Don has been panned by critics and junta at large, but still will make tonnes of money and the slew of remakes shall continue. As a die hard movie fan, who watches almost anything which Bollywood dishes out, I must say even I was disappointed with don . The reasons :
Firstly I watched the original Don , on TV from 9:00 am in the morning and watch Farhan and SRK’s take on it at 12 :00 pm the same day . The first Don , though not in the league of Deewar and Sholay was very enjoyable and was a roller coaster ride from start to finish . The climax obviously was a big let down but still the plot had enough intrigue and Amitabh’s chutzpah and Zeenat / Helen’s oomph makes it a good time pass flick .
Here I was hopping that , the new Don would be much moré slicker , would tie in the lose ends of the first Don, cooler stunts, a gripping climax and a more contemporary plot . Here the argument is not whether who makes a better Don , will Priyanka match up to Zeenat , and if Kareena can do a Helen. These arguments hold no good for me , since we all trip on nostalgia and obviously the original would be better
If we put aside all these obvious comparisons, what do we get ,
SRK as Don, who brings style but no menace to the Don’s character. Spouts the memorable lines paying a tribute to original. However fails to differentiate between the Don & Vijay . Vijay seems a total caricature .
Baring Priyanka and SRK , the rest of the characters are not fleshed out at all :
Ifitakar Ahmed as Desilva was a sincere cop who weaved around the entire plot for a reason. Here Boman’s character and his interpretation does not make much sense at all. The casual ease with which he bumps of Singahania makes us wonder why he had to go through all this trouble .
Om Puri is completely wasted as the Interpol officer. The only reason they cast seems to be that the original character was played by Shivpuri.
Arjun Rampal – the s/w engineer turning into a hi- tec thief by night is ridiculous , and his son being part of SRK’s nach gaana troupe doesn’t make sense in today’s scenario. This entire character could have been done away with and no one would have missed him.
Isha Gopikkar looks pretty , but that’s about it . Considering that “ Anita “ is central to the new plot , she should have been given something more to do.
The “ Khaike Pan “ songs seems such a force fit in Kuala Lampur , but liked the subtle touch that SRK refuses the pan saying “ Don “ pan nahi khata hain.
And the stunts , while some of them look slick I couldn’t bear the “magnetic lift of the ambulance” and the plane / parachute dropping sequence .
Merely shifting the scene form Mumbai to Malaysia doesn’t make it contemporary enough , and obviously this Don doesn’t deal with Gold biscuits and smuggling of cocaine.
The biggest let down was Farhan Akhtar . Lakshya though not in the league of DCH was very sincere. I had high expectations of his take , and while the beginning and the end of the movie were satisfying ( I had no issues with the twist ) , the entire 3 odd hours in between seemed like it was directed more by Gudda Dhanoa than by Farhan . Farhan claims that the original Don was the first movie he remembers seeing, hopefully he goes back to original plots now and doesn’t pester his dad for old screen plays !