Monday, March 16, 2015

My Name is Khan---a different kind of romance & odyssey film

This is a film by director Karan Johar about an Indian Muslim man with Asperger's Syndrome. Viewers see his life as an odd child with a mother who tries her best to guide her son. When he has trouble attending a regular school, she finds him a private tutor. One of his special talents is his ability to repair many items.

After his mother dies, Rizvan (played oddly enough by an actor with the same last name as his character -- Shah Rukh Khan)keeps his promise to her to go to America and reunites with his brother Zakir in San Francisco. He starts selling beauty products to salons.

He meets Mandira, a Indian Hindu (played by Kajol) hairdresser in one of the salons. They become friends, get married and live together happily with her son Sameer.

Tragedy strikes shortly after 9/11 happens and many American Muslims suffer repercussions including Rizvan's new family. Rizvan sets out on a solo journey across the country trying to meet the President.

Along the way, he meets many interesting people and has some adventures. In Georgia, he becomes friends with Funny Hair Joel (played by Adrian Kali Turner) and Mama Jenny (played by Jennifer Echols). When he hears that their little town has been flooded by a hurricane, he returns to help them.

This film has multiple spoken languages: English, Hindi, Arabic and Urdu. In some ways, I think it's quite exaggerated, a bit corny sometimes but also touching and funny. As there's some flipping back and forth in time since the character is telling a story, be sure to pay attention so you don't get confused.

Also beware of the violence & racism in this film  This isn't gratuitous like in some films but an important part of the plot.

Some quotes from this film:

"My name is Khan and I'm not a terrorist."---Rizvan

"Oh, I think you recognized me. I am Rita Singh, ex-Miss India."---manager of salon

"You look so old. You must have been Miss India before I was born."---Rizvan

"A salesman and yet you speak the truth."---Mandira

"Mom, stop being filmy now. You're such a drama queen."---Sameer

"Fix Almost Anything"---Rizvan's sign

"...the way of Allah is of love, not of hatred and war."---Rizvan


"Mehnaz Herbal Beauty Products will make you glow like a newly-wed bride."---Rizvan to woman

"I'm divorced."--woman to Khan

"Uh-oh. We have nothing for the newly-divorced."---Rizvan

"Fix Almost Anything"---Rizvan's sign

Here are some scenes from this film:

Here's the trailer:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Clay Marzo Just Add Water -- Cool Surfer Film

I've never been big on watching ski or surf movies, but it's pretty amazing watching Clay Marzo surf! He seems to be able to ride waves for a long time without wiping out. That's awesome!

There's also something else about this surfing film that makes it very unique. In 2007, Clay was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Input from others who know him is that he seems more together since the diagnosis. Like many people with AS, he has a specialty and it's surfing! It's very unusual because people with AS seem to usually have an intellectual specialty instead of an athletic one.

Australian Asperger's Syndrome expert Tony Attwood has a few things to share as well as Austism expert Dr. Chitra Bhakta.

There is some wonderful footage of Clay and other surfers surfing not only in California and Hawaii but other places in the world such as Fiji and France.

Included is footage of the Surfer's Healing Camp in Malibu where kids with Autism get to experience the joy of surfing. Clay works with the kids there.Clay Marzo has his own website where you can see more interesting videos.

If you're interested in knowing about other films related to Autism, check out my review on The Horse Boy.

My Favorite Quote From this Film:

"I feel like I'm at home when I'm in the water. Waves are toys from God."---Clay

Here are a few scenes from this film:

Here's the trailer for this film: