20th October, 2006 saw the release of DON, starring Shahrukh Khan as DON; Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal among others. Farhan Akhtar marketed the movie as “his” version of the 1978 Nariman Irani’s mega blockbuster Don, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman and Pran. It certainly is “his” version, as he not only changed quite a few sequences but also the end completely!!DON, as a movie, is technically well made. Its got grandeur, style and great music - a perfect masala for a sure shot box office success. In fact, the very fact that it was promoted as a “remake” surely had everyone wondering what Farhan’s magic would do. The movie, undoubtedly is well made. What it grossly lacks is the brilliance of the actors which formed the essence of the original Don.
Shahrukh has been portrayed well, with all the style and grandeur but even when donning the best designer suits, he can not match the charisma of the original Don (Amitabh). In Don-I, when Amitabh enters, you can feel the sense of power oozing from him. He terrifies as well as amuses you, unlike shahrukh, who is simply incapable of having that kind of command over the role and the audience!!!
Priyanka is probably the only actor in the entire movie who manages to do a better justice to the role enacted by actors in the original make. She scores over Zeenat by a hundred. As for the rest of the actors, they grossly fall short.
Now, coming to the end of the movie. It is shown that DON is actually alive and his look-alike Vijay died long ago. Such an end probably satisifed the creative instinct of Farhan, but in retrospect, it kind of glorifies crime. It gives the audience the message of “The victory of evil over good”. May seem like not-a-big-deal. But, just think about the effect this may have over the mind of a 5-yr old who probably is a huge shahrukh khan fan and would do anything to imitate him.
Personal creativity set aside, actors and directors have a far bigger social responsibility than they assume. More on this in the next blog.
To conclude, DON is a good movie with bad actors and an unacceptable end!