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Don (2006) – Sharat Sridhar

After watching Dil Chahta Hai, I was compelled to watch another movie from either the cast or the producer. I decided to watch Don: The Chase Begins Again. This is supposedly a remake of the film Don from 1978. Amitabh Bachan played Don in this original movie. The new Don movie was made by Farhan Akhtar and we all know him as the producer and director of Dil Chahta Hai. Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra played two major roles in the movie and I knew that with this trio, I was in for a great movie. The movie did not disappoint. It was such a different kind of film from what we have been watching thus far. Don is not the hero in the film, instead Shah Rukh Khan portrays him as the villain. From the beginning of the film, I imagined the film would be like Deewaar as Amitabh Bachan also played a character that could not be considered the archetypal Bollywood hero. So I was expecting Don to die at some point in the film. I was right and wrong.
If you’re reading past this point, make sure you watch the movie first, you won’t be disappointed. **Spoiler Alert** Don appears to die at the end and the audience believes that Vijay, Don’s doppelganger, is to take his spot and secure a disc for a police officer named D’Silva. The reason for this is that the entire premise of the movie is based on a battle between Vardhaan and Singhania. Vardhaan’s identity is not initially known but we know that Don is employed by Singhania. This disc contains incriminating information against Vardhaan and Singhania so both the police and Singhania want this information. The movie has plenty of twists and action to keep the audience thoroughly entertained but as the movie continues, we learn that the police officer is not actually a good guy and has been plotting all along to take this disc because he is in fact Vardhaan. There is a reevaluation that the audience must undergo where I had to make sense of all this new information. At this point we know that Vijay is being played by Vardhaan and he is caught between him and Singhania. We see Vijay as the sole person to root for as he is the only character whom we know to be honest and following the Bollywood hero characteristics. However, at the end of the film, we learn that Vijay is actually Don all along and that Vijay was the one that died early in the film. The movie ends with Vardhaan going to prison but Don getting away.
So where is the Bollywood in this movie? As far as I can tell, I don’t see it. This movie is extremely similar to Hollywood films. At the end of the film, there was no hero. Roma was the one character for us to sympathize with, but she didn’t get what she wanted either. Don’s character murders and yet at the end of the movie, he gets away. I have never watched a Bollywood movie in which Bollywood ideals don’t play out at the end of the film. Akhtar seems to have taken such a radical approach to this film and it is probably the reason I love this movie so much. I highly recommend this not just for the plot but for the break from the traditional Bollywood films. I will have to write another post on Don 2.

Filed by sharat04 at March 31st, 2013 under Uncategorized

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