Thursday, December 28, 2006

Main Hoon DON...

Amitabh Bachchan gave every Indian male it's ultimate fantasy, DON. He was a dangerous hitman with women swirling around him. Every average joe wants to be like him even though they may never be able to become one, except one person, Vijay. Don is an ultimate cult movie to come out of Bollywood, although there can be no other cult movie like Sholay. A simple man gets entangled in the big bad world of women, wine and guns, and the only person who knows his identity, DCP D'Silva, dies in a shoot-out. It was a mark of genius from Salim Javed. 28 years later, son of Javed Akhtar directs the classic again but does he succeed?


Remaking DON was a high risk for Farhan and the expectations were high from him. I don't think Farhan delivered as expected because he delivered much more than what was expected of him. This is his most accomplished work till date. A film maker is judged from his second movie onwards because anyone can make his first one a good one because they live and breathe that movie all their life. Ignoring first two movies made by Ashutosh, Swades was a better movie than Lagaan in terms of maturity of story and acting, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander was a better fare than QSQT from Mansoor Khan, again from a film making point of view. On the other hand, Mohabattein was a crappy dish after DDLJ (which I believe was directed by Yash because I can recognize his direction with my closed eyes and no way director of Mohabattein can be the same one as DDLJ) and so was Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham after a decent Kuch Kuch Hota Hain from Karan. Farhan Akhtar's Lakshya was way more mature than Dil Chahta Hain, in terms of characterisation, direction, screenplay and acting. Don is better than the first two because its hard to stay true to the original movie, which was a classic, and yet make the movie which is Farhan's own.


These days when so many movies are inspired by Hollywood, Farhan Akhtar remakes a classic and yet transforms it into his own DON. He pays rich tribute to the old movie but turns the movie on its head to make it his own (spoiler ahead in next few lines). As an audience you see the movie through Vijay's eyes but the end jolts you hard because the movie was being played through Don's eyes instead. I had to watch the movie twice to notice how Vijay before dieing tries to tell the inspector that he is Vijay and not Don, through his eyes. Also, in the movie one gets surprised how Vijay becomes Don so easily but realises in the end that it was infact Don who becomes Vijay and because becoming Vijay was easier than being Don, the transformation is justifiable. I think one has to see the movie twice to understand these nitty gritties of Farhan's version. For e.g. when Vijay (disguised as Don) is on phone if you look in the TV, you can see Tom and Jerry being played and it was Don's favorite not Vijay's. Another scene where he and Priyanka goes to pick up Deepu but Vijay just looks around the school without approaching Deepu because he didn't knew what Deepu looks like in reality. Its a very intelligent movie, which itself is a rarity in Bollywood.


The movie has a connection with me too. No No, I am not like Don but the character of Arjun Rampal is named Jasjit, which is my name and very unusual for a character in a movie. Infact, I have hardly heard this name anywhere else.



Shah Rukh Khan after a while (infact after Swades) gave a restrained performance. Although, the movie required over-the-top performance because of Don's character but it was still very subtle. Recently, he has been doing lot of girly/loser performances, thanks to Karan but this movie brings the Baazigar kind of performance in him, which made him the star in the first place. Its hard to match Amitabh's footsteps but only SRK could have done this role because on one hand Amitabh is good at playing any role even that of ego-maniac Don, but to SRK it comes naturally. Farhan should also be credited for introducing a new style in the movie like in DCH with printed ties along with same print shirts. Priyanka was looking sultry as Roma although its no comparison to Zeenat Aman's of 70s. Although, the person that took the cake in this new movie was Boman Irani, who completely changed the character of Inspector D'Souza and made it his own.

Kareena tried her best to look sexy but she still could not match the moves of Helen and considering Helen was almost 40ish when she did that dance sequence, its remarkable.

The songs of the movie are groovy at its best. The remixed version of old ones are nicely done paying rich tribute to the classic esp. Khaye kee paan banaras waala, which is sung very well by SRK if not better than Amitabh's version. The action of the movie is truly international. The cinematography is world-class and the screenplay is crisp.

Amitabh Bachchan's Don started a whole genre of movies based on Underworld and although Farhan's won't do the same, it will certainly be remembered as the biggest tribute the original Don. No one can make the movie as good as the original because as Don says, "Don ko pakadna mushkil hee nahin..."

23 Comments:

Anonymous AINDRILA said...

I dunno abt all this but man...did I like that movie!!!!!!!!!!!!! Somehow I liked it better than the old one... :)

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Amor said...

I agree with Aindrila..don't know about all the diagnosis but SRK was a far better movie than the old. He suited the role of a don better...

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Mehak said...

Will have to settle with Bronze this time :((

9:14 PM  
Anonymous red said...

to be very honest, i haven't seen this new one and don't remember much of the older one. but ur post is superb.though remakes are in the most difficult category of comparison.but they give audience a wider view of same thing.hope you have a great year ahead.take care.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Mehak said...

WOW Ricks...what a detailed review...Loved it..Infact its way better than what I've read on rediff/newspapers...Good Job :P

I enjoyed the movie....& give FULL CREDIT to Farhan for his tribute to Amit's DON !!! The hi-tech gizmos, action sequences, attire...everything for FARHAN aka FAB style...

I think there is no use in comparing the old with the new one...Though no one can match Amitabh..but then SRK was'int bad here...

I like the pics you've selected for this post....

Now, waiting for Honeymoon travels pvt ltd...produced by Farhan Akhtar....

9:32 PM  
Blogger faith said...

he has been doing lot of girly/loser performances

lolll..

nice review.. ab to dekhni hi padegi :P

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Ragz said...

U've hit the bullseye,Ricky..right on all counts!I too loved the movie..really slick and the Don playing himself was a cool twist.Agree with u totally that for SRK,playing this character would have been much easier than for AB..that cool arrogance,'u cant beat me' look is in born in SRK.Yes,Kareena's performance was one of the putoffs..i think she tried too hard!
Saw the old DON on TV last week..slept thru' the 2nd half(3rd half)..it was way too long!!

11:20 PM  
Blogger anks said...

though an SRK fan, i didn't see Don... prob because i wasn't gung-ho about the film. have never ben an AB fan (not even close in fact) I'll probably just give him a cursory glance and move on if i spot him somewhere!!! Add to that the insufferable Kareena and Priyanka and i definitely wanna stay away from this fare?

11:33 PM  
Blogger Colors said...

First of all...thanks for the sending me the movie. I was not very interested in watching this movie since I hadn't heard nice reviews about it. But after watching it, I realized I almost missed seeing a very enjoyable movie!

I don't remember watching the old movie so all I was expecting was lots of glamor and style of the character Don (coz thats what I read that the movie was all about). But I have to admit, the movie kept me on the edge throughout! The twists are brilliant!! And I have to agree with you, SRK has done a great job.

Your review is awesome. I hadn't realized the small details you have pointed out. Those minor details are what marks a good director. Well written!!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Colors said...

BTW, don't you think this movie leads a way for Don II the sequel?

11:47 PM  
Blogger Urvi said...

Wow.. wht a detailed review.. me too liked ths movie.. Farhan is gr8.. good action sequences... nodoubt SRK has a done good job.

Yaa. therz no point of comparison with the old one.. Old one was v.good for tht time.. Amitabh is looking dashing... n no one can compete him.. The new one is v.good at its place..

A film maker is judged from his second movie.. well said ricky.. nd as u said for Ashutosh.. i completely agree with u... Swades was nodoubt a very good movie wid a good story.. nd lagaan was best at its place.. And yes.. Farhan's Lakshya was excellent one...

Wow ricky.. how beautifully u hav compared all these n the review narrated by u is jst excellent...

On n on.. Good one.. :)

4:03 AM  
Anonymous kaush said...

well thankyou!!!! because most people did not like srk in the movie and did not like the movie..but I have almost identical sentiments as you about the movie...it was a brilliant tribute to the old one. if people compare it definitely its not gonna be as good as the first one..but if you see it as a stand alone movie then yes it is a respectable tribute to Don and Farhan's own movie as well.

And SRK needs to be applauded too for all the instances you mentioned...anotherinstance was when he is fighting with Roma when she tries to kill just before Desilva enters he says in a very angry tone "ab main tumhe batata hu main kaun hoon" and you know he would have killed her after telling her he was Don if desilva hadnt entered..brilliant I thought!!!

I didn ot comment onthe earlier post (for some reason i thought i did) but it was good to know about all the churches i had no idea about) good one ricky..liked this post a lot!

8:21 AM  
Anonymous kaush said...

Kareena I think was pathetic....Sushmita would have done the job VERY WELL had she been casted....

8:24 AM  
Blogger Fuzzylogic said...

I liked srk's performance in the movie,as you truly said it brought back the Baazigar days!I liked the movie but its tough to view it as a movie it itself without comparing it with the original one.Kareena didn't even come close to the legendary Helen though she did try her best.If only one could go to see the movie with an open mind and give credit to the maker who presented a different view point then only will they be able to appreciate it.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Chandanjali said...

I came here to wish you,
A very happy new year,
To bring u a smile,
Than the shed tears,
Forget the pain of the past,
Because after tonight this year itself wont last,
So just rejoice the forthcoming new year...
Have just fun....no pain or fear...

Came here after long and felt really nice....Happy new year dear friend Ricky

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

loveeee this review ..so true!! :D thank god soebody else also saw what an intelligent movie "don" is!! :) n hey..am still waiting for another best of india post...
payal

11:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

aindrila - Yea, it was good.

amor - Thanks for visiting me. Yea, I loved it too.

mehak - Tera Gold is always reserved jee.

red jee - Thank You jee!! Yea, a kind of second take...

mehak - Thankoooooooo!! Aree itna matt upar chadha yaar...he he.

Yea, this was Farhan's DON. SRK is alright when the director is good.

Honeymoon Travels, looks interesting too.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

faith - Abhi tak dekhi nahin hain kya?? Dekho, jaldi. Its my order :P

ragz - Thanks Ragz. Kareena was too chubby for that song with all the matka jhatkas. I haven't seen old DON in years now. Hope to see it cometime and have a good nap like you...lol

anks - Weird!! You are the first one to say that. Priyanka is hot aur ho bhi kyun na, Army officer ke beti hain :D

2:30 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

colors - You are always welcome. Yea, that's the word, enjoyable or entertaining. Yea, I had low expectations too but somehow I had faith in Farhan.

Thanks!! I had to see it twice to notice those things.

DON II is in the making but Farhan won't direct it although SRK and Farhan will produce it.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

urvi - Thanks Urvi!! I agree with you on all the counts :-)

kaush - You are welcome. You can't compare to old one because that was an original but its always difficult to have a different take on an original and that's what makes this movie great.

I thought Roma already knew he was Don and he also knew that she knew. But yea, it was a good sequence none the less.

Thanks!! I didn't knew a lot too but had to do some research.

I think Katrina would have been great...yummy.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Ricky said...

fuzzylogic - I agree with you about Kareena. Yea, you are right about last point completely.

chandanjali - Happy New Year to you!! Thanks!! I am glad to see you here too.

payal - Thanks Payal. I will sprinkle the "Best of India" posts in between :-)

2:40 PM  
Blogger Reema said...

arreyy waah! lagta hai yeh review meri yaad mey likha gaya hai :p Ricky se srk kee taarefein sunne ko mil rahi hain, kya din aagaye hain.. :D

11:21 PM  
Blogger Reema said...

seriously though, brilliantly written.. at every point i was like 'omg, that is so right!' hehe, i had to watch it twice too.. (cud watch a zillion more times waise :p) n he made it soo clear that Don Don hai n not Vijay..
i saw the original after it.. liked it! but the twist in the end in this one was a real shocker!

11:24 PM  

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