Don 2

22 Dec

I spent over 2 hours staring at Shah Rukh Khan’s face and didn’t cringe, that itself is surprising enough. Let me clarify, I’m not an SRK fan but someone who dislikes his monotonous acting. Having decided to go for Don 2 after watching the trailer at the Dubai International Film Festival Press meet with the cast, I opened my mind to possibilities as this was my first Hindi movie in 3D. And boy was I not disappointed, though I would skip the 3D bit.

A sequel to the 2006 hit film called Don, which was (to a certain extent) a remake of the original Don (1978); ‘Don 2: The King in Back’ tells the story of Don (Shah Rukh Khan) who having conquered the Asian underworld, now has his eyes set on the European market where the local underworld bosses want him dead. Through a series of clever twists and turns that takes us from Kuala Lumpur to Berlin, Don once again beats the odds to come out on top leaving behind a trail of destruction, dead partners and bamboozled law enforcement agencies.

Looking weathered…Shah Rukh Khan as Don

Throughout this year, a common flaw among all Hindi films I’ve watched has been poor editing, leading to stretched sequences forcing the viewer to yawn at some point. Don 2, even with a run time of over 2 hours is well paced – thanks to the slick editing by Ritish Sony and Anand Subaya, and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The way a simple story weaves its way through a rollercoaster ride of subplots to a rather predictable (open) ending makes you not only forget the potholes in the script but puts a smile on your face every single time SRK has the evil gleam in his eyes. You sit up like a kid and wonder what trick he has next, up his sleeve.

Showing off…

Farhan Akhtar at the helm has always added finesse to his films and Don 2 cements his position as one of the finest directors in the industry today. With the limitation of a remake removed, Farhan creates a product that’s (possibly) by far the best action film to come out of the Hindi film industry in several years. It may lack on the emotional front, but that doesn’t bother you.

Lara Dutta as Ayesha

Thankfully with only one song in the film, there weren’t any unnecessary breaks in the film’s pace which was wonderful, since the soundtrack by ShankarEhsanLoy is quite ordinary. The background score isn’t very original but works to set the mood right. Cinematography by Jason West is brilliant, though the camera work is annoying in bits with overused panning and zoom effects. The action scenes have been directed well with all the characters getting enough space to flex their muscles while the car chase was good. The 3D effect was disappointing but you can’t expect more from a movie that wasn’t shot with 3D in mind. The script is good and thankfully not repetitive with enough one-liners to precede the action without sounding stupid as many actions movies tend to.

SRK with Aly Khan as J.K. Diwan

Shah Rukh Khan is clearly having a ball playing Don and it shows in the movie. His understanding of the character has improved and therefore his performance is spellbinding. His attitude, expressions and appearance looks the part and he carries the film on his shoulders with no difficulty. My only complaint is the lack of makeup in the initial scenes where he looks old and weary compared to the rest of the film.

Priyanka Chopra with Om Puri as Vishak Malik

Priyanka Chopra as Roma is disappointing thanks to the lack of importance of her character. The role almost seems like an afterthought and you could literally sleep through the screen time Priyanka gets without losing out on the story. The chemistry between SRK and Priyanka is awkward, be it love or animosity. Lara Dutta as Ayesha is the eye candy Isha Koppikar replacement. Not much is expected from her character and she does a good job at keeping it simple.

SRK with Boman Irani as Vardhaan

Boman Irani as Vardhaan is a mixture of emotions. You love the chemistry he shares with SRK but on his own lacks the punch to hold the scene together. Om Puri as Vishal Malik is sidelined to shell out pointless dialogues and you wonder if the character would be edited out in the next installment. Kunal Kapoor as Sameer Ali is unexpected in an off-putting way. With a subtle part to play, he doesn’t fit the role and lacks the screen presence one would expect from him. Nawwab Shah as Jabar muscles his steroid-heavy role perfectly while Sahil Shroff as Arjun was passable. Aly Khan as J.K. Diwan was perfectly edgy.

Kunal Kapoor as Sameer with SRK

Don 2 may not be very original nor ground breaking (like Ra.One) but it works as an entertaining action thriller. Farhan Akhtar with Shah Rukh Khan has done a brilliant job. Hmm… it’s quite unsettling to think that I’d go watch this movie again in the theatre.

7.5/10

It is an out and out SRK movie
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