Don 2 - Review
Smart lines and slick camerawork turns into tiring witticism and regular big-budget technicalities because it is over-written and over-stylized. The few extra seconds taken to establish a scene with elegance give the crux of the scene away. This keeps this action-thriller from being crisp. Multiple, smart twists are pointless if you are going to chicken out in the climax.
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What are you going to do with a villain who always has a Plan B unless he's busy making you believe his Plan A failed? Hate his guts? For sure, yes. Especially since he is cocky and every line he utters is a wise-crack. As an afterthought, you also admire the writer's capacity to throw in twist-after-twist while making sure you know motivations behind characters' behaviors. But maybe he over-estimated our capacity to be interested in the turns. After a while, it gets tiring. The HUGE slip-up in the second-half and the blurring motivations make Don 2 an average Hindi film.
When the choice is between a scorned woman's wrath turning into gullibility and Don having a change of heart - you know the writer has copped out. No explanations are good enough if you are switching character traits that you took two films to set-up, within a heartbeat. In fact, I wanted to laugh out loud at the proceedings, but my brain hadn't finished being bewildered at what I had just seen on screen. Et tu, Farhan Akhtar? I suddenly had a flashback from Dil Chahta Hai's "proposal at wedding" scene. Gosh, what a turn-off that was!
Anyway, there are a lot of things going for Don 2. Shah Rukh Khan is certainly one of them. He makes you forget, you are watching Shah Rukh Khan. Either that, or this is the best use for his typical stutter laugh. Maybe that spluttering chuckle should be reserved for villainous roles and avoided while being comic or romantic. Not just that, his voice modulation works. His look - especially in the first half an hour or so of the film goes completely with his character.
And of course, his character is such that, almost all the actors have only one of two things to do, when around him - act as if they are on their toes and don't trust him, or visibly show they despise him. Everyone from Priyanka Chopra to Boman Irani to Nawab Shah do a decent job of that. There is a slight variation in the form of Om Puri who is a dispassionate CBI officer and Don is just another criminal for him and Kunal Kapoor who is fresh and self-assured.
It's a shame then that, you can write a few decent characters; you have the intelligence and flair for intertwining plots to make them work as a thriller; yet you end up making a film that nosedives into mundane in the last 20-30 minutes. There is also the matter of too much time taken for stylizing everything. In his attempt to add oomph to many scenes director, Farhan Akhtar, over-estimates the time the audience will take to let the twirl in plot to register. In turn, he gives the audience time to figure out what's going on and ends up making the scene predictable. And this happens scene after scene.
Fortunately, these scenes are shot well. The film is also a collage of beautiful shots from around the world. Some may even accuse it of being a travel company's brochure that wants you to visit each of those countries. But, it is also an evidence of Don's reach and the expanse of his power.
The action sequences are choreographed and shot well too. But you can't help but feel there is so much more Farhan Akhtar can do. It almost seems like he is testing waters one step at a time, "Hollywood does this, let me try. If this clicks, then next time, I'll experiment with what I really want to do." Maybe, it's just my wishes taking over. Meanwhile, you are left with spectacular camera and stunt work, but nothing that you haven't seen in action films so far.
The only thing left to look forward to then, is the smart aleck remarks Don is going to make to leave the people around him retortless. That too begins missing the mark - makes it too filmy without being memorable enough. Especially, since you have seen many of them in the promos. It's almost like dialogue writer Farhan Akhtar is trying to live up to his father's name. Alas, he overdoes it and in the process repeats his father's lines way too often.
We know you love the lines your dad wrote, Mr. Akhtar Jr. We love them too. But now, you have begun to kill them for us. For now though, I'm going to grudgingly appreciate the loathsome lead character you've tried to create. If only you hadn't let the devil take human form.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Lots and lots, the usual action film stuff. Don threatens cruelly even though nothing on screen is gory.
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of women wearing backless evening gowns. A few scenes with skimpily clad women. A peck of a lip-to-lip kiss.
- Concept: A villain you love to hate.
- General Look and Feel: Slick.
Don 2 - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Reliance Entertainment, Excel Entertainment
- Producer: Farhan Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani
- Director: Farhan Akhtar
- Lead Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani
- Supporting Cast: Lara Dutta, Om Puri, Kunal Kapoor, Nawab Shah, Alyy Khan
- Story: Farhan Akhtar
- Screenplay: Farhan Akhtar
- Dialogues: Farhan Akhtar
- Cinematography: Jason West, Jason West
- Editor: Ritesh Soni, Anand Subaya
- Background Score: Nakul Kamte
- Action Choreography: Matthais Barsch
- Choreography: Vaibhavi Merchant
- Music Director: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Khan, Loy Mendonca
- Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
- Costume Designer: Jaimal Odedera
- Art Direction: Siddharth Mathavan
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 140 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Action, Crime, Docu-drama, Murder Mystery, Thriller
Don 2 - Trailer
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