Movie Review: Don 2

Don 2

It’s been less than an hour since I watched Don 2 and I feel it’s my duty to save you from the torture I went through. One of the most anticipated and eagerly awaited film of the year, Don 2 is a let down in more respects than one. Not only does the film move at a sluggishly slow pace, but it also draws futile inspirations from films like Oceans 11, Mission: Impossible series and also from TV shows like Prison Break. The inspirations are not too well drawn, and look like a misfit in the story.

Don 2 is the sequel of the Farhan Akhtar directed Don, itself a remake of the 1978 classic Don, starring Amitabh Bachchan. Don 2 stars Shah Rukh Khan in the iconic role of Don, the under-world baddie. The story begins five years after where its prequel left, the escape of Don from the hands of the Interpol. After having conquered the Asian drug under-world, Don now sets his eyes on the European underworld and wants to become the European drug-lord. Unfortunately for him, the reigning European drug dealers want him dead. Don surrenders himself to the Interpol in Malaysia where he meets his nemesis Vardhan (Boman Irani), in the prison. While Vardhan and Don get into a scuff in the jail, Don convinces Vardhan that he surrendered only to break him out of prison and in return he would require his services in a future heist he is planning. Unfortunately enough that was a lie and as the film progresses, you never find any reason for Vardhan to be present in the team pulling off the heist. Don hires Sameer Ali (Kunal Kapoor), a computer hacker to break into the DZB, Zurich to rob the printing plates of the Euro currency notes. Don blackmails the Vice President of DZB in to give him the code to the vault where the plates are kept. When the VP hires an assassin, Jabbar, to kill Don, he effortlessly turns him into his accomplice. The rest of the film revolves around Roma (Priyanka Chopra) and Mallik (Om Puri), chasing Don and Don and his team pulling off the heist and how painlessly Don manages to escape scot-free from the hands of the Interpol and the European Police.

Don 2 is a film that defies logic. Reason evades the chain of sequence of events. Why Don enters a building and then winches down a rope from its roof to lose a tail of assassins pursuing him on foot, still remains a mystery. Don 2 not only suffers from sloppy writing, which seems to be an epidemic these days in Indian film-makers, but it also is the victim of a confused plot. Farhan Akhtar, it seems could not make up his mind whether to show the sparks of love between Roma and Don or to let Don have a new girlfriend (Lara Dutta), so he settled for both. Also, among cross-fires and blowing grenades too much dialogue-baazi and time is wasted in the incongruous love-hate chat between the two. The role and character of Arjun, Roma’s colleague in the Interpol, raring to ask her out, feels unimaginably uncomfortable in the bottomless character that he is shoved into. Don, who had been relentlessly killing people until more than half the film suddenly develops a soft corner for the hostages that he had decided to leave inside the vault with Vardhan and Jabbar. When Don explains how he pulled off the heist, it almost feels that he did not plan only the heist but scripted the arrival of the police and their actions as well.

What percolates onto the screen isn’t Don as a character, but Shah Rukh Khan, the actor, playing Don. What is painful is that Shah Rukh grunts his dialogs rather than delivering them. There is a fair bit of arrogance in the way he portrays the character and his performance graph consistently dips as the film progresses. Priyanka and Lara unfortunately have very less scope of performance in the mini-roles that they appear in. Kunal Kapoor delivers an earnest performance and looks good on-screen too. Both Boman and Om Puri have short roles but consistently carry forward from where they left in Don.

Apart from an under-written script, Farhan Akhtar has probably made the most forward film ever  in India. The film is shot in a Hollywood style, using tungsten and sepia frames appropriately. The car chases and action sequences are beautifully shot but unfortunately lack the edge-of-the-seat feel you would expect from them. The film in one word has Shah Rukh Khan written all over it but that, precisely seems to be the biggest mistake. What’s most enjoyable is the 5-odd minute walk on by non other than Hrithik Roshan and long after he is gone, you feel he, probably, should have been the one playing Don.

My Rating: 2.25/5

I would have given 2.5 but lack of clarity of thought on the part of the writers urged me rate down to 2.25. Watch it if you are a die-hard SRK fan, but I do not assure you to be entertained.

Movie Review: Warrior

A few reviews ago, Sudeep said that every review may not be a recommendation. Anubhav said that I should try not to divulge too many facts in a review. Bullshitting both these advises, I write this. Warrior! A film, a journey, a feeling. 2 hours and 20 minutes, utilized to the fullest. It is a shame though that this film did not even hit the theaters in India.

Warrior

If I may say, Warrior is by far one of the best films of 2011 and the best ever on contact sports. While films like Karate Kid and Never Back Down were ‘good films’ on underdog victories in martial arts or fight sports, but Warrior is different. Warrior comes with an emotional baggage that has nothing to do with impressing a girl or fighting her ex-boyfriend. Warrior is a film based on Mixed Martial Arts, a sport without many rules, and with last man standing, seemingly, as the only way of winning a bout. Warrior is a story of a dysfunctional family of Mixed Martial Arts wrestlers. When a wall street investor announces a five million dollar world heavy-weight competition in Mixed Martial Arts, Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) comes looking for his dad after 14 years only to train with him for the competition. Tommy’s older brother, Brenden Conlon (Joel Edgerton), now a physics professor and father of two, must also take part in the same competition and must win it in order to pay the mortgage on his house and keep his family afloat. Both Tommy and Brenden hate their father (Nick Nolte), who was a violent alcoholic, for deserting his family when they needed him the most.

Tommy gets into the competition riding the popularity of a YouTube video of him beating a famous wrestler while Brenden manages to fill in for an injured wrestler. But the story isn’t this simple. Tommy needs the money to support his brother-in-arms’ family and the brothers hate each other too. Now who wins and how is for you to find out but every punch and kick has more to it than meets the eye.

Tom Hardy in the role of fierce ring animal and fighter is impeccable. He possesses at the moment probably the most chiseled body in Hollywood and if he has done this with Warrior, I just can’t wait to see him as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. The only thing that could have been better for Hardy’s character is that it could perhaps have a little more depth to it, hence the scope for performance is limited. What Tommy’s character lacks, Brenden’s character makes up for in leaps and bounds. Joel Edgerton has given the performance of a lifetime. Both as an ageing wrestler and as a struggling husband and father. Nick Notle playing their father gives a sympathetic performance and his remorse as a failed father deserves an applause. One particular scene that I liked was between Edgerton and Notle in which Edgerton confronts his father for for coming to his house and says ‘unless your hands are working, you could have always called.’

The film has great cinematography and it moves at a rather quick pace in order to create the necessary build up. Fights have been choreographed so well that you almost feel the pain of the actors when watching them. The final gush of an elder brother’s love leaves you speechless and one can easily think that there’s ten minutes of story left when the film ends leaving you begging for more. Its thumbs-up form my side for director Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior. If you miss it, then you’ve missed the best Martial Arts movie in recent time.

My Rating: 4.5/5

What People Google

Its been a while since I have been writing articles and leaving them unpublished on my blog. Drafts are piling up, yet I chose to write something new. I somehow feel that after around a month of a hiatus, I should write something that is striking. Struck I was when day after the other, I saw the stats of my blog and read what people searched. (For non-bloggers, I must tell you that WordPress allows you to see what search terms in different search engines have lead to your blog.)

The world, if I may say, is divided into two kinds of people. The people who use Google, and the people who don’t. The ratio of the former to the latter is increasing day by day but still there are a whole lot of people who prefer to ask friends on Facebook inboxes what a particular thing means. Dumb, as such people are, I wonder why it never dawns on to them that if they can use the internet to Facebook 14 hours a day, they can also use the same internet to search the meaning of a word. Or to search which actor stars in a movie. I’m sure everyone has heard of IMDb. The most irritating is the brigade of people with BBM. They can pay 400 bucks a month to get BlackBerry services installed, but they never care to know, that they can even surf the net without paying anything extra. And if you think that this post is for one of your girl-friend, then let me tell you that NO, this is not. Not all girls are that dumb. Some are dumber. Some do not even know that you can log in to Google talk too through BIS. But there are also some men who fit the above description. Thomas Gray, the Great English poet, perhaps knew this breed of youngsters and thus rightly said, Ignorance is bliss.

This is a post dedicated to what people search on Google these days. The youth! For whom Googleing has become a synonym for searching. Yes what we search, or rather, what you search.

Disclaimer: This post is based on the Site Stats showed by WordPress on my blog, i.e. the search terms that lead people to this site.

Okay. So what caught my eye at first was ‘Bhosdike’ as being a search term used at least once every week or so. Maybe it was the song, maybe it was something else, but since I had post quoting Raghu Ram (of Roadies) saying that, people landed here. I find it amusing that people search something like ‘Bhosdike,‘ and that being the only term that you put in the search box. Intriguing! Anyhow, it makes sense that people search ‘Roadies 9’ or ‘Revolution 2020’ (these being two of the most searched terms), but a term like ‘Chandigarh nude’ or searching nude pics of ex-Roadies is certainly not what I had expected to see. Funny as it may sound, but there were more people searching for nude pictures of male ex-Roadies and MTV VJ’s than female. (A little something to be noted about the female populations’ interests, I guess… :P) What was striking though was people searching ‘Raghu Ram beaten up’ or ‘Raghu Ram being abused.’ But there are also people who search the most interesting terms, like “Who the hell is Raghu to abuse people?” or “girls’ cat-fight at roadies audition in Chandigarh.
Its been almost 4 months since ‘An open letter to a Delhi Boy by a Madrasan‘ happened and it still features as one of the most searched subjects. Either the letter or the reply I wrote, but it clearly became one of the most talked about cyber-incident of recent times.
Another search term that caught my eye was ‘Who is sherlock holmes’ room-mate and side-kick’. Not an apt description for Dr. Watson I guess, but Jude Law, better luck in the future I’d say.

I’ve suddenly run out of things to write and I think its about time to wrap up. When I read the above I find an article that only Zach Galifianakis would enjoy, but then I’m not the one to be blamed. His sense of humor it seems has rotten mine too. When you type ‘how to’ in the Google search box, it suggests you to search ‘how to get pregnant,’ dear Mr. Google, believe me, that’s not a problem Indians face. We have been the biggest contributors in the evolution of mankind and we’re proud of it. (I think)
That’s enough, I guess, for a comeback post… Coming-up next Review of the film Warrior starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. Till then… Adios Amigos!