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.