‘My Name is Khan’, Bollywood, and Writing…

This weekend I saw the movie, “My Name is Khan“. It was a lovely, entertaining and deeply moving experience for both me and my husband.

For writers unfamiliar with Bollywood movies, I high recommend beginning to watch them.

Though long, they are a wonderful artistic creation to behold. As with any art form, not all are excellent.

A significant number have moved and restored hope to my consciousness over the last decade such that I now have a collection of around 100 DVD’s of various Bollywood movies.

My children, ages 10 years to 23 years love them and even purchase their own. Through a contract made with Fox/Searchlight Pictures, Bollywood, located in Mumbhai, India, will now have its films shown on the big screen throughout America.

This is a wonderful venture that ideally will lift the craft of American movie-making from the dearth of ideas and imagination.

Should the reverse occur, and the screen writers and directors of Bollywood lower their standards for acceptance in the United States, the entire world which it has served quite well in the field of movie entertainment will suffer. I, for one, will be extremely sad.

As for writers, I encourage you to begin watching Bollywood movies. Unlike American made movies, Bollywood movies follow a script more like that of a novel, thus delivering a movie experience from which writers, while very much entertained, can also learn.

As with all engaging and entertaining stories, “My Name is Khan” presents a dilemma, and then attaches to that a deeper yearning and desire.

The protagonist, Risvan Khan, played by ShahRukh Khan, the world’s most successful movie star, a Bollywood legend second only to the ultimate master, Amitabh Bacchan, has Asperger’s Syndrome, and thus has great difficulty receiving and giving physical touch.

Actress Kajol, plays Mandira, who is Risvan’s wife.

This problem and need forms the simple yet sturdy narrative thread pulling all the scenes together that form this movie into a quite moving and quite transformational drama involving both the characters and those of use viewing it.

Asperger’s Syndrome forms a major aspect of the central character’s personality, the difficulties he encounters throughout the course of the movie, and the choices he makes in response to these obstacles. And yet the movie is about much, much more than a man with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Without saying anymore and giving away spoilers I again encourage you to go see this movie, be entertained, and also learn from it.

A story is about a single dilemma.

It is most helpful to attach that dilemma, if not physical, to a tangible and material desire.

Having done that a writer than having established the basis for her or his narrative thread, has but then to write or sketch the various path her or his central character will take to accomplish and gain that material object.

The roads which they can take are numerous. But with a clear goal set before them, the journey can prove full of discoveries and revelations that both engage the heart and soul while entertaining the mind.

We spend so much of our time, innumerable hours doing those things required to maintain our existence.

We seek entertainment that takes us away, that also brings us back with a greater understanding of who we are, and deposits us at a place closer to our essential self and identity.

Like artists of other media and forms, writers approach our craft with a deep, and persevering desire to peel away the layers that stand between the masks that hide and protect our most vulnerable selves from ignorance of those in the world and us.

The one clear goal of our mind’s imagination is that of binding heart and soul, that of our readers, but foremost our own.

~ by Anjuelle Floyd on February 17, 2010.

2 Responses to “‘My Name is Khan’, Bollywood, and Writing…”

  1. I’ve got to see this movie.

    This is a great review. I’ve only seen Slumdog Millionaire, which was my first experience with a Bollywood movie. I’ve seen it several times now on HBO, where I analyze it and see more each time I view it.

    It still haunts me. I love it. I also see it as a film that can help an artist, because it shows the strength of love, desire, and destiny.

    • “Slum Dog Millionaire” was an excellent movie. But please don’t confuse it with Bollywood.
      Bollywood films are made, produced, written and directed by South Asians. Thought current with the times they also have quite a different cultural and historical feel.
      They are also much longer.
      They also stimulate your consciousness in a way that Slum Dog could not approach since it was directed and made by a westerner.
      If you liked Slum Dog Millionaire you should also love “My Name is Khan”. Still my best and most famous movie of time, and my children love it too is, Khabi Kushi, Khabhi Gham
      Here’s the link to one of the scenes

      Here’s the link to the 1st part of the movie:

      As always thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment.

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