“Don ko pakadna mushkil he nahi, namumkin hai…” It’s a proverb; catch him if you can. We know eventually he’s going to get away, taking the cake with him. After all, what good is a Don if he’s caught, right? Still, we sit by, watching him toying with his “dushmans” while mouthing off sly but memorable one-liners. Whistles start to go off at each, several applaud. His charm is unparalleled. Haters can go kiss their bodyguard. The King is back, and is at his menacing best! “Ab mujhe koi nahi rok sakta…” There’s no stopping him now. It’s his game; others are just pawns in hands of this masterful player.
And at the heart of the game is a loyal fan of the cult classic (1978) - the multi-faceted Farhan Akhtar, this time as the writer and director. Result is evident. Taking it a few notches above the remake (2006), which was a little slow but with a pleasant unforeseen last minute twist, he delivers an end product that, mind you, though not path-breaking, will keep most to their edges. In terms of suave and slick storytelling, it’s the closest any Indian film has come to Hollywood. The action is at par with Hollywood, yes, but at par with what Hollywood used to do a decade ago. If we’re making progress then it doesn’t mean that guys in the west are just sitting on their bums. There still remains a wide gap; tackiness shows at some places, specially the car chase sequence in Berlin. And sure, there are flashes of ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘Ocean’s 11’, and ‘Die Hard’ to be seen; but they remain mere inspirations and the film continues to evolve as a standalone. Thanks to Farhan’s directorial stamp (a complex plot handled with an eye for technical and visual finesse) and Khan’s sublime performance (witty and old-school Don-isms that always hit the mark), that make it work!
3.5 out of 5
3.5 out of 5