Monday, October 30, 2006

Dawn of a New DaaN

Direction : Farhan Akhtar
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Isha Koppikar, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor, Om Puri, Boman Irani.
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Story: Farhan Akhtar

Halfway through the movie, between munches of the deliciously evil lavishly buttered popcorn offscreen and the luscious bewitching damsels on screen, one could be forgiven for having forgotton the original. The glitz, glamour and pizzaz, not to mention the kick ass special effects of Farhan Akhtar's remake did make the old Don a distant memory. It took the Khaike Paan Banaraswala number, to jolt me from my seat to the Big B's days of yore.

Right off the start with an opening scene set in Paris (Eiffel et al) and a Shahrukh in stylish designer ensemble, one could get the feeling....nay one knew right there that this Don (pron. DaaaaN!!!) was a new dawn in remakes structured around a surfeit of glamour, style and breathtaking locales. After all how can one not moan at those lovely beaches and waterfronts and beautiful shots of the Petronia Towers. Further moans and breathtakers await as the seductively beautiful Kareena Kapoor does the Helen number from the original. As the camera pans over the shimmer costumed Kareena in a hotel room overlooking the twin Petronia towers, the scene is endowed a golden hue and with Kareena crooning yeh mera dil both stock and track seem to be drenched in pure gold.

Another delish (to borrow from Rachel Ray) song and dance sequence is when the Don reclaims his "yaadasht" and empire. In a celebration that has pyramids of glasses overflowing with champagne and a bevy of beauties competing for the Don's attention, Priyanka looking drop dead gorgeous makes an entry.

I guess I wasn't the only one to gasp. All those beautiful torsos and champagne and feet tapping music made it a magic filmi moment. (Talking about beautiful torsos, has anyone noticed how our woman have progressed to becoming Hollywood babes, muscles bellies and all. No, I am not complaining...if anything it was a treat to watch pretty and slithe Priyanka Chopra executing her martial art chops with wondrous ease and grace. No complaints, just a tad bit of nostalgia at all those voluptuous Padminis and Hema Malinis, that's all).

And now to the minuses. Take away the slick, snazzy thriller moments, glamour and the whole shebang, and there isn't much left. When the rustic Amitabh had changed places with his double (the real Don) to help the honest cops in exposing and apprehending a crime racket, the world revolved around the interplay between the good and evil, poor and rich, honest and dishonest. In other words, never mind the lack of jazz and pizzaz, the foundation pillars of the system were stable and clearly demarcated. No such thing exists in the remake. Evil like good is omnipotent and omnipresent and may show itself in the most unlikely of places. All lines are very blurred indeed. Nothing wrong it that either.

Except that in such a scenario, the best man may not always win.


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