Director: Karan Johar
Writer: Shibani Bathija (story), Shibani Bathija (dialogue), Niranjan Iyengar (dialogue)
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Katie A. Keane, Kenton Duty
Runtime: 165 min
Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Synopsis: Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is a Muslim child who grew up with his brother Zakir and his mother Razia Khan (Zarina Wahab) in a middle-class family in Mumbai. Rizwan is different from other children as he has ((Asperger’s Syndrome)), however. He has certain gifts, particularly a special ability to repair mechanical objects. His difference leads to special tutoring from a reclusive scholar and extra attention from his mother, both of which lead to heightened jealousy from his brother Zakir, who eventually leaves his family for a life in the United States.
Despite this resentment, as an adult Zakir (Jimmy Shergill) sponsors Rizwan to come and live with him in San Francisco after the death of their mother. It is at this time that Zakir’s wife, Haseena, a psychologist, diagnoses Rizwan with Asperger’s syndrome. Despite his limitations, Rizwan begins to work for Zakir as a sales rep for Zakir’s company, a skin care product line. In the process he meets a Hindu woman, Mandira (Kajol) and her young son, Sameer from a previous marriage. Mandira owns a successful high-end salon and is drawn to Rizwan’s vulnerable honesty. Despite Zakir’s hostility to the match and that it is forbidden for a Muslim man to marry a woman from religions other than from other Abrahamic faiths, Khan and Mandira marry and settle down in the fictional town of Banville. They live next door to Mark and Sarah Garrick and their young son, Reese. Both Mandira and Sameer take Rizwan’s last name as their own.
The Khans’ perfect existence gets disrupted, however, after the September 11 attacks on New York City. Mark, a journalist, is sent to cover the war in Afghanistan and dies there, much to both Sarah and Reese’s distress. At the same time, the Khan family begins to experience hostility in their community, as well as other Muslims too and Reese begins to turn against Sam as well. One afternoon, an argument between them turns into a racially motivated schoolyard fight between Sameer and a gang of older students. Reese, acting on behalf of Sameer, tries to stop the fight, but is held back and Sameer, who pushes the gang to their temper by swearing at them, is finally finished off when a gang member kicks a soccer ball at him. Sameer later dies from his injuries. The gang then silences Reese by threatening to beat him up if he tells the authorities about it. A shattered Mandira blames Rizwan for Sameer’s death, stating that Sameer “died only because his name was Khan.” She then tells Rizwan that she no longer wants to be with him. When he asks her what he has to do to be together with Mandira, she sarcastically tells him that he has to tell the people of the United States and the President that his name is Khan and that he is not a terrorist.
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