Faridoon Shahryar, IndiaGlitz [Friday, October 20, 2006] I don’t think Remaking an iconic film is a good idea. For when the earlier film is so clearly etched in your mind, it gets difficult for the uber-cool-style-flick new version o erase the nostalgic quotient of the original. That’s exactly what happens with Farhan Akhtar’s tribute to the original ‘Don’ co-written by his dad Javed Akhtar along with Salim Khan a good silver jubilee years ago. Comparisons are inevitable. No, Shahrukh Khan doesn’t match up to Amitabch Bachchan’s versatile performance. But yes, it’s great to see SRK enacting a negative character after a long time. And trust me…He makes Bad look Cool…As for ‘Don’ then it’s most certainly not the best film made this year and yes it does have its high points, especially the climax. No baby, I can’t reveal that! Also…get ready for the announcement of the sequel…Soon…. Mr Malik was the surprise packet in Chandra Barot’s original while there’s some other ‘insider’ who completely zaps you this time around. I won’t reveal it for it will spoil the fun. Jasjit’s character had been immortalized by an old-n-haggard Pran sahib whereas here you have a younger Arjun Rampal doing the honors in a dignified manner. Kareena Kapoor sizzles in the ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ number in Helen’s place. She looks gorgeous alright. Priyanka Chopra’s Roma is a tough chick who would do anything to avenge her brother Ramesh’s death from the evil Don. Chopra girl seems to have worked hard on learning the Charlie’s Angels martial-arts-chops and the effect shows. When she is not hunting with the men, she takes time out to scorch the dance floors with her ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ shake-a-leg number. Boman Irani competently enters Iftiqar sahab’s DCP Desilva shoes. In fact his role has more to it than you’ve geared up for. So, stay put for a surprise. Isha Koppikar as Anita is wasted. It’s left to Shahrukh Khan to drive the beauty cars, flirt with the damsels, kill as if he is poison, tinker with his designer watch to trigger a bomb somewhere and sound sinister when he is getting over confident. In the Vijay mould, he is good with his one-liners and then ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’ in Malaysia is like ice-in-the-bhang. Of course he can never speak Avadhi like Big B. But then SRK has his own style that he puts in with 100% energy in everything that he does with a hell lot of conviction. A lean-mean-and-gym-toned physique makes him look a hunky dude that you’d love to watch. In fact, I would love to watch him in this baddie avatar as compared with all the sugary-romances that he has been doing oh-so-repetitively. Farhan Akhtar’s direction carries a lot of polish. He is definitely one of the finest directors that we have today. His command over technique as well as storytelling is extremely-compelling. But where he flounders in ‘Don’ is the pace of the film. A pacy thriller is something one was looking forward to. Instead, the three hour plus length of the film is a let down. It can be trimmed by at least half an hour. A few of the dialogues carry a lot of punch while there are still others that sound archaic. At several junctures the technical tomfoolery extinguishes plausibility. I for one fail to understand even in the original Don’ as to why the boss has to personally go for a meager job as exchange of bags. Beats me! Music by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy is praiseworthy for the retention of the retro feel on 1980s numbers in ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ and ‘Main Hoon Don’. The remixes of ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’ and ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ don’t really match the original although they are good attempts. The ‘Don’ theme track by Medieval Punditz is the highlight of the hip-n-happening background music score. Cinematography by Mohanan is spectacular in every sense of the word while special effects at Red Chillies EFX is first rate. Fight sequences have been choreographed in a stylish manner. It can match the best in the world. ‘Don’ is worth a watch for the younger remix-n-sms generation who love their bhelpuri with ice cream and who haven’t seen Big B’s original. You may not enjoy it in totality but still it’s a fun-fare in more ways than one. It’s not great cinema. And I guess Farhan never pretended that he had set out to make one. But coming from the maker of spectacular ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ ‘Don’ is a disappointment. Here’s hoping to something original and refreshingly different the next time around.