The ApunKaChoice movie review of Don 2. We all know that to catch Don is a mission impossible even for Ethan Hunt, but wait a minute, ten minutes into the film and we see a white-clad Don walking right in the police den and surrendering before the very girl he describes as his buri aadat (bad habit), his Junglee Billi -- now a cop -- who smirks at the hairy crimelord and shoves him into the slammer in Kuala Lumpur! Is that the end of Don? But wait another minute, unlike the sultry copper, we the audiences aren’t nitwits to be led astray by Don’s ruse. Something is cooking in his fertile head, and that’s a grand plan to befriend his imprisoned enemy Vardhaan and go robbing a bank in Berlin of its precious currency plates. This Don, you see, thinks big. Why steal money when you can print it right in your backyard! But the heist is easier etched on paper than pulled off in a high security bank, with surveillance cameras, chemical gases, pressure-sensitive floors, secret codes and passwords. A job made all the more difficult with an accomplice itching to betray and settle an old score.
Don 2 unravels on a wide canvas. From the backwaters of Thailand it hops into a Malaysian prison, and after a daring prison-break it zips straight to Zurich before going ballistic on the streets of Berlin and exploding in the Deutsche Zentral Bank. Farhan Akhtar dots the film with timely twists and turns, always keeping an ace up his sleeve to surprise you. Just when Don seems cornered and done for, there’s a close getaway: a jump off a skyscraper, a swim through an underground waterway, or a chase ending in the carnage of cars.
And grinning through all this sound and fury is the film’s frontman, Shahrukh Khan, his swagger and smugness unscathed. There is a charisma to Shahrukh’s villainy. His Don has a cavalier disregard for danger, smiles through the slaughter, is as much flippant as ferocious, and incredibly agile. He can sky-dive, deep-swim, drive like hell, and even walk upside down on a metal ceiling with magnetized grips. A heck of a job demanding as much sweat as strut from the leading man. And Shahrukh Khan delivers in the way only he can. He makes even infamy adorable. Kudos!
Not much is demanded of Priyanka Chopra until the last half hour, when Farhan Akhtar slips in an interesting tangent of romance between Roma and Don. Amid all the shootouts and blasts, sparks fly between the two, and it’s here Priyanka delivers the best expressions. Lara Dutta makes a confectionary cameo as Don’s moll and Boman Irani is every bit into the skin of his sneering and wicked Vardhaan. Kunal Kapoor, playing a hacker, doesn’t bring forth any eccentricity characteristic of such nerds, and Om Puri hardly gets a role to justify his copious talent.
The action and stunts are cutting edge and you can’t help loving Jason West’s cinematography, but not as much as hating Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s compositions. Thankfully, Farhan Akhtar doesn’t cram the film with too many songs, but how one wishes he had toned down on the dialogue baazi. A crunchy oneliner here or there is harmless, but a stream of dialogues -- about Don precluding the clever tricks of his enemies, about Don keeping a tab on his foes, about Don’s capture being namumkin -- do grate on your nerves. The finale too seems stretched a bit, even though Farhan ties the loose ends well and lets Don make a clean break to freedom.
To watch or not?
Sure. Go for it. It may not be the best film of the year, but Don 2 sure is slick, stylish and speedy. My suggestion: watch it in 3D.