One of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all time, My Name is Khan is an epic and heartbreaking film whose subject matter and star names guaranteed it both controversy and a huge box office. Both of these ensued on the film’s release, one is deserved – the other not so much.

Karan Johar’s film takes us through one man’s journey from the hectic streets of Mumbai to the dark and light of America, taking in love, loss, prejudice, fear and loathing with aplomb and the emotional impact which results is a testament to the beautiful cinematography and the strong central performance for one of world cinema’s biggest stars, Shahrukh Khan.

This film reunites Khan with Kajol, whose 2001 film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… was a huge box office success and My Name is Khan captures the two stars in amazing form, their chemistry is immediately engaging and they are a joy to watch. There is so much in this film to enjoy as Khan’s Aspergers afflicted Rizwan follows his brother to America after the death of their Mother and meets Kajol’s Mandira.

There’s love and marriage, then tragedy following the September the 11th attacks and this film seeks to find the personal aftermath amidst the political and social turmoil.

I’ve not seen enough Bollywood to comment on its place in the canon, but this film deserves to travel widely, and the central performances do so much to support the creator’s wishes to make a film about the beating heart of a society torn apart and the struggle to rebuild stronger, with patience and power.

The film looks beautiful, seeks not to surprise the audience but rather to take the obvious emotional beats, both light and dark, and render it with compassion and colour and it succeeds on all levels.

With powerful performances, a heart rending score and a willingness to take a story on a route without stylistic deviation and emerge all the stronger with a film that engaged and enthralled cinema audiences across the world. Let’s hope the release of My Name is Khan on DVD builds on this success.

Here’s the trailer,