Director : Farhan Akhtar
Cast & Crew : Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Boman Irani, Om Puri, Hrithik Roshan, Florian Lukas, Kunal Kapoor
Synopsis: "Don 2: The Chase Continues" is an upcoming Hindi action thriller film directed by Farhan Akhtar. It is the sequel to the 2006 film, "Don: The Chase Begins Again", which itself is a remake of the 1978 film Don. The film stars Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani and Om Puri, reprising their roles from the previous film, with Lara Dutta and Kunal Kapoor playing new characters. Hrithik Roshan will be seen doing a cameo appearance in the film.
Review: What is a sequel if not the cinematic equivalent of a late comer arriving rather fashionably late at the most buzzing party in town. The timing is perfect but sometimes the impact made is far lesser than intended. In the case of an ardent Shah Rukh fan, a tad disappointing because there is so much enigma and expectation surrounding Don. He in his efforts to leap ahead his enemies does a fine act of blending in both Ethan Hunt & James Bond but this time around in his second innings he seems a little creatively aloof from the goal of empowering Don to spring alive. What charms though is SRK’s mafia vagabond attire and unflinching body language. In "Don 2 : The Chase Continues", Don is too preoccupied with being chased and expertly escaping chases he himself triggers. The pace of the plot in the first half is rather dragged and the second half suddenly is replete with twists that are struggling to fit in to the small time frame they are granted. Had crime fiction author Jeffery Archer chosen to direct it in his hay days he would have added the much needed innovation to Don’s tall claim "Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, naa mumkin hai."
Second time around Don’s claim sounds mechanical and not too enticing in the film simply because Don seems frivolous in his desire to escape – sometimes surrendering, sometimes conning and fleeing. He lacks consistency in purpose. He seems too surefooted and before you know it, he randomly decides to be loyal to the team of cops wanting to nail him down. Seems too far-fetched for Don to do that, totally kills his long applauded invincibility. Accessibility to Don robs him of his charm. But the hero of the film is its locales spanning from Thailand, Malaysia, Zurich and Berlin. The slick cinematography expertly follows the unsparing exploits of the ruthless gangster.
As for the plot that shows little besides Don plotting big game plans. Here goes. Taking off from the first film, we see Don re-invented in Thailand where he creates a raucous with an opponent gang and coolly surrenders himself to his old victim cum cop Roma played by Priyanka Chopra & her boss Om Puri. Transported to a Malaysian prison he is confronted by old foe Vardhan ( Boman Irani ) who he convinces to partner him and escape along with him from the suavely structured prison. The rest of the film revolves around the duo’s plan to rob the Germans off their currency plates from a huge security vault in Berlin. His befriending Roma is his big fat game plan to banish the bosses of the European underworld and law enforcement agencies. But throughout the film he is caught up with the arduous task of avoiding assassination as well as arrest. And perhaps that’s where the script slackens.
A must mention is Don’s 300 feet plunge in a bid to dodge his assassin ala Cruise’s Burj Khalifa stint in "Mission impossible : Ghost Protocol". Quite riveting. Priyanka Chopra looks great but is hardly performing; she lacks the spirit of vengeance this time around. The car chasing sequence between her and Don is the only time we see Roma’s aggression surface. But it goes kaput as we strangely see her nursing an attraction towards the gangster at the end. Too insipid and pointless as he was the one responsible for her brother’s death. Om Puri has a miniscule part to play and Boman Irani being the genius he is does great justice to playing a bruised opponent of Don. Lara Dutta as Don’s aid and team member is quite glamorously unproductive. Kunal Kapoor as Don’s close aide is complex, subtle and very impressive. Alyy Khan as a blackmailed diplomat delivers a great performance in his baritone voice and convincing composure. SRK has demeaned Don commendably well but he needs to add more passion to Don’s unbeatable mastermind plans. Wish the story could still leap ahead of its times, as it comes to us from Farhan Akhtar’s stable. Even his “Karthik Calling Karthik” was far more applauding in its manner of breaking clutter with plot. Don in Part 2 is too much in twos, he has great attitude but seems to lack focus. Something Don Part 1 spelt effortlessly. Fabulously shot, a lot like an international crime fiction best seller coming alive onscreen. In its locales it sets a huge benchmark.
Die hard Shah Rukh fans may just swoon over his trademark King Khan wickedness. But if you are truly trying to chase Don around the second time you may find him too available rather than invincible. Humanizing Don would have worked better.Or simply evolving his cunning convictions too would have helped. A budget of over 75 crores called for investing in the right amount of innovation. Chasing Don seemed ‘Mushkil” but this time around hardly ‘na Mumkin’.
Verdict : Don in his second innings seems re-invented, but not innovative enough.