Don 2 (2011): Indian director Farhan Akhtar's action thriller starring Shahrukh Khan

SRK's much awaited return as the Asian Mafia Kingpin

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews 

Don 2, starring Shahrukh Khan as Don, Priyanka Chopra, Directed by Farhan Akhtar
Don 2 (2011)- By Farhan Akhtar
Our Rating: 7.5
IMDb Ratings: 6.9
Genre:  Action | Crime | Drama
CastShah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Florian Lukas
Language: Hindi
Country: USA | Germany
Runtime: 148 min

Summary: A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Don 2 is a high octane extravaganza that presents an average viewer with everything that he possibly craves for—action, voyeur, thrill and intrigue. Don 2 is surfeit with pleasant surprises and keeps the viewer interested throughout. Don 2 lulls the viewer into a perpetual frenzy, which a modern cineaste demands and deserves. The movie's heist-like setup makes it conducive to high speed car chases, vertiginous jumps, voyeuristic escapades, hand-to-hand combat, blood-cuddling shootout sequences, etc. It's often difficult to be tolerant to someone who tries to imitate greatness! It was the same prejudice that preceded the arrival of the SRK starer Don (2006), the remake of the 1978 classic by the same name with Mr Bachchan in the title role. Besides, it is inevitable for any remake to be compared endlessly to the original. Despite all odds Don (2006) did considerably well on the box office primarily because of Farhan Akhtar's imaginative yet calculative movie-making. The new elements introduced into the plot also gave the Don (2006) a breath of fresh air.

Amitabh Bachchan in and as Don in the 1978 Bollywood Classic
Amitabh Bachchan in the 1978 classic
Also, it was Shahrukh Khan who played a crucial role played in making the movie significantly different from its precursor by mustering the courage and talent to conjure up an alter ego that offered a striking contrast to Mr. Bachchan's caricature in the 1978 classic. Farhan Akhtar and his entire team worked meticulously to keep the Don (2006) free of any possible anachronisms, which are often unavoidable in such remakes. By the time the movie approached its climactic finale, it became quite obvious even to the most seasoned viewer that Farhan Akhtar's vision behind the remake far transcended the mere thought of imitating the classic. He had set his goals much higher with the idea of establishing a completely new franchise at its core. 

Farhan Akhtar in Rock On
Farhan Akhtar in Rock On!! (2008)
The half a decade hiatus after the 2006 remake can be attributed to Farhan's attempt at self indulgence, which got him completely disillusioned about his directorial prowess, to make way for the latent actor in him, as he strived to prove his acting mettle in movies like Rock On!! (2008), Luck by Chance (2009), Karthik Calling Karthik (2010), and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011). To Farhan's credit, he did succeed in getting the actor in him to get going on the celluloid. Since the last few years, the grapevine had been rife with speculations pertaining to Akhtar's behind the camera return for the much anticipated sequel of Don with SRK reprising his role of the most decorated mafia kingpin in the history of Indian Cinema. The speculations were brought to rest as the makers finally confirmed the movie's 2011 Christmas release. The promotions for the movie started a bit late and lacked the the usual hullabaloo that surrounds an SRK release, but the void is more than filled up by movie's taut and exhilarating screenplay. With Don 2, Farhan Akhtar takes the high stake battle between life and death to a completely new echelon. 

Don 2, SRK, Shahrukh Khan, Directed by Farhan Akhtar
Shahrukh Khan in Farhan Akhtar's Don 2
There seems a paradigm shift in the quality of movie making compared to the general trends in the Hindi Cinema. The actions sequences depicted in the movie are at par with the international standards. The highly punctilious team of internationally acclaimed stunt coordinator Wolfgang Stegemann seems to have inoculated Don 2 with an ineffable sense of realism that is often missing in Indian productions. The entire cast and crew have done a phenomenal job in bringing the movie and its vivid characters to life. SRK once again shines as the glacial, conniving, quick-witted, perpetually smirked, rugged, cool and calculative underworld kingpin. 
Priyanka Chopra as an Interpol Officer in Don 2, directed by Farhan Akhtar
Priyanka Chopra as an Interpol Officer in Don 2
Don 2 is SRK's movie from inception to finale and it is his omnipresence that takes the movie a couple of notches up. In some scenes, his antics and mannerisms are highly reminiscent of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, but SRK carries himself with such poise that he seems quite natural at it. The viewer also gets the privilege of witnessing SRK in the new avatar of an Action hero, which he pulls off with same finesse. Some of SRK's most staunch critics might censure him for overplaying the part, but apparently the script demanded such high levels of intensity. During the course of the movie, Shahrukh Khan gets to exhibit a wide variety of contrasting demeanors as Don goes about his usual business, driving high on his ever reliable instinct, making new enemies, friends, patching up with old enemies, and once again making them into enemies. 
SRK as Don and Boman Irani as Bardhan in Farhan Akhtar's Don 2
SRK and Boman Irani in Farhan Akhtar's Don 2
The opening acting sequence and the classic car chase—the best chase scene ever in Hindi cinema—remind a lot of the traditional elements of a Bond movie, but not without a 'Desi' twist. Priyanka Chopra offers a nice contrast to SRK's part as a mobster's moll in the making, but fails to leave her signature on the movie. Almost everyone in the supporting cast has given a worthy performance with special mention of Boman Irani, Lara Dutta, Kunal Kapoor, and Aly Khan. Movie's cinematography, sound, editing and choreography are all at par with the international standards. 

Overall, Don 2 is an exhilarating ride for the Action movie enthusiasts as well as for all those whose primary aim is entertainment. All those who look for cinematic profundity or pristineness can also partially enjoy the movie, but only by slackening the screws of the scrutiny. Don 2 has set the ball rolling for more movies to come in the franchise, while also setting a new benchmark for Hindi Cinema. A must watch for Heist and Action lovers.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!

For more information on the title, please click on the following links:-


Don 2 - Theatrical Trailer

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  1. SRK truly rocks in Don 2... never expected it to be so good. An interesting read, mate!

  2. Indeed, he does! I will appreciate it very much if you do disclose your identity next time round.

  3. Good Review Friend :)

  4. I, too, wrote reviews of Don 2 and Mission Impossible 4 (albeit in an amateurish manner).


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