Directed by Farhan Akhtar. Starring Shahrukh Khan, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, and Boman Irani. Rated PG.
Farhan Akhtar’s Don 2 is a stylish action movie that seamlessly hits all the markers of this genre. With a tightly wound plot that plays out on a global stage, this slick production creates a spectacle of car chases, clever intrigue, and criminality.
The story picks up five years after the end of Don and again centres on the title character (played by Shahrukh Khan) who, having achieved domination over the Asian drug trade, now has Europe in his sights. He is accompanied by his girlfriend, Ayesha (Lara Dutta), and is still pursued by police detectives Roma (Priyanka Chopra) and Malik (Om Puri). In a plan of his own design, Don walks into their Malaysian headquarters and surrenders to them. This allows him to reunite in prison with his nemesis from the first film, Vardhaan (Boman Irani). Don soon recruits a young hacker, Sameer (Kunal Kapoor), and initiates a plan that takes aim at Europe’s financial heart.
The plot is driven by the element of mistrust. Neither we, nor any of the characters in the film, can ever be certain of Don’s loyalty or even his motivations. In a complex web of manoeuvres and countermanoeuvres the rest of the film is taken up by the machinations of the heist.
Although the actors all dutifully fulfill the narrow requirements of these characters, it is a rare treat to see Khan and Irani in negative roles. Chopra is the quintessential “Bond girl”, with her beauty, intelligence, and skills with cars and guns. The music doesn't distract from the narrative and enhances the not so subtle allusions to the Mission Impossible and Ocean’s franchises.
This isn’t a film that will change your life, but it is a skillfully rendered, suave, and polished piece of escapism.