My Name Is Khan is a 2010 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Karan Johar, produced by Hiroo Yash Johar and Gauri Khan, and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in lead roles. The film was jointly produced by Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment and was distributed by FOX Star Entertainment, which had bought the rights for the film for a sum of ₹1 billion (US$14 million), making it the most expensive Bollywood film of 2010. It is also the highest buy over for any Indian film, surpassing Ghajini’s record of ₹900 million (equivalent to ₹2.0 billion or US$28 million in 2019).
Before its release, the film generated a great deal of publicity for itself due to three main reasons: first, the multiple political controversies surrounding the film and its lead actor; second, Khan’s presence in the film (he was last seen in a leading actor role in December 2008, when Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was released); and third, the reunion and sixth collaboration of the “golden pair” of Khan and Kajol, who last appeared together in the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… in 2001.
My Name Is Khan debuted in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 10 February 2010. It premiered globally in cinemas on 12 February 2010. It was also screened as part of the 60th Berlin International Film Festival’s official selection the same month.
Upon its release, the film broke many box office records. My Name Is Khan was the highest-grossing Indian film overseas at the time, the first to gross over ₹1 billion overseas, before it was overtaken by 3 Idiots (2009) in 2011. Within four weeks, the film crossed the ₹700 million (US$9.8 million) mark in India and became the first film of 2010 to do so. In overseas markets, the film grossed US23.5 million. My Name Is Khan earned a worldwide gross of ₹2.23 billion (US$31 million). The film was released in India on DVD on 28 April 2010. Blu-ray in India, plus a DVD release worldwide followed on 10 August 2010.
My Name Is Khan received a leading 10 nominations at the 56th Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, and won three awards, that included Best Director for Karan Johar, Best Actor for Shah Rukh Khan, and Best Actress for Kajol.
Rizwan Khan is a Muslim child who grew up with his brother Zakir and his mother (Zarina Wahab) in a middle class family in the Borivali section of Mumbai. Rizwan is different from other children as he has autism. However, he has certain gifts, particularly a special ability to repair things. His difference leads to special tutoring from a reclusive scholar and extra attention from his mother, all which leads to a heightened level of jealousy from his brother Zakir, who eventually leaves his family for a life in the United States.
Despite this resentment, as an adult Zakir 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 diagnoses Rizwan as having Asperger’s syndrome. Rizwan also begins to work for Zakir and in the process he meets a Hindu woman, Mandira and her young son, Sameer or Sam, from a previous marriage. Mandira is a hairdresser by profession. Despite Zakir’s hostility to the match, they marry and settle down in the fictional town of Banville, where both Mandira and Sameer take Rizwan’s last name as their own. They also live next door to the Garrick family. Sameer is close to their young son, Reese, while Mark is a reporter and Sarah is a friend of Mandira.
The Khan’s perfect existence gets disrupted, however, after the September 11 attacks on the twin towers in New York City. Mark goes to cover the war in Afghanistan and dies there. At the same time, the Khan family begins to experience post 9–11 prejudice in their community 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 number of older students. Reese tries to stop the fight but is held back and Sam dies from his injuries. A heartbroken Mandira blames Rizwan for his death stating that Sameer “died only because of his surname.” 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 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.
Rizwan thus sets out on a journey that takes him from one US state to another, in order to first meet President George W. Bush and later President-elect Barack Obama. During this quest, he travels to a small town in Georgia and befriends Mama Jenny and her son Joel. Later, in Los Angeles, he prays in a Mosque and overhears violent rhetoric from Faisal Rahman. He reports this to the FBI but there is no response at that moment. Later, while waiting in a crowd to meet President Bush and repeating again and again, “My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist,” Rizwan is arrested and placed in a prison by police who misinterpret his statement.
While in the prison he is interrogated as a terrorist suspect and meets the psychiatrist Radha who believes he is innocent. He is later released after a media campaign by some Indian student reporters Raj and Komal and Bobby Ahuja, who prove his innocence by unearthing his attempts to inform the FBI about Faisal Rahman. After his release, he returns to hurricane-hit Wilhemina to help Mama Jenny and her son. His efforts attract media attention and numerous Muslims come to help as well. At the same time, Reese confesses to Mandira and reveals the identity of the boys who beat up Sam. She informs Detective Garcia who has been assisting her on the case, and Detective Garcia arrests them.
After they are brought to justice, she joins Rizwan in Georgia. At the moment she arrives, Rizwan is stabbed by a follower of Faisal Rahman and is rushed to the hospital. With Mandira’s help, Rizwan survives and meets President-elect Barack Obama who tells him: “Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist.”
Shah Rukh Khan as Rizwan Khan, Mandira’s husband and Sameer’s adoptive father
Tanay Chheda as Young Rizwan Khan
Kajol as Mandira Khan / Rathore, Rizwan’s wife and Sameer’s mother
Sonya Jehan as Haseena Khan, Zakir’s wife
Jimmy Shergill as Zakir Khan, Rizwan’s brother
Zarina Wahab as Razia Khan, Rizwan & Zakir’s mother
Arjan Aujla as Sameer Khan / Rathore aka Sam , Mandira’s son and Rizwan’s adopted son
Yuvaan Makaar as Young Sameer Rathore
Vinay Pathak as Jitesh (Motel owner)
Navneet Nishan as Rita Singh
Parvin Dabas as Bobby Ahuja, a news channel reporter
Arjun Mathur as Raj Burman
Sugandha Garg as Komal
Sumeet Raghavan as Dr. Faisal Rehman’s follower who attacked Rizwan
Arif Zakaria as Faisal Rahman
Sheetal Menon as Radha
Pallavi Sharda as Sajida Khan
Kenton Duty as Reese Garrick, Sameer’s friend
Katie A. Keane as Sarah Garrick, Reese’s mother
Dominic Renda as Mark Garrick, Reese’s father
Syed Tausif Kamran as BBC Reporter.
Christopher B. Duncan as President-elect Barack Obama
Brent Mendenhall as President George W. Bush
Michael Arnold as Reese Garrick (as a child)
Harmony Blossom as Karma Girl
Arnav Chhapwale as young Zakir Khan
Jennifer Echols as Mama Jenny
Adrian Kali Turner as Funny Hair Joel
Benny Nieves as Detective Garcia
Kyle Hamon as Jim, main bully of Sameer
Brijesh Chauhan as Policeman
Abhinav Gupta as President’s Guard
Shane Harper as Tim Tompson, another bully of Sameer
Marquis Scott as Tyler, another bully of Sameer
Jeremy Kilpatrick as Jimmy, another bully of Sameer
Kavin Dave as Computer Hacker
Mak Mukesh Tripathi as Altaf painter