That's the mystical Halong Bay in Vietnam. I took this picture at dusk .... and love it.
Since you guys were keen to know what I thought of MNIK - here it is.....
Rizwan Khan’s ammi in MNIK is the universal ammi – wise, loving, virtuous, philosophical, giving, caring, nurturing. The sort of ‘ammi’ kids these days can only fantasise about. A near-mythical ‘ammi’ who doesn’t tell her children to be grateful for the ‘quality time’ she has studiously reserved for them, but gives them all her time without even thinking about it. She even dies at the right time! But only after ensuring her disadvantaged son ( Shah Rukh Khan ) has understood the power of love and peace in our troubled world. Her precious gift sees him through all the traumas he is forced to endure later in life because his name is Khan! It is a powerful premise to base a story on – but powerful enough to create brilliant cinema? Not quite. However – and this needs to be stated strongly – it is still a film worth making and watching because of the sincerity of its intentions.An obvious and transparent sincerity that comes through even in the most clumsy and maudlin’ sequences ( particularly post-interval ). One willingly overlooks the gaucherie (those horribly embarrassing sequences of the floods in Wilhelmina ), even the triteness of the treatment, because somewhere at the back of all the confusion, is a mission statement – and that statement is moving enough to forgive the obvious gaffes.
Cinema as an instrument of social change has its limited use, for sure. But at the end of the day, cinema is about touching your heart. From that sole perspective, MNIK succeeds. And let’s face it, it succeeds because of one person alone – Shah Rukh Khan. When he as Rizwan, takes every word his ammi has ever uttered to heart and believes unconditionally in those truths, he convinces the audience to believe along with him. Goodness is the core message of the movie, and goodness it is that shines through - t
hanks to the Shah Rukh – Kaajol – Kjo magic combo. This is one of Srk’s most accomplished performances, mainly because he surrenders to the actor in him and forgets about the star ( as in a few sequences from ‘Rab ne bana di jodi’). His eyes shine with a light that spells faith – faith in his ammi, faith in his religion, faith in the world. It is almost impossible to separate Srk the man from Rizwan the character. Convincing, consistent and supremely competent, Shah Rukh Khan lives the role of a tormented, puzzled and emotionally devasted individual who genuinely believes it is possible to live by ones convictions and change the world. This is no small feat given the patchy script and slightly wonky storyline ( come on…. the guy criss-crosses such a huge country at top speed with meager resources and a severe psychological problem) . Shah Rukh Khan manages to rise above these limitations in scene after scene, taking audiences with him adopting the sort of effortlessness that only extraordinarily gifted actors can conjure. Credibility and plot flaws become secondary and unimportant as one is swept along on an emotional tidal wave that eventually overshadows all else – glitches included. Ammi’s noble, simple and compassionate words are what stay with you in the end – there are only two kinds of people in the world – those who believe in goodness and those who don’t. It is a message worth remembering before we cast the first stone.
Our hearts are with those who lost their lives in Pune.