Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dammit!! This is not Don(e), I say...

A few days ago, I had the opportunity.. no, privilege.. of seeing Don, a remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan starrer with the same name. The movie reminded me, very painfully, of exactly why I am not big on remakes. In my opinion, remakes of classics are absolute no-brainers (and by that, I mean only someone with absolutely no brains would wander into such a venture). If the director remains faithful to the original, the remake is totally pointless. If the directors strays too far from the original story, the movie is not a remake. In the case at hand, director Farhan Akhtar apparently had a brainwave and thought he could beat the system by remaining remarkably faithful to the original for half the movie and peddling a new story after that. Neat idea, right? Wrong!!! The movie comes off as something of a cross between a wild ass and a wildebeest.. no idea what that looks like but it sure as hell can't be a pretty sight at all... I entered the movie hall not expecting too much but came out of it with the resolution that the next time I felt impelled to watch a remake, I would untie my shoe laces and beat myself on the head with the shoe until the urge passed. Well, enough said.. here's my views on what works in the movie and what doesn't...

What works:

i) Priyanka Chopra... She has neither the screen presence, nor the I'm-here-to-kick-your-ass attitude of Zeenat Aman, but who cares... she's extremely hot and babeliscious. Yummmm... She's like the exquisite dessert that almost makes up for an extremely crappy meal... almost, but not quite..

ii) ................................. Well, I guess that's about it. I can't think of anything else in the movie that really worked.

What doesn't work:

i) SRK suffers very badly in comparison with Amitabh Bachchan. There are some actors whom you would love to see hanged upside down from the nearest tree and whacked like a piƱata. SRK is most definitely one of those actors. To be fair to him, SRK does make an effort to tone down the over-acting and the irritating "k-k-k-Kiran" bit that seem to characterize his acting, but he hasn't yet nailed AB's trademark deadpan delivery of one-liners. SRK has never been on my list of favorite actors and this movie does little to change that situation...

ii) Kareena Kapoor... enormous screen presence for the simple reason that she is, well, enormous.... The girl looks like her gastronomic indulgences over the past few months could have fed the entire continent of Africa. Her dress seems to fight against overwhelming odds to keep from ripping at the seams and only just manages to do so. One can't thank SRK enough for getting rid of her at the earliest available opportunity...

iii) Mac... It is hard to imagine anyone other than McMohan play Mac. Every time Don addressed Mac, I half expected to see McMohan turn up only to have this non-McMohan Southeast Asian dude respond. It was incredibly distracting, to say the least...

iv) Arjun Rampal struggling to cross the bridge between the Petronas Towers. The scene is intended to mirror Pran's tightrope walk in the original, but doesn't quite come off... primarily because it's so exceedingly and mind-numbingly lame. The bridge appears wide enough to house a full-fledged international airport. To see AR taking like forever to hobble across the bridge is just plain ridiculous... Now, if the director had him fall off the bridge, that would be something. But he doesn't do that either... -sigh-

v) It appears director Farhan Akhtar has drawn inspiration from a number of movies other than the original Don. Some that come to mind readily are Face/Off, Usual Suspects, Eraser and a James bond movie whose name I forget. Not a big deal when you consider the amount of inspiration some other directors (read the Bahtt clan) draw, but again, incredibly distracting when your mind is constantly trying to figure out where you've seen this scene before...

I guess I could go on endlessly about what else didn't work in the movie, but that would be such a waste of disk space, bandwidth, my time, your time, CPU time etc etc. Besides, I've just had lunch and am beginning to feel a little drowsy... and think now would be a pretty good time to wind up the post and conclude with a few words of wisdom. Here they are....

If you've already seen the Don remake, the whole thing is moot and you might as well sulk in silence, but if you haven't and are considering/contemplating/looking forward to watching the movie, don't!! Go back home, switch on your TV set and navigate to "SET Max". With any luck, the original Don will be playing on it. I assure you, this will be infinitely more entertaining than watching the remake. And if you are absolutely unable to control your urge to watch the "new" Don, give me a buzz. I'll be happy to come over and beat you on the head with my shoe until the urge passes. Trust me, even this will be infinitely more entertaining than watching the remake. Until later... cheers.. :-)

p.s: Oops.. forgot to mention this earlier in the post... Spoilers galore!! :-))

14 Comments:

At 5:34 AM , Blogger Harish said...

Why did you make the decision of going to the movie is what I didnt understand. :)

 
At 6:48 AM , Blogger Kaushik said...

Good to see the inspiration flowing back. Nice title! The only remake I ever liked was 'Dawn of the dead' and that's not really a remake in the strictest sense.

Was actually hoping to see Don, but guess I'll stay clear now.

P.S: Putting in those spoilers was a wicked conniving plot, wasn't it? :)

 
At 11:57 AM , Anonymous shilpa said...

U should have asked me before going to that movie. Even though I am a SRK fan, I could not sit and watch it for 3 hrs. I can imagine your situation.....

Well Kareena's part....Grrr....If I meet her anywhere, I am gonnu give her some suggestions on "how to reduce weight"

 
At 12:03 PM , Anonymous Vin said...

I bet renowned Film Commentator and Humanitarian Sudeep Brinjol would be sad that you watched the movie in spite of his neat commentary earlier.

 
At 4:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with ya, dude.
AB's Don was absolutely stylish. Complete with a signature tune, excellent chase-scenes, good songs, memorable one-liners, the works. Bollywood masala hardly get better than this. It redefined a lot of cliches, especially with AB as the smooth-talking, immaculately dressed eponymous gangster.
We don't need a Don today, this is a different age. Plus SRK can't hold a candle to AB. But having said that, I strongly believe that F-akthar can bring a lot to the table as a director. I haven't seen the movie yet, but if I do decide to watch it - it would be because of F-A.
BTW, did you know that Don was remade in Telugu, Tamil and Malayam with NTR, Rajni-anna and Mohanlal in AB's role!
But remakes hardly ever work. You should watch RGV's "Shiva" remix - absolutely horrendous. If that is some sign of how RGV's Sholay will look - I would rather avoid it.

 
At 1:05 AM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Harish]: There are things one has to do despite himself, to keep the better half happy. Watching Don was one of those things... :)

[Kaushik]: Dude, I hear the new Bond movie is pretty good. It should represent much better value for money than Don, in my opinion..

[shilpa]: Your namesake was quite keen on watching the movie. There was little I could do.. :)

[Vin]: Indeed... my apologies for such blatant disregard for words of wisdom...

[Guru]: Totally agree with you. I was a little more disappointed because I expected better from FA. I guess it goes to show that directors, even good ones, are only human... and I'm absolutely dreading the new Sholay..

 
At 10:13 PM , Anonymous Amit M said...

Haha, saved me 300 bucks, thanks! Kareena, wonder how she ever became a leading lady. Don't agree with you about Priyanka though. Dunno how she become an actress either. I mean, great body and all, but totally neutralized by that vacant look in the eyes. What a turn off.

 
At 10:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:45 PM , Anonymous Bilo said...

pushukaaaaa Wassup man long time

 
At 12:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:46 AM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Amit]: I've never quite cared about Ms. Chopra's acting abilities. I suggest you try the approach too. I promise it'll make watching her on screen a much more entertaining experience.. :)

[Bilo]: Bilo dude, long time indeed. But how did you land up here? :)

 
At 6:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:11 PM , Blogger Pushuka said...

[Anon] (immediately after Vin's comment): ya dude. One of the reasons I decided to watch the remake in the first place was that it was directed by FA. But to be frank, I couldn't help but feel a little let down. And I heard about the travesty that was "Shiva".. what the hell is the matter with Ramu these days? He seems to be totally losing the plot..

 
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