Movie Review: Don 2: The King is Back

Shahrukh Khan, also hailed as the 'King Khan' of Bollywood, is back in what was seen as the most anticipated sequel to the hit franchise Don. The 2006 film Don: The Chase Begins Again, itself being a remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan classic (Don), wasn't a great film per se. The movie, which was as potholed as the city's roads, went on to become a big hit and no surprise, the makers, having decided to milk the franchise for its worth, have assembled another hair-brained plot that's chuckholed the size of craters.

SRK, who went on a publicity overdrive for his previous superhero flick Ra.One (perceived as the main reason for the movie to tank at the box office), has shown some restraint in the case of D2. Perhaps, the producers were prudent enough to avoid a debacle. Sadly, he is out of luck this time too. D2, in all its sense, is a picturesque travel post-card; it zooms from the French Riviera to Thailand to Malaysia to Zurich (Switzerland) and finally to Berlin (Germany), where most of the action takes place. The one big thing that works in D2's favor is its stunning cinematography by Jason West, if nothing else.

Yet, I am not quite done with the plot. For whatever bizarre reasons, it no longer stays true to the Don theme as the writers have convinced themselves (if not the audience) to switch gears and conjure up a hackneyed heist plot instead. Even if you forgive them for this, the action heist thriller moves at an unforgivable slow pace with very little edge-of-the-seat moments. I don't want to bore you by giving away any further details, but the long and short of it is that there is every little chance of another sequel on its way. Could it get any worse than this? I wonder...

It was hard to believe that I was sitting through a Farhan Akhtar movie. His debut, Dil Chahta Hai, was a cult coming-of-age classic and since then he has never been able to replicate those directorial heights, let alone surpassing it. But it can be assured that, with these Don sequels, he is heading nowhere and is in fact scaling new lows. He and his coterie of scriptwriters must he held single-handedly responsible for coming up with this glossy vacuous story. In the days leading to the release of the movie, many quoted 'D2 will be good, as it's a Farhan Akhtar movie'. I am quite positive that, the people who remarked thus would be now eating a humble pie (save for die-hard SRK fans).

Moving on to the performances, SRK pulls of the title role with élan. With a cocky attitude and a constant roguish grin, he brings with him oodles of charisma, that makes this torture of a movie a little bearable. The self-glorifying one liners that he mouths, work well in the beginning, but tend to get grating and tedious later on. The others in the cast have precious little to do. Priyanka Chopra as the cop has to be the most ineffectual character in the film along with Lara Dutta (in an extended cameo, replacing Ishaa Koppikar), who gets to dance seductively and accompany Don here and there. Boman Irani (as Vardhaan) and others make their appearance whenever required and don't add much value. Hrithik Roshan (Mister, what are you doing here?) appears out of nowhere, in a part that's utterly inconceivable, only to get unmasked later on.

Finally, touching upon the other aspects, the music score is terribly disappointing and thankfully, the makers cognizant of this fact, keep them in check. I am afraid my rant isn't finished yet, but to sum up, D2 is a poor desi Mission: Impossible wannabe, strung together by lovely locations, smart one liners and a lot of boom (explosions, I mean). As I was leaving the movie hall when the end credits, featuring our own Piggy Chops gyrating to some forgettable song (it ain't fair when only Lara gets to do it, competition now a days seem to be in the item numbers department you see), were rolling, only one thought was swirling in my mind: was Ra.One better than this crap? Hopefully, SRK aficionados will be able to answer that. Anyone cares?