Don: The Chase Begins (2006)
Director: Farhan Akhtar
Did I watch this recently? Yes
Remake from the 1978 Original with Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan stars in this version as Don. Don is a ruthless drug cartel member from Malaysia which is headed by Singhania. Killing anyone who gets in the way of his success has lead to enemies including Kamini (Kareena Kapoor), Jasjit (Arjun Rampal) and most of all Roma (Priyanka Chopra) who are all focused on killing Don.
The police force is hot on Don’s tail and after a police operation is seriously injured. Suddenly Don returns with memory loss – what has happened to Don? There are many more twists and turns along the way in this movie, but i’m trying to provide a spoiler free synopsis so as not to ruin the movie for any new watchers like me who do not know the storyline.
One thing must be noted before i give a review on Don the remake – i haven’t seen the first one! A grave sin i know but going from remake to original i think will also be interesting – so yeah this review is being made out of context about my feelings on the original.
As for whether i care if this is a remake of a 70s classic – meh! I don’t care unless they do a disastrous job e.g RGV Aag. There are certain things in life that are certain – death, taxes, fashion being reintroduced and movies constantly being remade.
I went and saw this movie in the cinemas at an indian film festival (a year after release) so there was 2 indians out of the 30 people in the cinema…as any self respecting indian would have seen it and owned a pirate copy of it already and would never pay $12 to re see it. So the rest of the viewers were 80% white. Which had amusing reactions at times from what i observed (but i’ll get into that later).
I’ve been avoiding Don for a year. The promos and tryhard cool lines of Shahrukh did put off the desire to see this movie. But then my sister (a big Shahrukh fan) saw that this film was being played at the festival so I thought why not and went along. The first 20 mintues was everything i expected. The one-liners by ‘Don’ were so cheesy and wanna be cool that i knew i was right. ‘Not only is it hard to capture Don, it’s impossible’ or something along those lines. Overall I just sat back and rolled my eyes. Then enter Kareena – ohh the dance scene with her. The bad fashioned dress, the same dance move over and over again – it was cringe worthy to see her perform that song and seduce Don. So after that everything felt forced and fake – bollywood trying some it isnt.
Then enters the a turn in the story and all of a sudden its wasn’t just another boring thriller it had a interesting multiple twist story to go along with it. That more like it! After that I really started to enjoy Don. I either was getting used to the one-liners or was getting more into the story i didn’t care about the forcefulness of the ‘cool’ factor. Songs improved too thanks to Ishaa and Priyanka – Maurya Re, Aaj Ki Raat and Main Hoon Don were my favourites.
I’m amazed myself i had not stumbled upon the Don spoilers before. I swear i must have read them before, but i thankfully forgot them. It made the movie all the more enjoyable. I could stand the 3 hours running time because the movie kept changing and kept the viewer guessing. I think some of the action scenes could have been trimmed and the wedding scene and song ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’ cut all together (as it had absolutely no point). When that Khaike Paan Banaraswala song came on it was reaching 2.5 hrs and when the audience suddenly realised SRK was breaking into song again i swear i heard half the audience groan hahaha. Additionally whenever romance suddenly broke out in the middle of a scene i heard some groans from the audience as well.
Priyanka was enjoyable in this film, i like it when she stays away from comedy and sticks to her dramas. I think thats her talent. She also more then proved herself in the action scenes. As for SRK although hes not exactly how i would picture a suave gangster, but he does have the charisma and moves that Don requires. The age gap between Priyanka and SRK didn’t really bother me as I thought it would. Ishaa is unfortunately forgettable in her role as Anita and will once again be relegated to supporting cast in her upcoming movies instead of a heroine like Priyanka.
Overall Score: 3.5/5 Hairy Anil Kapoors – Any Shahrukh fan will definetely enjoy it but for me thanks to the interesting storyline and sophisticated fight scenes I quite enjoyed Don, considering i was trying to avoid it. Worth the watch!