie, one of which being racism, but another of the fact that well, he’s autistic. He falls for a women, a “normal” women, who soon begins to accept him and a romance occurs. The movie challenges our assumptions of what is “normal” and who is “normal”: the relationship works out, and they get married. Khan does not talk “normally”, and neither does he think “normally”, but his faculties are just as good as anyone and he understands the very basic human emotions we all face: love, anger, joy, regret, etc. He also understands the racism and xenophobia Muslims often face in the West, and sets out on a mission to fix it.

As any Bollywood drama (actually, all Bollywood is drama), there is a dramatic catastrophe that happens in Wilhemina, Georgia. Somehow, this hurricane destroyed almost all of the infrastructure in the little town and lightning strikes the church that everyone is taking shelter in. The church is also flooding several feet high, somehow. Hurricanes can be bad, but let me tell you, the movie exaggerates them quite a bit, especially considering the location. Nevertheless, Khan rushes to the town (he met random people from there once) to help out, and is thanked extensively for his help. The entire event was an emotional story of autistic man that was really more of a man than anyone else.

Now, a SPOILER ALERT. Khan married the girl he fell in love with, and she had a ten year old son already. The son and new father get along beautifully, with both of them learning from each other. The son has a friend whose father is in the military. His father is killed, and the friend blames it on Khan’s son because they are all “terrorists”. Months later, the son meets up with his friend who happens to be hanging out with some older teenagers. The teenagers decide to have some fun, and they team up to bully the son. The friend sits there and watches. The teenagers manage to kill the kid in a heart-wrenching scene, and then Khan’s wife blames it on him because he “is a terrorist” (the wife was Hindu). Khan finds himself in emotional turmoil, but finds solace in helping other people (“normal” people, might I add), instead of resorting to bad deeds. And the saga goes on.

Earlier in the movie, Khan goes to a Presidential rally for U.S. President George W Bush, where exclaims, “My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist!”. He exclaims this a number of times before anyone hears it; the crowd is wild and the protagonist cannot talk “normally”. Eventually, people hear him, the first people being the Secret Service. He is arrested on terrorist suspicion, causing the media to go haywire for the Justice Department’s stupidity. After intense pressure from American citizens, the government lets him go, as he proceeds to live his life as I explained above.

Later, he gets to another rally, this time, years later, with President Obama. Earlier in the movie, he tipped the FBI for a suspected terrorist at some random mosque he attended in California, but the FBI didn’t respond to it. An informer that caught Khan give the tip later stabbed him, and he was rushed to the hospital, where his wife (who abandoned him) returns. Khan comes back to health, and with the media’s attention still on the autistic “terrorist”, President Obama invites him to a rally. Khan comes to the stage to speak the words he has so long wanted to say, but he cannot get himself to say it. Barrack Obama helps him: “I know. Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist.”

Khan gets back with his wife, and they live happily ever after.

 

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4 thoughts on “My Name is Khan

  1. Pingback: “My name is Kha… | Whispers of Satan

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