Milind’s Reflections: Don 2 Review: On the fringes of Masterpiece!!

A long bridge.Blue Skies.A Ray of Asphalt.And the protagonist riding a bike across it after having beaten all around him through a demonstration of wit that had traces of both dark humour and megalomania.As soon as he reaches the car where his accomplice is waiting for him,he smiles,reminisces his invincibility,stretches himself,relaxes and quips–Don ko Pakadna–and then laughs as if laughing at all the men who ever had dreamed of laying their hands on him. Thus the climax acts as a perfect prelude to the whole film.And Don 2 actually lays it claim on being a modern day classic but eventually ends on the fringes of being one!!

Don is about a man whose name is never known to anyone,neither to the men who follow him blindly nor to the men who are vying for his blood.Its all about the celebration of eccentricity to an extent.It is about a discussion on a man who always refers to himself in Third Person thereby signifying the magnitude of his invincibility that also gets ratified by the manner in which he dominates any situation and turns them to his advantage.He plays the game but forces others to think that he is just another player.It is all about a perfect amalgamation of pure wit and heinous intent.He is not born to be faithful to anyone except himself.He totally lives the “I” in the English Vocabulary.And Farhan’s Don redefines the many characters of Amitabh’s Don to suit the persona of SRK. And SRK does not disappoint,he lives the role flamboyantly and imparts it the much needed emphasis.

The negative disposition of character is not at all written in a manner that warrants a serious brooding face or a maniac mannerism.It demands a confident man who knows his next move better than his past one.It requires a mannerism that exudes a sense of self-belief that one will carry off any circumstantial obligation that may crop up.It is all about a scheming persona who has written the end of the play months prior to its commencement. At best he can be described as feline,fiendish,smart and devilish.But this devil carries a sense of finesse. He is polished in mannerism,refined in attitude and perfect in his modus operandi.In contrast to Amitabh as Don,this Don allows us to see various aspect of psychology through his actions.Psychologically this Don is far more deranged than the former one,far more scheming but also a bit less emphatic.Here Don is not a person of colossal persona but here he is more like a commoner who will eventually beat everyone with his mind that is as sharp as his skills.

I have only talked about Don in this write up as this film is only about him.All others are inconsequential,they are there to justify the invincibility of a man who will be remembered down the lanes of cinema as Don..the man who sold the world and then rode off……SRK is just a medium of expression of this character…Don will live on though in the chronicles of Indian Cinema..largely due to Amitabh’s actions and aptly supplemented and redefined due to SRK’s personal contribution to the character…and not to forget the duo that gave us one of the best villains of Indian Cinema..the one whose win makes us happy…Don!!!

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24 Comments
  1. Author
    Milind 8 years ago

    My first post on this forum..and my first after a very very long time!! Thanks 🙂

  2. Power 8 years ago

    good milind ji

  3. sputnik 8 years ago

    Good Review Milind. Thanks for finally posting your Don 2 review but this is like an appetizer.

    I think the movie successfully managed to combine a heist genre from Hollywood with the Don. Here is my review if you haven’t read. I cannot write like you though.

    Link

  4. sputnik 8 years ago

    I have seen some reviews and comments on Don 2 by a few and these are ridiculous.

    They are asking dumb questions like why is Don so smart or why is it all about Don or why does he constantly praise himself. They bring out silly points like the opponents are not worthy or that Don is shown as a small thief or why does Don do everything himself or why are they so many explosions or why were there romantic scenes in the climax or have issues with the mask scene.

    I wonder if these people have even seen the movie properly or if they have seen the old Don starring Amitabh. Don is an over smart character from the old Don (Amitabh one) itself. He is so smart that he knows some guy has a message in his shoe heel. Now these people will not ask the question as to how Amitabh knew there was something in the shoe heel.

    Don constantly refers to himself in the third person from the old Don itself – its not like SRK and Farhan started that. In a James Bond movie or a Bourne movie or even the Ocean’s Eleven are the opponents worthy? Aren’t the protagonists too smart for their opponents?

    The movie showed that the stealing was just a small part of the plan and there was a master-plan behind all that. And he did have accomplices (Boman, Kunal, Jabbar character) so he was not doing everything alone. And as to explosions the old Don had that too with the briefcases and they were continuing on the original.

    When Priyanka is shot he doesn’t even care and all the preceding romantic scenes were just the Don needling her and using her. Now in the old Don, Amitabh had people working for him too but then why was he going to exchange the suitcases? What were his accomplices doing? Office work? These people will not ask such questions. Farhan has kept somethings just like the original Don for kitsch/tribute or as a continuation of the original.

    And coming to the mask scene I saw some critic and a few others tweet that by wearing the mask SRK gained height and got Hrithik’s voice. I replied back to that critic if she asked the same question when she saw Mission Impossible. Now these idiots will not ask the same question for Mission Impossible where Tom Cruise wears a mask and becomes Jon Voight who is taller in height. And these people did not ask as to how can a face transplant change the arms and whole body structure in Face Off.

    I saw some other critic saying why do we need to watch this when its all already been done in Ocean’s Eleven. Now these critics forget to ask similar questions during Delhi Belly? Why do we need to watch Delhi Belly when its all already been done in Guy Ritchie movies?

    I saw some people comment as to how can Priyanka be still in love with Don. I mean they probably never heard of Stockholm Syndrome or probably did not see the first part where she was in love with Vijay who turned out to be Don in the end. Its beyond them to understand that someone can have a love-hate relationship with someone.

    Its not like Don 2 is a straight copy of some movie. Yes there are some scenes inspired/copied but there are so many heist movies with similar things. All heist movies have some implausibly smart climax whether it is Ocean’s Eleven or The Inside Man.

    The funniest thing I read is why should people be interested in a bad character as the main lead. So I guess these people don’t like The Godfather, Scarface and by extension Agneepath 😉

    I saw the old Don in the 90s. I loved the Don character a lot because he was so cool. But when he died in the first 40 minutes or so I thought what a tame end after bragging so much with lines like “Don ko Pakadna Mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai”. I think Farhan set off making a correction to the original Don and he has now created a Desi equivalent of James Bond – the major difference being Don is a negative character instead of a positive one.

  5. narad_muni 8 years ago

    Welcome Milu…excellent writeup..keep those coming.

    Sputnik – gr8 analysis.. I hv too heard about some stupid comments/questions on the same.

    Hats off to Farhan for making this movie.. a movie which is no different in its treatment from the normal BW masala…a movie with no songs almost, no heroines with those jhatka-matka, no faltu melodrama..kudos to him for sticking true to the story and the script.

    I saw DON 2 on FDFS, I liked the movie very much but I was almost sure that the movie will bomb as I thought that the audience wont be interested in a movie without the expected ‘masala’… But I am surprised that the movie sustained so well in the multiplexes of big citites and went on to collect 110 cr in India…this shows the Indian audience is ready for different stuff as long as the end product is good.

    The movie is a CLEAN HIT from the financial perspective, it is SRK’s biggest grosser worlwide (without considering infaltion), it has a 7.4 rating on IMDB, 88% recommendation on BMS and 80%+ recommendation on mouthshut.

    Also, this movie has repaired the damage caused to SRK’s image after RA.ONE to a large extent. ..there are many non-fans who have liked the movie and appreciated SRK’s performance in this movie. That’s heartening to know as a fan.

    Another point I don’t understand –
    Whenever people talk about Boxoffice and how SRK’s movie has underperformed (a new term invented by some SRK haters), they forget about the blockbuster business overseas. I guess it is intentional…When overseas contribution is like 50% of India, why ignore it? Do we ignore Single screens for Sallu’s movies? I mean – what the fuck? A movie like DON 2 is targeted for multiplex audience and overseas and not for SS…so why leave out overseas?
    Considering Overseas, DON 2 has outgrossed Ready by a huge margin..and it is unfair to compare with BodyGuard as it was released on a 5-day weekend…I am sure if DON 2 would have released on the Diwali weekend, it would have done 130-140 crores easily bcoz of the 5-day weekend and no negative impact of RA.ONE.

    I am very happy that SRK made DON 2 and I like the way he is keen to experiment going forward…I just hope he chooses the right people n limits himself to acting leaving out other aspects like script,screenplay etc.

    • sputnik 8 years ago

      “Whenever people talk about Boxoffice and how SRK’s movie has underperformed (a new term invented by some SRK haters), they forget about the blockbuster business overseas. I guess it is intentional…When overseas contribution is like 50% of India, why ignore it?”

      I don’t care much about Boxoffice because movies have a life of their own. There are many hit masala movies from the 80s and 90s which people do not care about now. And then there are average/flop ones which are more regarded now. So some of the masala hits from now will probably not age well in the next 10-20 years and the underperformed movies may stand the test of time.

      BO collections don’t depend on star alone. They also depend on the entertainment factor in them and also the preceding success of the star. Salman’s Wanted did only 60 Cr which is less than a serious fare like MNIK. But if Wanted had released post Dabangg it would have easily grossed 100 Cr. Salman is working great right now in these masala flicks but put him in serious fare and see how much the movie makes.

      When SRK fans were posting overseas collections of MNIK, fans of other actors used to ridicule the collections as “collecting chillar” and as being from “timbuktoo”. And today those same fans are posting collections from Hong Kong, China and elsewhere.

      If someone makes a movie will he let go of the overseas collections as not being important? I mean its still the same movie and is still being watched mostly by Indians living overseas. The funny thing about the ones who ridicule the overseas collections is that they themselves live overseas.

      “I like the way he is keen to experiment going forward…I just hope he chooses the right people n limits himself to acting leaving out other aspects like script,screenplay etc.”

      Agree. I think he should not produce movies or may be work only with directors who call the shots.

  6. Raj 8 years ago

    Good review milind..

    Well said narad..

    @sputnik..Nice analysis..To add to it further…I was amused by some critics reaction to MI and DON…They didn’t like DON but they liked MI 4..Now I am comparing here because both belong to more or less same genre..Now I am a fan of Tom cruise and like the MI series..But MI 4 was the weakest of the 4 …some people had problems with charachterisation in supporting charachters in DON..But the same people liked MI 4 where the charachters were even shabbilyu treated..The anatagonist in MI 4 was treated as badly as a B grade southy film can do…They didn’t like the action sequences in don but they did like the horrible climax action sequence in MI 4 and the flat desert storm scene in MI 4…They found don 2 gimmicky but the they liked overhyped burj khalifa sequence in MI 4 which was nothing but a big dissapointment for me…all in all,DON 2 was a better product than MI 4 in all aspects…but then we have a syndrome clalled “”l am intelligent cos I like HW movies”””…common ..I like HW movies too but I have no qualms in saying DON was a far superiot product than MI 4…

    • sputnik 8 years ago

      @Raj,

      There is a a certain “slave mentality” or may be “Ghar ki murgi Dal barabar” in that they think that anything made by Hollywood is great. Its disgusting to see Rajeev Masand fawn over Hollywood and their stars the way they do.

      I saw some critic say that Don 2 had so much planning in it and he/she was praising Ocean’s Eleven. Its been a while since I saw Ocean’s Eleven but I remember even Ocean’s Eleven had lot of planning in it. I am sure that if Ocean’s Eleven was made as it is in Hindi it won’t do well at the mass centers and that it would run well only at the multiplexes.

      And they are reviewing every movie on the scale of Lagaan/CDI. They need to understand what Roger Ebert said so well.

      ‘When you ask a friend if “Hellboy” is any good, you’re not asking if it’s any good compared to “Mystic River,” you’re asking if it’s any good compared to “The Punisher.” And my answer would be, on a scale of one to four, if “Superman” (1978) is four, then “Hellboy” is three and “The Punisher” is two. ‘

      Link

  7. narad_muni 8 years ago

    Raj… I have heard a very similar comment from one of my very close friends.
    I haven’t seen MI4, so can’t comment personally on it but I fully agree with the syndrome – “I am intelligent n cool coz I like HW movies”.

    About DON 2, yes, it is difficult to believe that the movie was literally thrashed by the crirtics…the avergae review rating of DON 2 was lower than RA.ONE ..Can u believe it?
    Also, DON 2 came within 2 months of RA.ONE – when the negativity about SRK and RA.ONE was still fresh in peoples’ minds.
    Considering all this and the fact that the movie din’t have the masala to pull the SS and small town audience, it has done phenomenally well at the BO..I am very happy personally. It grossed more than 200 crores and will gross more in the 2nd phase of overseas release in Germany,Korea,Hong Kong etc.
    And the greatest achievement of DON 2 is that people have liked the movie in general and SRK’ performance which has restored their faith in SRK..I know first hand many non-fans among my friends, colleagues who have liked the movie.

    Will wait for your review of Sherlock Homes…m hearing gud things about the movie.

  8. cr7 8 years ago

    milind-good to see u back at what u do best ..keep writing more frequently …..

    about don i loved it. after pkp and znmd best film of the year. visually rich,top notch action and awesome srk ,i couldn’t have asked for more .. and showing full respect to mr.bacchan , it is almost impossible to think don character without srk .he is superb as don.

    when comparing don2 and mi4 i actually liked both.

  9. narad_muni 8 years ago

    cr7, luks like we both have similar choices..
    ZNMD,PKP and DON 2 are the best films for me in 2011
    though there were some off-beat films I liked – stanley ka dabba, SOTC etc

  10. aryan 8 years ago

    Cr7 – I too like Don 2 story, SRK performance Farhan Akhtar Direction & actions.
    Two things is missing in that movie is 1) Background score (2) Good songs.
    instead of Shankar Ehsan Loy they should signed A.R.Rahman because Rahman will be suitable for this kind of movie.
    If they had good songs in that movie Box office collections bhe aur zyada ata. and one thing i have observed when audience coming out from the movie hall everyone’s lips one song always gungunate. I think u too observed.

  11. Author
    Milind 8 years ago

    What re establishes the fact that SRK is still running strong is the fact that after unprecedented negativity with Ra.One his next,basically a Mplex film reaches 110 crores INR based just on the strength of urban centres. Imagine if he revisits his romance forte attracting the female core audience–you can easily add 50-60 crores more to that 110 crore.

    Thus a songless film does just 12 crores less than Ready that had Dhink Chika and Character Dheela,the songs that attract the mango man.is in itself an achievement of sorts.

  12. phoenix 8 years ago

    Super analysis here. Glad to find these kind of opinions.

    I think SRK played this character with clear inspiration from John Travolta in two John Woo classics, ‘Broken arrow’ and ‘Face Off’…

    He plays the emotions very synthetic, as the character lack any ability to show or understand empathy. What lies inside is ego and pure ego. Typical anti-social personality disorder type.

    Unfortunately, people who dislike the SRK mannerisms who would never understand. Some even claims he played himself. LOL. He plays a romantic role- he plays himself. And in DOn too he is himself…

    • sputnik 8 years ago

      Welcome to the forum and Thanks for registering.

      I have given you posting rights.

  13. I.One 8 years ago

    Yes feels glad to read Milinds reflection after a long time.

    What could have been improved in Don 2? Here are my some points –

    1. Background score should have been little more heavier.
    2. One more chapter in addition to the heist would have made it more entertaining.
    3. That police cooperation thing towards the climax should have been avoided. It made Don look like a thief.
    4. Some more car action sequences would have added great value.

    Still a far better product than Don 1. As far as SRK goes, the time when he was not on screen made us miss him. He actually made Don 2 entertaining with his mannerism and body language. A clear 3.5 star movie.

  14. ali 8 years ago

    Welcome Milind bro,
    Good to see you here and very good write up.
    Also,
    High quality discussion going on here and good comments by Raj, Sputnik and Ibrahim bro.
    Me too agree with that.

  15. Rehan 8 years ago

    Very good writeup milind bro

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