Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Don 2: Don’t expect too much
It’s been a while since Bollywood dished out a slick, fast-paced action film. Wait, who am I kidding? Bollywood doesn’t do fast-paced action films any more, we just turn to Hollywood to get our share of those. So kudos to Farhan Akhtar that he thought of attempting it — not once but twice.
While the first was a remake of the 70s hit “Don”, the sequel is an entirely new story, and doesn’t have too many connections with the previous film, except for some of the characters who make a comeback.
We are introduced to Don (Shah Rukh Khan), five years after he escaped from the clutches of police — with longer hair and the entire Asian drug trade at his command. When he decides to move his trade to Europe, drug lords there decide that Don is better off dead. To escape from their clutches, and hoping to stay safe in prison, Don surrenders to Interpol officer Roma (Priyanka Chopra), who till 5 years ago, was part of his gang. How she makes that switch, we are never told.
Inexplicably, the minute he gets inside prison, Don makes a plan to escape. If all he wanted to do was escape immediately, why surrender in the first place? And that’s the first of the plot holes. Unfortunately, Akhtar makes no attempt to plug any of these holes — they only grow larger as the film progresses.
Don escapes with Vardhan (Boman Irani) and plans for a daring heist in Berlin with Roma hot on his trail.
Akhtar channels his inner Steven Soderbergh and a lot of the plot sounds similar to “Ocean’s Eleven”. However, what’s missing from this action film is some pace. If an action film begins to drag and you lose interest in the plot halfway, you know something’s wrong. By the time the climax rolls around and shows no sign of ending, you are squirming in your seat. In the last ten minutes, I had no idea why the characters were doing what they were doing.
There are plot holes the size of craters. The Interpol is shown to be as clueless as the audience, which I refuse to believe. On the plus side, the film is packaged very well and there are some sequences which make sure you are on the edge of your seat, especially the car chase sequence through the streets of Berlin.
Of the cast, Priyanka Chopra needs to do something about that accent of hers. She comes across as affected and artificial, and brings nothing to her character. Boman Irani makes all kinds of weird expressions and hams it up like there’s no tomorrow.
The best thing about “Don 2″ is Shah Rukh Khan — his swagger, the flick of the cigarette, the smirk — he embodies Don and his character, even better than he did in the previous film. He is very good in the action sequences as well, and when he is on screen, you don’t mind the other stuff as much.
This is not a film that will stay in your mind for long, but it’s worth a one-time watch, for Khan and for some slickly shot action sequences. Don’t go looking for anything else.