2.5 Good

Don – The Chase Begins Again

Don !!! This single word has mesmerised hindi movie fans for the whole of the past decade and continues to do so till date ..... Don - The Chase Begins, in the words
of the makers is a tribute to the old or rather the original Don, but in my opinion is the beginning of an era of remakes .... With a couple of cult movies like Sholay
and classics like Umrao Jaan being remade, Don being the first of its kind, wanders off into an unknown territory, where noone has been in hindi cinema before, the territory of remakes ....

In the past few months Don has generated quite a bit of hysteria amongst the original Don fans, which is expected as SRK - The King Khan steps into the shoes of Amitabh Bacchan - The Legend ..... And as we all know SRK can't ever quite fit into Bacchan's shoes both physically and on screen, a fact which is reiterated in this movie.... Now lets get to the details of the movie ... Does the new Don live up to the expectations ??? Does the movie match up to the original ??? I am afraid that in both the cases the negatives overshadow the positives ..
Now let me explain why ......

Don as in the original in this movie is also a dreaded criminal who has been evading the police for many years now and is on the wanted list of virtually the who's who of the international police ... The movie starts off in a stylish way in Paris with a shot of SRK in a coffee shop answering the phone mouthing the word DON ...With this word you embark on a journey that shows promise in the beginning but falters as the movie progresses... .The movie after a well shot fight sequence, then shifts base to KL in Malaysia where the story starts unfolding .... As cop Desilva ( Boman Irani ) is briefing the Malaysian police we find out that one Mr .Singhania and Mr. Vardhaan are two wanted crimianals who have been working for a drug trafficker Boris .... As Boris chooses Singhania to be his successor Vardhaan eliminates Boris and has been absconding ever since.... Also the police has photos of Singhania but Vardhaan remains a faceless criminal .... Don is the brain that runs the show for Singhania from Malaysia and in the words of Desilva is the most dreaded criminal yet .... Narang is one of the close associates of Don and Anita (Isha Koppikar) is the Don's female interest in the movie ... In the beginning we see Ramesh being murdered by Don for having wanted to leave Don's syndicate ..... Kamini ( Kareena Kapoor ) happens to be his fiancee and Roma (Priyanka Chopra) happens to be his sister .... Kamini tries to get Don captured by playing a temptress and enticing him into her web but unfortunately she too dies realising one thing that "Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai" .... As the movie progresses we find out that by staging an event Roma enters Don's crime syndicate and awaits the right oppurtunity to have her revenge .... Unfortunately Don gets captured after a car chase during a drug deal in India and gets badly injured .... Desilva hatches a plan to keep Don alive under sedatives and convinces his lookalike Vijay to take his place promising him that a boy called Dipu who lost is mother(Sushma Reddy) and got seperated from his father Jasjit(Arjun Rampal) in a tragedy, will be looked after and will be provided with the best of education .... Soon after Vijay undergoes some operations and training and is on his way to KL where he is resuced by his associates in a bizzarely shot sequence which looks quite unbelievable and a tad bit ridiculous ... Vijay as Don according to Desilva's plan plays a Don sans memory and slowly as he starts gathering more information about Don, and slowly starts to regain his lost memory ....Soon we are led to the most awaited song in the movie Main Hoon Don which has been brilliantly shot and is one of the highlights of the film ... Realising that Don has regained his memory, Roma unaware of the truth accompanies Don on a deal with the intention to kill Don .... Only after a failed attempt does she realise that a lookalike called Vijay has actually taken the position of Don on the behest of cop Desilva, where Vijay hands over a cd containing the information about all the criminals Don is associated with to Desilva....Jasjit who has been put behind bars by Desilva is released from prison for a robbery he is forced to do during this time .... Jasjit seething with anger due to the death of his wife and loss of his son sets out to KL to kill Desilva .... But realises upon meeting Desilva that he is the only person who can lead him to his son and as a backup robs the cd from Desilva's house .... Soon after this we are led to song sequence wherein Singhania gets killed by Vardhaan( whose identity has not been revealed here as it as an integral part of the movie) and Don gets caught by the police and cop Desilva dies in an accident ... Now begins the chase as Don's associates find out that he is not the real Don and the cops believe that he is the real Don .... Unfortunately the only person aware of his identity is not alive anymore, Don finds himself in a bizzare mess where both Don's associates and the cops are gunning for his head ... Will Vijay be able to prove his innocence or will Vardhaan have the last laugh are the questions that are answered in the latter part of the second half ....

Farhan Akhtar as a director has done an extremely good job and has shot some of the sequences with deft execution .... Unfortunately a slightly flawed script spoils the show for him ... As in the words of Don, " Ek gandi machli pure talaab ko kharaab kar deti hai " ..... The locales are exotic and the visuals are stunning ... It is an extremely slick movie and hats off the director in this department .... Farhan does manage to engage the viewer in bits with his own twists to the tale...Although the buildup to the climax is not all that great the climax does take you unaware and is for me the highlight of the movie but again in my cinematic opinion the explanation he gives to the climax takes the punch out of it ....

In the performance section SRK has done a good job although not an excellent one in playing Don immortalised by Amitabh Bacchan but falters while playing the character of Vijay.... His mannerisms as a Banarasi look forced and do not make for a pleasant viewing and so does the immortal song Khaike Pan Banaras Wala which looks totally out of place in this movie .... SRK's decent performance's credit goes to Farhan Akhtar as he has been able to keep the exaggerated mannerisms we have come to associate SRK with to a minimum in this movie although he is not devoid of them .... Boman Irani excels in his role and plays his character very well ... .Priyanka Chopra is suprisingly good and steps into Zeenat Aman's shoes with ease .... Arjun Rampal doesn't get much scope to act in this movie but does decent enough in this limited oppurtunity that he gets ... Om Puri as an Interpol Officer has been wasted since he doesnt exactly play the original role of Malik ... Kareena Kapoor is glamorous .... Isha Koppikar is decent ....

On the whole the movie is a letdown when compared to the original in the story department but makes up for it in the visuals and the screenplay ... Although the movie will make a lot of moolah because of the Diwali/Eid holidays it is not the right start for the era of remakes .... To sum it up it is basically a story with a lot of promise but turns out to be unfortunately average when viewed in totality .....

Rating : 6.0/10