After RA.ONE...it's DON 2 from King Khan! Sequels galore in Bollywood and so do stylish action-packed hi-octane thrillers. DON 2, sequel to DON-THE CHASE BEGINS, a slick 'edge-of-seat' thriller, packs extraordinary international action sequences with highly bankable names in its credit listing. It comes out as one of the last big releases of this year and promises truckloads of entertainment for its viewers. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, a trusted and prominent name for Excel Entertainment and Farhan Akhtar directed flicks is again at the helm of musical affairs. The trusted bond of S-E-L and lyricist Javed Akhtar has always promised a likable entertainment for ears and this too holds maximum promise in its packaging. Fresh from the recent commercial success of ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, the musical trio is the most ''hot ''n'' happening'' commodity to arrive on the credits of any CD cover. Humungous expectations...can they make it this time? Let's find out...
Return of the DON! 'Aaj Ki Raat' (DON-THE CHASE BEGINS) was exhilarating and tunefully invigorating in its racy spells and now the baton of 'Main Hoon Don' feel is carried forward with similar sounding title track 'Zara Dil ko Thaam Lo'. It is like a sequel to 'Aaj Ki Raat' and has the desired grueling 80's Bollywood thriller feel embroiled well with Bappi Lahiri's stylized 'disco-station' musical madness. Anusha Mani's seductively charming vocals ooze up the 'glam-quotient' and is the lovable spotlight of the track, pumping up with loads of sensuousness in this stylishly packed disco track. Vishal Dadlani's uncharacteristically suave tones sound situational in the pretext but still complement Anusha's slender voice. For all those who have thoroughly relished 'Aaj Ki Raat', this feverishly packed carnival musical bonanza will be a listening pleasure and should be a commercially viable commodity for big screen antics. Fuelled with bankable face-value and aggressive promotion, do expect 'Zara Dil Ko Thaam Lo' to be next bombastic anthem in the charts. Chartbuster!!!
S-E-L meets Panchamda! Usha Uthup, a disco-singing sensation of 80's, sets the mood on fire with her belligerently coarse vocals in album's finest track titled 'Hai Ye Maya'. Down memory lane, Usha delivered a gem of performance in 'Doston se pyar kiya' (SHAAN (1980)), which glorified the 'good vs. bad' and also delivered a kaleidoscopic view of this magnanimous 80's thriller in its titles rolling. This S-E-L composed number works on similar guidelines with a strong R.D. Burman style of composing and has typical James Bond's flick theme appeal; similar to Tina Turner's rendered 'Goldeneye' (GOLDENEYE (1995)). It picks well with electronic beat fillers of 'Tanhai' (DIL CHAHTA HAI), followed by jazz stylized trumpets and horns blazing high and low, setting out a decorum of eventful happening. This musical work is the finest from the composer, a perfectly crafted background score work that will not only encompass but will also entail all the menacing as well as nerve-racking moments of the flick. 'Hai ye Maya (remix)', a rollicking 'club-remix' fires on all cylinder in its immensely pulsating disco beat fillers that collages affably with Usha Uthup's infectiously crooned vocals. This remix by DJ Shane Mendonsa is aesthetically packed with 80's disco feel in contemporary 'club-remix' antics and the end result is simply fabulous. Enthralling!!!
Tread-milling back to 70's bygone era of DON (1978), the next outing 'Dushman Mera' brings out the vengeance and seduction of tracks like 'Yeh Mera Dil' and 'Jiska Mujhe Tha Intezar' with a typical Bollywood musical decor. It sticks religiously to the original DON era and tries to recreate the similar feel with moderate results. Shankar Mahadevan, along with sultry sounding Sunita Sarathy, leads the singing show that relies heavily on on-screen antics rather than its musical merits. It starts off with routine sounding drumming and moves with predictable arrangements and signature tuneful feel that hardly creates any ripples. Shankar tries to impersonate Kishoreda while Sunita's tries hard to match with Asha Bhonsle's sensuality but the end result is pretty mediocre.
The beginning itself is a bummer. Everyone wants Don dead and the Malaysian cartel where he is king has been given a deal by gang lords in Europe to finish off Don so that they have a network there. This is because Don has now set his sights on Europe. There is a gun (automatic weapon) pointed at Don's head and he is surrounded from all sides. So what do these guys do? They indulge in dialogue baazi and in the clumsiest of action moves Don triumphs. C'mon Farhan, this is an action flick. Make it believable!
There is no fear in the moment. Another low-point is Don surrendering and being imprisoned in a maximum high security prison in Malaysia. His escape from there with Vardhan (Boman Irani), in the most comical way is more annoying than sinister. It's like a Tom and Jerry show. But even in a Tom and Jerry show you marvel at the innovative ideas of the two characters to get at each other. CHECK OUT: DON 2 in 62nd Berlinale Special programme
A third most disappointing factor is the use of Hrithik Roshan. OK, even if you have to use him as a face mask, at least don't show his double thumb. This way we will think he is a part of the cast!
With RA.ONE and DON 2 coming in quick succession, I won't be surprised if Alvira re-tweets, 'Even DON needs a BODYGUARD.'
And yes, there is a hint of Don 3 making its way...