Don 2 - Review

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick 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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Wogma Review

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

Parental Guidance:

  • 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.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 3
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2

Don 2 - Movie Details

Don 2 - Trailer

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Comments (18)

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meetu:

@Shashank yay! oh the joy of your joke appreciated! :D

meetu:

@Rachit you've seen it already?! nice...good to know you liked it. :D :D :D

meetu:

Aah, I see. SRK does know his target audience well, they haven't had a preview show in India in the longest time!

meetu:

@Rachit Cool. It's kind of difficult to contain the excitement now!

meetu:

* * * * SPOILER ALERT * * * *

@Rachit I was buying that for a bit but then she said a line when he's hurt that made me want to laugh out loud.

@Vishal ab kya kahu sweetheart, hum har jagah hai!

@shahrukh :D

@Roy I was just saying he couldn't have been Don, because Hrithik is taller. Or the special appearance attribution is wrong, which it cannot be. After all he was taller than Priyanka while dancing with her. :D Anyway, who cares about such minor things, right?

SRK:

Outstanding movie it was...Others just shut UP????

Vishal:

....i have always dreamt that atleast once in my life i will communicate with a celebrity... finally shahrukh and srk both responded .... so what if there were 3 grammatical mistakes in each line ....so what if there were unnecessary punctuations .... shahrukh sir responded to me ....with whatever limited english he knew .... jeevan dhanya ho gaya ;)

Paresh:

Boring first half. Average crime caper story. Songs r an intrusion. Could have been 30 mins less. Great Production though, as good as Hollywood. I was trying hard to look out for the great dialogues mentioned in all reviews. SRK's swagger removes from the depth of being a Don, as r his over the top expressions. Poof & Boom r from Usual suspects.

kiran chikkala:

Awesome movie.....SRK rockzzzzzzzz

safi:

Awesum muvie!!Best action muvi in the history of bollywood!!Must watch

Suman:

Direction: 3
Story: 3
Lead Actors: 4
Character Artists: 3

Dialogues: 3
Screenplay: 3
Music Director: 2
Lyrics: 2

musthaq:

super.........king rockzzzzzzzzz

pradeep:

@critic
so,SAD you are still comparing DON2 with any other bolly flick, though don2 lack a pace and bad chemistry btwn priyanka and sahil saroff
but remaining that the movie was awesome ..and you're saying it just over ride to make plan B and confuse your enemy in ur useless plan A ..WELL then if a DON wouldn't does it then ..for what hell reason he's don...you better leave taking inspiration from holly flicks and applying ur jd in bolly's .....they are world's apart

meetu:

@Vishal ha ha ha ha!

@Suman interesting. Ratings are sort-of average but film gets a thumbs up! That's what I love about these detailed ratings. :D

@Noopur i have to consult you for my twitter reviews :D

@Nishchal wow! you are a better optimist for films than I am! Cheers!!

TimELiebe:

::But maybe he over-estimated our capacity to be interested in the turns. After a while, it gets tiring.::

I dunno, @Meetu - we were all kind of amused by it all. In a way, SRK as Don is like Bugs Bunny as a Criminal Mastermind - with Boman Irani as his Elmer Fudd! :D After the first Don, we kind of recognized Don would always be one step ahead of his adversaries on both sides of the law, and would always be fiercely protective of Roma (and she of him) despite their supposedly being mortal enemies - because they're obviously madly in love with each other, no matter what he did to her family!

Since we didn't take a damned thing in this movie seriously, we just sat back and laughed at the thrill ride, and how Don always had a plot twist in his back pocket...and how Vardhaan would always end up faceplanting whenever he tried to outsmart Don! To his credit, Irani was genuinely menacing, and in the climactic fight busted out some truly mad Kung-Fu Skillz of his own - my kid brother asked how old he was while watching him and SRK fling themselves around the bank vault set, and when I looked it up I laughed and said, "Older than you!" Now I want to see Boman Irani as an aging badass cop, with a hotshot younger partner....

It's a popcorn thriller, Meetu, nothing more - and well above average of its kind. Though I have to admit, I can't remember a single song, which after Don's memorable soundtrack is something of a disappointment....

meetu:

@TimELiebe Yeah, somehow, I just don't get it. The "popcorn" movie. I guess I take my movies a little to seriously.

TimELiebe:

@Meetu - I think it's more that you get it FAR too well, and far FAR too often. It's like Michael Bay or Roland Emmerlich movies for me - been there, done that, got the T-shirt and the commemorative drink cup. OTOH, we can still be had with some clever dialogues (even translated, it comes through), SRK's and Priyanka Chopra's chemistry, Boman Irani's ability to surprise us - and fun dance numbers. ( Never underestimate how much my crowd will forgive if there's a good dance number or two! ;) )

I think I would have been surprised, and worried, if you had thought it was a great movie..:)

meetu:

@TimLiebe "I think I would have been surprised, and worried, if you had thought it was a great movie"

Fair point!

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