Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Isha Koppikar
While it is a thorough entertainer: well crafted well executed, it took me still a while (2 years!) to see the movie, due to a fear of SRK from all the Karan Johar movies. But I began to come around to him this year, and when Bollywoodfan and I began to toss around the idea of a joint review of sorts, Don came to mind. You can read his detailed review here.
1- Where Dil Chahta Hai (2001) was blue, this was a very "green" movie, with purple accents- symbolic of money, greed and power- or was the director really thinking that much in depth about it? We may never know, but after having seen it, I do think that all the comparisons with the 1978 Don are a bit pointless- there are huge technological advancements from the time of course, but the plot deviates enough to make the 2006 version as unique as it could hope to get. (Note to self: What kind of a dumb ass ambivalent comment is that anyway???)
2- The "jail" break in the plane was such a rip-off of Con Air (1997)- but it works! SRK owns the entire sequence. Hilarious bit (I found it funny, alright?)- once he jumps off the plane and lands in the middle of what is a very typical, Malay Bhumiputra kampung (village), the background music switches to Chinese music... especially odd since the 2 kids who witness his landing are also obviously Malay/ Indo-Malay. (Note to self: Even if the music was bhangra or Pagliacci, it wouldnt matter a whit- stop splitting hairs dammit)
3- Priyanka wears a skin-tight leather outfit when she rescues SRK in the middle of KL- how??? The humidity alone would kill the girl. And she pull the caper in relative peace- there is not a car in sight- all in the middle of a bustling metropolitan city. Bollymagic.
4- SRK and Priyanka are offered paan (betel leaf) in the Banarsi (Varanasi, UP, India) style, which leads to the whole " Chora ganaga kinare waala" song- which is weird, since you cant get a paan like that outside of U.P. (Uttar Pradesh), let alone abroad.
5- I had heard that the movie really showcased Isha Koppikar's talents- I guess I missed that. All I saw of her was smiling meaningfully, while dressed in frumpy outfits.
1- Again, and I am getting repetitive, SRK, for all his arm-spread ham-iness, owns the movie.
2- Chunkey Pandey in a brilliant cameo- somehow this man appears way cooler now, doing cameos, than playing hero in his hey day- maybe he just needed to get older and shift off the center of the screen...
3- Pawan Malhotra and moustache- I love them both, so they had to make the list.
4- Boman- no need to add more than this.
5- The country and the locales- Malaysia! This movie, coupled with a tie-up between Malaysian Airways and Indian Airways (or it may be Air India- eh) catapulted Malaysia into becoming the vacation destination of choice for what appears to me as the entire Indian nation :)
1- HUGE plot holes- the biggest one being that the whole chase is supposedly after a teeny tiny dvd/cd- hello??? All Boman had to do (or Arjun or SRK) for that matter was make multiple copies of the thing. If it was encrypted, get a decent hacker, or a bunch of good hackers if need be) and cut that Gordian knot.
2- As funny was Pran walking the tightrope in the 70s version with 2 kids and a paunch, it is as hilarious to see a lame (not figuratively, literally) Arjun scaling skyscrapers- he is a programmer, not a gymnast, but I quibble..
3- Much as the costume designer loved SRK and Priyanka, he/she hated Isha and Kareena- terrible stuff that.
Pros & Cons:
1- Priyanka is gorgeous, ravishing, etc- but doesn't really have to do much- she is the one point in the movie that I tend to compare to the original, since Zeenat was oh about 2 million times cooler in the 70s version.
2- The songs- love the title and "Aaj ki raat" songs- not much else. I don't see the point of including the 70s versions in the movie at all. "Chora" adds nothing to the narrative- any song could replace it just fine. All "Ye Mera Dil" does is provoke comparison between Helen and Kareena, and of course Kareena falls short- not only is she being compared to Helen, but she is also dressed in horrible golden lamae.
3- #2 and #1 obvious lead us to note the fact the costumes were really cool, though more often than not, hideously dumb. As amazing as all the beautiful people look, they've all been dressed mostly in leather and velvet, which would make zero sense in the humid Tropical climate- linen or lycra would make more sense. (Note to self: Enough criticism- who's to say gangsters in hot and humid climes dont secretly wish to be stylish at the expense of feeling sweaty and sick? )