The entire movie, frame-by-frame, has been done extremely tastefully, an exceptional treat for the eye. Of course, you have to ignore Shah Rukh Khan and the exhibition of the many faces he is capable of making, through all of this. Fortunately, there is enough to distract us on the tour. Name it – cinematography, art direction, locations, action, special effects – all visuals have been done very skillfully.
Our brains though are taken for a roller-coaster ride by the storyteller. Yes, there are a few additional twists to the original plot. While some of them work and keep you interested, with others you are deprived of a satisfactory explanation.
The direction is classy in most parts. A few scenes are superbly executed – the one where Don meets Kamini (Kareena Kapoor), the one in which she is found dead, the one in which Jasjit (Arjun Rampal) is asked to do some work for the goons. Then there are others that could have been done better – the one where Vijay escapes while they are being transferred from one jail to another, the one where Jasjit is taking his child away from the gangsters.
Having expectations before seeing a movie can change the flavor of a movie, just like the food you eat changes the flavor of a wine. This movie would be much more enjoyable if you are not constantly comparing. But expectations are called for when you are paying a high profile tribute to a high profile movie. Comparisons with the 1978 Don are inevitable.
We have some cool new dialogues which add spice to the movie. Some loopholes from the first movie are smoothened out and a little additional back story fills in the blanks appropriately. But new loopholes and blanks crop up with the new situations. Let’s just say, the new story has its fair share of flaws too. I thought Chandra Barot’s Don was long and it dragged in the end. I was happy when a lot of sub-plots from the original were cut down, but was saddened very soon, with the new sub-plots taking up too much screen time. This time too the pace slackens in the last hour. You can’t have an action movie in this day and age slowing down in the end - that’s just wrong.
Granted, Shah Rukh has a lot to live up to, but all he needed to do was follow the master’s steps! Was there any change at all in dialogue delivery, intonation, voice modulation between Don and Vijay? In the Sauna scene, you see the Amitabh-Don oozing with confidence – the Shah Rukh-Don is just sitting there. You see constant suspicion, and rightly so, on Amitabh’s face in ‘Ye mera dil…’ – through the song Shah Rukh’s eyes are full of lust like that of a schoolboy, and suddenly he smartens up. You know Amitabh is satisfied and happy when he meets the children at their hostel, Shah Rukh is just regurgitating the lines. You sense fear in Amitabh’s body language when Zeenat Aman points a gun at him, not a muscle moves on Shah Rukh’s face in the corresponding scene. Maybe some of this can be claimed to be intentional, but all of it? That’s hard to digest.
The other actors have done a great job. Boman Irani seems to fit into any role that he takes up. Arjun Rampal needs special mention, why don’t we see more of him? The three ladies Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ishha Koppikar do their bit suitably.
Though the songs are not the greatest when you are listening to them (again because you are constantly comparing) they have been picturised beautifully. The choreography is very good especially for ‘Maurya’. Shah Rukh oozes with energy when he dances and he has done a pretty good job with the rap-like singing bit in ‘Khaike paan banaraswaala’ too.
All-in-all, you have to bear in mind that when you go for a Mission Impossible or a Bond movie, you go more for the style and special effects than to see a good story or quality acting. Similarly, a trip to the cinema halls won’t be wasted when you go for this one; you are guaranteed a stylish product.
- meeta, a part of the audience
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.