Raja Sen- Rediff The new Don is not what you expect. It kicks off with a dramatic shot of a swanky Paris bistro: ShahRukh Khan's flat cellphone rings singsongedly, he flips it open and we look at his lips up close as one of the most wanted men alive answers his mobile with a 'Don.' There is no conversation, no drugs-money-murder order. No, this icon for cocaine trafficking across Asia says his name into the phone, snaps on designer sunglasses and walks out leaving a heavy tip -- and the restaurant unharmed. Don: The Alternate Review Indeed, the new Don startles you. It's designed to. While there has been both cold cynicism and feverish excitement about the ShahRukh Khan take on Amitabh Bachchan's cult classic, Farhan Akhtar manages to surprise both camps. Just, not in a good way. If you were afraid of what Khan would do with Bachchan's dialogues, lets just say that the director has tossed us all -- I'm a purist who can quote the first film verbatim -- a bit of a googly. The usual suspects in Don, the people you expect to screw it up, are actually quite impressive, no question. It is the ones in whom you have unflagging faith who end up letting you down. This Diwali/ Eid: Don vs Jaan-E-Mann ShahRukh Khan is undeniably good. Given the script, that is -- but we get to that in a bit. Khan's visibly a tremendous worshipper of the original, and every time he says a line Amitabh made immortal, there is a quiver of awe in his voice. So then this, considering it is the first film Farhan remembers ever watching, is a complete fanboy tribute, and we should look on it with empathetic indulgence. Plus, SRK manages to balance out Don by occasionally tossing us something new, and much fun. With Kareena Kapoor, the new (and adequate) Kamini on his armrest, Khan deftly tosses us words we've heard before: The bit about not liking women who take too much, or too little, time to come to him. It is a classic moment modernised, and it takes awhile to get used to him saying Bachchan's words -- in fact, the performance stays rooted in tribute, and you always see an overwhelmed actor uttering timeless lines. Then his cell (Don uses a remarkably lo-tech model, by the way) rings and Kamini asks if she should get it. 'No,' Khan suddenly snaps to a snarl. 'It's mine.' The moment has both edge and humour, and it's authentically Shah Rukh. So coasts along the first half, smug in the assurance that audiences must have seen the old Don. Lazily, it picks up sequences and arranges them in a disappointingly linear narrative, usually adding nothing more than backdrop. But while the inclusion of an unimaginably plush hotel room might not do much for the film, the first half makes it clear how earnest both Farhan and Khan are, with the latter shining almost every time he gets room for his own little thing.