Sunday, 10 April 2011

Don - The Chase Begins Again

Directed by Farhan Akhtar
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Boman Irani
Released: 2006
My Rating: 7,5/10

Here to read my review about the original Don

It is never unsual in Bollywood to remake movies, whether they are from other parts of India like the South or from other countries like the USA. But it is rare to see a remake of a Hindi movie in Bollywood, especially when it is a classic like Don. Not only because some people might think that nothing can be better than the original Don, but also because expectations are very high, not only in matters of storytelling and also performances. Does the new Don meet those expectations?

I have to say in the beginning, my first impression was that they only re-made the movie to give it a modern (and globalized) look, the look of our times; but more the story went on, and more I was surprised...

If you have watched the old Don, the story is (almost) the same. Don (Shahrukh Khan) is the King of the underworld and police is trying its best to catch him. The story now happens in Malaysia (no Bombay sight for this Don), and deals now with drug trade (I said it was modern). Police officer D'Silva (Boman Irani) believes the best way to break this drug gang is to catch Don, who is the lieutenant of the drug lord Singhania. During a chase with the police, Don is seriously injured and captured by D'Silva. The latter keeps it a secret (even from his fellow police officers) and finds a look-alike whose name is Vijay (also played by Shahrukh Khan). He wants him to infiltrate Don's gang, and in return he will make sure the child Vijay adopted, Deepu, gets an education in a great school. There starts the game of mirrors and subterfuge...

Stylish, breath-taking, EXCITING are the words to describe the new Don. Seriously, I could praise Farhan Akhtar over and over after watching this movie (it was already the case after I watched his Dil Chahta Hai but for another reason). I had really low expectations before watching it, because 1. it is a remake and 2. remakes are most of the time very less good than the original. Don is the exception to the rule. Scriptwise, it is even better than the old Don with surprising and unexpected plot twists... I am not going to reveal anything here, and if you have not watched it, then I could only advise you to run and find it.

Don is also, as written above, very stylish, full of visual details. You better not blink once, or else you will miss something! Everything can be a hint, every gesture or words of the characters can reveal its importance in the end. I think that if you have watched the old Don, then you are more easily fooled by the story. I was under the impression of only watching a remake. But the new Don is not remake, it is an original movie on its own.

Before revealing my thoughts about the performances, I wanted to mention the soundtrack. I admit, I was not in love with how they remade the songs of the original soundtrack at first. Techno is not really my thing, and I thought there was too much of it but after listening to "Main Hoon Don" and "Khaike Paan Banareswala" several times, I started really liking it. They are really catchy. In the end, the soundtrack is really effective, and it worked!

Now I want even more to eat Paan from Benares...

Another thing I looked forward to was the performances. And nothing disappointed me. Priyanka Chopra is very good as the fierce and strong Roma, Boman Irani gives us a refreshing change from his usual comic roles and the sober acting as D'Silva he gave is flawless. But the words which had been being on my mind for a long time after watching this movie were: I love SRK. I love him. I love him. Really, I love him. He is for me the best actor ever, and after watching Don, I felt really proud of being his fan. No other actor could have done this. Equalling the legend Amit-ji in one of the latter's most cherished roles. He was as good as Amitabh, he was even as much different. He made Don his own. As much as the original and the remake are different, Amitbabh's Don and Shahrukh Khan's Don are totally different. He was amazing.

Gosh... He is HAWT!

In the end, Don proves he is the Master of the Subterfuge as he fools not only the characters in the story but also the viewers until the very end.


  1. I'm also one of those Shahrukh-lovers. I think we can love him and still be cinematically intelligent, can't we? Many people think he's too mainstream, but no, I just love him.
    I watched the new Don way before the old one, so it was the opposite; I waited for the end (you know what I mean), and then was a bit disappointed by the "old" end.

  2. EXACTLY what I think about SRK. Many people criticize his lover-boy image, but give me another actor who has done an Anjaam, a Dil Se, a Devdas, a Swades (and many other films) as GREAT as he did then I will seriously consider this criticism. He is versatile, he can do anything, his romantic movies just had too much success.

    Well, I am glad I watched the old Don first, because I also think that had I watched it after SRK's Don, then I would have been disappointed by the end too.

  3. LOVE SRK TO DEATH. And this...if I had to pick, this would be my favorite Bollywood film ever. Amazing is all that can describe this Don. I could watch it over and over again :)