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Don 2

Most of Don 2’s impressive spit and polish is marred by a been-there,seen-that air.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Mumbai |
December 23, 2011 5:51:03 pm

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Cast:Shah Rukh Khan,Priyanka Chopra,Boman Irani,Lara Dutta,Aly Khan

Indian Express Ratings: **1/2

Let me tell you why I was all set to enjoy the second coming of Don,that coolest bad guy of Bollywood. As played by Shah Rukh Khan,In and As,Don sports the snazziest threads,and a sexily scraggy look. In Part One,he carried a branded briefcase which would cost you and me an arm and a leg; in the sequel,we don’t see the monograms,but everything else that money can buy is glossily in our face. Ritzy nightclubs,glitzy hotel suites,and locations which take us around the world in two-and-a half hours. And most importantly,of course,the SRK swagger,played out as he goes about his lawless pursuits,accompanied by that half-amused glint,and those crooked lips whose fullness rivals that of his leading lady’s.

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And now let me tell you why I practically fell asleep in parts of the film. Director Farhan Akhtar’s skill at creating slickness is by now such a given,that you’d notice only if it was absent. But creating excitement,the kind of thrill-a-minute,edge-of-the-seat stuff this kind of a film needs,is missing. Except in small doses,when Don and his doings,including a mean roundhouse kick,are given a chance to leap off the screen,’Don 2’ comes off as slick,yet slack. And much too long.

In the age of the Mission Impossibles and the Bourne Identities,it’s tough to make a thriller set mostly in a West European city sit up and grab your attention. Most of Don 2’s impressive spit and polish is marred by a been-there,seen-that air. How many jailbreaks can you do which are different : the orange-costumed jailbirds behind a wire-mesh,the beefy cons and the aggression in the yard and the skirmishes in the toilet? How many car chases-and-smashes can you watch,even if efficiently executed — here on the streets and by-lanes of atmospheric Berlin — without your eyes glazing over?

Don’s familiar companions rally around again. Boman Irani as old foe Vardhan,whisked out of his Malaysian cell,to help Don with his latest plan. This involves a convoluted string of mobsters,blackmailed bankers,foiled assassination plotters,leading to a search for the thing that will make them all super rich. Priyanka Chopra as intelligence officer Roma,in her wide collared white shirts,fetching holster,and bee-stung,nude-coloured mouth. Om Puri as her retiree boss who is pressed into service to help her nab the one criminal who’s eluded him. New entrants Aly Khan (ambitious banker),Kunal Kapoor(wide-eyed hacker),Lara Dutta (shapely booty-shaker). All colourless adjuncts,who are doled out unintentionally hilarious lines.

The tone is set right in the beginning when a gangster addresses a bunch of baddies : so who’s in favour of killing Don? The whole thing is so much like a kindergarten class,you look around for obediently raised hands. Kapoor keeps saying : copy that. Puri gets to hold a loudhailer,and you nearly expect him to come out with that very 70s classic : ‘ab tum chaaron taraf se ghir gaye ho’. And even Don,who has his immortal third person catch-me-but-you-can’t dialogues,is made to say this : “tumhaare tukade tukade kar ke jail ke kutton ko khila doonga”. Just for the record,there are no ‘kutte’ to be seen. Only the dubbed-by-Don ‘Junglee Billee’ aka Roma,who has the funniest line in the film. In the middle of bombs going off,petrified hostages,and an ‘Oceans 11’ plus ‘Die Hard’ type operation,she splutters : he’s going to detonate another explosion! Really?

‘Don 2’ needed an energized,crackling plot. What it has,in almost too much abundance,is SRK dripping dimpled coolth. But cool can only take you so far.

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First published on: 23-12-2011 at 05:51:03 pm

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