Though one was clear about what 'Don' would be like when Shahrukh Khan decided to remake the Amitabh Bachchan starrer, there was absolutely no clue thrown around what is in store from 'Don 2'. Well, here is the reason why. It is apparent that the makers of the film (Farhan Akhtar, Shahrukh Khan and Ritesh Sidhwani) didn't want to confuse audience since 'Players', which is about to release soon, is also based on the same theme.
Yes, the fact is that at the core of it all, both 'Don 2' and 'Players' deal with a heist. While gold bars worth crores is at stake in 'Players', the target for 'Don 2' is a bank. While one still awaits the outcome of the former, one can comfortably state that latter has indeed raised the bar. Pun intended.
Still, one can't really say that 'Don 2' begins with a bang. Oh yes, there is banging and all involved but frankly, the entire 'let's kill Don' followed by the fight sequence isn't just a direct repeat of what one had seen in 'Don', it is also plain ordinary. The drama picks up though once Shahrukh catches up with Boman Irani (Vardhan) in jail and hatches his plan. 20 minutes into the film and you are hooked for good as you get sucked into Don's plan here. Whether it is the jail break or the strategy devised around looting the bank, it is tough to blink an eyelid.
That's because the second half of the film is an altogether different experience. To think of it, there are just two episodes that make for the 70 odd minutes that follow post the intermission. While first episode involves getting into the bank, the second is about getting out of it. It is to the credit of a well designed screenplay that makes you forget that popcorn tub and concentrate entirely on what really unfolds on screen.
With number of players involved in this heist like a hacker (Kunal Kapoor), a tough goon (Nawab), Vardhan, the moll (Lara Dutta), Interpol (Priyanka Chopra, Om Puri), German police, the Bank Vice President (Alyy Khan) and of course, Don himself, it turns out to be one roller coaster ride that is not just well written but also intelligently executed while being brilliantly shot.
Anything that sticks out as a sore thumb? Well, the fact that 3D conversion here is hardly the kind that makes much of a difference to the visuals. It doesn't add much value to the visual appeal of the film and one just hopes that in the near future if a film decides to arrive in 3D, it is actually shot in real 3D instead of a conversion coming into play. Having said that, one is still willing to ignore this aspect of the film since right through the narrative, there is an enigmatic mix of tension and charisma that Don creates which ensures a steady momentum.
The man who makes this possible is Shahrukh Khan who gets into a mode like this after ages. He did get some flak for 'Ra. One' whereas in 'My Name Is Khan' and 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi', he was hardly a hero that audience would have loved to see him as. However with 'Don 2' he gets the menacing side of him on display while charming the audience enough to root for him despite enacting a negative character.
Boman Irani, who has continued from where he left in 'Don', has the maximum screen time after Shahrukh and is well in his character without going overboard. This isn't the kind of film where she was required to display histrionics but in the limited scheme of things, Priyanka Chopra fits in well. Lara Dutta adds glamour to the proceedings and adds value in a guest appearance. Amongst the other supporting actors, Kunal is immensely likeable and brings in a boyish charm. Om Puri is quite dispensable though Alyy Khan is controlled and plays his part gracefully. Nawab does well again, as always, and rises above the stereotype.
'Wow' - Now this is what you end up exclaiming not just around the time when end credits start rolling for 'Don 2' but quite a few times during the two and a half hours narrative of the film. Now this is one film which doesn't take audience's intelligence for granted. Gripping, stylish, thrilling and constantly making you think about what would happen next, 'Don 2' is unpredictable with several engaging sequences that ensure that it turns out to be much more than just a 'paisa vasool' affair.