Don 2

Actors: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Kunal Kapoor, Aly Khan
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 2.5/5

We know Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai, unless Don himself wishes so. The plot of the sequel to Don’s remake by Farhan Akhtar, Ameet Mehta and Amrish Shah starts off Don’s precarious move of confronting the Interpol, escaping the prison, and moving on. Set mostly in Germany, this episode revolves around Don’s heist with help of now accomplice Vardhaan. Expect a twist or two, and therefore a Don 3.

The character of Don is classy, stylish, arrogant, physically aggressive, nimble, charming, can converse in English but is anchored to desi cultural references, and can make you like Don. The easy choice for this role is Shah Rukh Khan. Over a period of time, SRK has a done a variety of characters (think beyond the DDLJs), and has amalgamated them into Don. He has modulated the tone of his voice to sound more authoritative, and the catchy one-liners really help push the envelope. Shah Rukh Khan shines bright with his stunts, and he’s still got it. Call it a screenplay issue or SRK’s self-image as King Khan, Don 2 required just that kind of star and is an SRK film all the way. Priyanka Chopra as Roma, the Interpol officer relegates to the background, looking for clues to hunt Don down. She’s not necessarily glamorous but commendably contributes to an action sequence.

Boman Irani as Vardhaan this time around is viler, more direct and visibly hunger for power. Boman has displayed the rawness through his face expressions. And a pocket knife. It happens only in Bollywood that someone has to prove their villainy through facial expressions of anger, and gets their pocket knife out in most crucial moments, irrespective of how classy they are as a villain. Boman has good diction, and has good screen presence and stands tall upto Don’s character. Kunal Kapoor as Sameer the hacker seems to play a character younger than his age, or has probably mis-delivered. Kunal seemed to be more in awe of SRK than Don when he goes “mai aapka bahut bada fan hoon sir”. But if Priyanka is a short-timer, you can imagine how much weight Kunal added to the storyline. Ditto for Aly Khan who plays a Bank Executive, Diwan. Aly Khan’s body language is appreciable, and his German small-talk makes the character appear more real. It’s one of Aly’s better performances albeit small.

If the film is going anywhere at all, its because of Director & Screenwriter Farhan Akhtar who seemed to know where. There are some flaws obviously but again, there are elements that make the film world class, and no 3D is not of them. We’ll come to that later. The plot of the film is pretty straightforward but the characters are pretty hands-on this time, quite a bit of change from Don 1 where SRK really played King and had his henchmen do the day-to-day. May be its Don’s weak position now that led him take care of the heist himself. Also how he takes his European adversaries down is a gallop one doesn’t gather the story around this very well. If the above can be ignored, Farhan has used some examples from today’s terrorist acts, and from films like the Mission Impossible franchise, to weave details around how the bad guys operate and get things done. While the logistics, the technology and the narration is Hollywood-style, there are some direct rip-offs that are old enough not to appeal to a lot of fans. The ideation of all characters except Don’s is not meaty. The anti-climax is a joke, but thanks to the climax and Farhan’s disposition the film doesn’t look as bad in the end.

DOP Jason West has employed really good technology in capturing action sequences, and the stunts. The final product looks really word-class, thanks to Jason’s skills and art direction by Siddharth Mathawan who takes us through wintry streets and the ghetto of Berlin, etc. The decision to go 3D was good, but the quality of stunts or any other content is not really 3D-worth., except the English sub-titltes appearing closer to my bespectacled eyes.

Music of Don 2 by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is a major let down. The background music hasn’t changed much from part 1, but the songs are not a big bunch. The songs don’t really help move the story along and this helped!

Why 2.5/5:
The good: SRK, his action sequences mainly and his witty one-liners. Don’s maneuvers making you expect a twist always (esp with foe turned friend Vardhaan), the action in general and the climax.

The bad: Slow screenplay, stolen Hollywood ideas, not enough breadth or depth of characterizations for Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani and Om Puri, unwanted 3D picturization with no real special effects.
The film is a thriller and is a one-time watch for SRK’s fans, or folks that want to witness Indian thrillers going international. Since the king is not really back, the team will need to work on part 3.

3 Responses to “Don 2”
  1. Uday says:

    The movie was certainly disappointing. Movie suffers from poor story, screenplay and acting. Even the music was so so. If I had to pick something good about this movie, it would be visuals. Movie had a rich look or rather Hollywoodish look.
    I dont think there were any unexpected “twists” in the movie. The movie and the twists were very very predictable.

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