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He 'khan' be the Don

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THERE WITH THE B: `Don' scores due to Shah Rukh Khan's untamed energy.
THERE WITH THE B: `Don' scores due to Shah Rukh Khan's untamed energy.

Don (Hindi)

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor

Director: Farhan Akhtar Shah Rukh Khan dares to step beyond Raj-Rahul and into the sacrosanct Bachchan territory. For a few fleeting moments, he embraces the heart, soul and body of Big B's Don that the superstar played with such nonchalant ease in Chandra Barot's film in 1978.

Gone is the hamming spree, gone are the languid ways. There is a swagger in his walk, some purpose in his talk. A one-man army that takes Farhan Akhtar's film to safe waters.

For quite a while here, Shah Rukh manages to prove the pundits wrong: yes, he is a star but he is an actor too. As Don, Khan packs quite a punch. In some scenes, he manages the Bachchan part well, in others he falls short. Notably the "Khaike Paan Banaraswala" song where he is a pale shadow of Big B.

The new "Don" is not just dusting off of the original. The director takes the old script, borrows a couple of songs, retains most of the characters, but also gives new twists. Just when you sit back, happy and comfortable in the knowledge of what's going to happen next, there is a surprise. And that gives this film a new zing.This con game involving a cocaine trader who kills people like one swats flies, has its flaws too. Notably, the girls. Priyanka Chopra with her less-than-elementary acting skills is no Zeenat Aman.

The one and only...

Then there is Kareena, who tries to do a Helen and learns an important lesson: there was, is, and will be, only one Helen. And Isha Koppikar? Didn't notice her doing much in the film. As for Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy's music, well, the good old "Khaike Paan" is still more delicious than any of the new stuff they have churned out.

Yes, there are negatives but they don't outweigh the positives. Which means you can enjoy Farhan Akhtar's designer "Don".


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