26 January 2012

“Don 2”: The Return of the King! by Simo Ezoubeiri

“Don 2” is a flick action thriller following the new adventures of Shah Rukh Khan (Don), and put together out of too many events that don’t fit smoothly together. The film lacks really a good script. However, it is moving like a turtle, but not as efficacious as it could have been. By saying that, the film’s formula has metamorphosed the “slowly-surely” notion in a concrete way.



“Don 2”: The Return of the King!
The film starts with an explanatory voice over and picks sur-le-champ where the previous remake left off. After being incognito, Don is now an international wanted villain in the Asian underworld, and has his great expectations to hit the European monetary market big time. 


The movie stars the king of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, a wicked villain with corny voice, cold persona and sharp mind who was incarcerated by the police (Priyanka Chopra and Om Puri) after surrendering himself to Interpol. He was sent to a Malaysian jail where his face-to-face with his ex-rival Vardhan (Boman Irani) has triggered our memory to the climax scene of 2007 “Don-The Chase Begins.” The scenes of the prison were perfect reminders of Tahar Rahim’s quarrel with some of his inmates in the most acclaimed French film “A Prophet” masterly directed by Jacques Audiard. 


Don manages to escape the prison with his buddy Vardhan a la John Dillinger’s style in “Public Enemies”, but with a Ben Affleck’s disguise suite and hat while driving an ambulance in his directorial debut of “The Town.” In return, Don is expecting collaboration from Vardhan to rob the currency plates from Berlin. He also hired a talented hacker (Kunal Kapoor) to monitor his plans, and watch his back from his enemies. 


Well, the action therefore plays out in Thailand; Shah Rukh Khan delicately incarnated Don in  an acting tour de force, which, with barely any dialogues, relies on the beautifully choreographed stunts and close-ups on his photogenic face. The movie benefits greatly from the stylish cinematography crafted by Jason West. (Rock On) 


Tricky enough in concept alone. But it has already been spotted months ago that Shah Rukh “did the stunts himself.” The character of Don is seen like Batman jumping off a sky keeper in Berlin, 300 feet in the air. The latter was a pure Hollywoodien sequence that was set up, filmed, and edited in a déjà-vu style, but yet provided my dizziness with enthusiastic fascination. 


In short, Don 2 is a terrific thriller with breathtaking action sequences in beautiful locations (Thailand, Germany, Malaysia...) Therefore, the method of the film was a linear storytelling scheme, with shy flashbacks that introduced new viewers to previous chapters from the first remake of 2007 “Don-The Chase begins.” Some of the characters are randomly added (A-list actor Hritick Rochan) and some of them are not really developed at all such as the case of Lara Dutta’s special appearance. Her role lacks connection into Don’s world, and failed to bring new dimensions to the core message of the film. Most Bollywood films, even the blockbuster ones, fade away like haze once you return to the tangible world; they leave clichéd memories behind, but their reality weaken fairly quickly. Not in this film, this exposed once again India’s finest actor at the peak of his art. No Indian crime film has ever been about one character- not even the joker of “the Dark Knight” By Christopher Nolan, although the tow characters are not really comparable. 


We all know that Shah Rukh Khan has emerged as playing negative roles with aplomb of his generation in Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam, and Dewaana. Here, Don is an arrogant chic villain, wild dare-evil, and has a similar walk type similar to Captain Jack Sparrow. Don is stylish on the outside, yet pitiless to set an enemy on fire. To give Don 2 its due, there is an open dénouement, which is probably the adequate one; nothing is settled yet in Don’s life, and Mr. Farhan Akhtar (Director of the film) doesn’t try yet to squeeze an ultimate solution after 145 minutes. There is a lot of interesting materials here, but its unshaped and adequately grappled with. Game Over.