Don

(Caution: Loooong post. Plus potential spoilers ahead.)

Once upon a time, long long ago, when childhood was all about scraped knees and snot-covered handkerchiefs pinned to your chest, TV meant Doordarshan and a choice in what you watched was between On and Off .. in such difficult days of yore, there existed a loser, paradoxically named Jeet. Jeet Upendra. He had no talent to boast of except his pelvic thrusts, which were rumored to defy gravity. But this is not his story. (Although for those of you who are really interested, he went on to marry blink-and-you’ll-think-I’m-Parveen Babi starlet Deepshikha. And then got dumped by her. And got back together. And got dumped again. Must be fun being him, no?)

Around the same time, a fine gentleman named Hasan born to a Mr Jehangir across the border, became a singing sensation. He had bad hair and many years later became Altaf Raja’s singing idol. But this is not about him either.

Kipling said in The Ballad of East and West, not knowing that he’d be quoted in this unfortunate context —

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

And one fateful Wednesday evening, that did happen. Jeet Upendra and his band of sideys burst onto screen shaking their booties while Hasan Jehangir’s hawa hawa ae hawa khushboo lutaa de bellowed in the background. And an entire generation of innocent Chitrahaar-watching children discovered Don 2. And were left with a Voldemort-sized scar on their childhood. But this is not their story either.

Then what is the darn post about, you ask? It is about the two Dons on both sides of Don 2. Yes, this is somewhat of a teetar ke do aage teetar, teetar ke do peeche teetar, aage teetar, peeche teetar, bolo kitne teetar scenario, but without an annoying Raj Kapoor. (I’ll get on a trip some other day about why I hate that slimy-looking lafanga who pretends to act all bhola-bhala. Oh, I guess I just did.)

So, as I was saying, the Farhan Akhtar remake of Don (1978), aka Don – The Chase Begins Again (2006), has finally been seen, and seeing as I have an opinion about everything, I have one on this too and I’m naturally going to share it with you. Oh and just FYI, in the rest of this post, the original Don is referred to as the original Don and the new Don will cleverly be called the new Don, to save everyone from further confusion and to show-off my keen teetar-referencing skills.

Now, since no review of Don is complete without throwing in the statutory — ‘I usually have my apprehensions about remakes, but I still decided to give Don a chance, because ..’ bit, let’s start with that. I usually have my apprehensions about remakes, but I (a) like what Farhan Akhtar has done so far (b) love the original Don (c) am a sucker for style and coolness (d) thought the music of the new Don captures the spirit of the original nicely, especially the signature toooooooo-teee-tooo-tooo-teee-tooo-tee-doo-dooo bit from the original’s background score.

When you attempt to remake a movie that almost everyone is fond of, you have a high likelihood of being looked at as ‘messing with a good thing’ and a low chance of being given credit for your efforts. To make things more difficult, this is the movie that starred Amitabh in his first ever ‘In and As’ role. And worst of all, most people know the story, even the folks who haven’t seen the original. The twists and plot points are all familiar. Given this, the odds of getting it wrong are fairly high.

But Farhan is smart. He knows he doesn’t have an Amitabh. So he makes sure he takes the most bankable actor around — Shahrukh. He adds generous gobs of thrills and chills, villains that make being bad look good, cool cars, stunning locales, more hunk value (A younger Arjun Rampal in place of the older, grouchier Pran), double the babe value (Priyanka is back to looking deliciously sultry, so much better than she did in Krrish) And finally, he smartly modifies the characterizations (giving Boman Irani a chance that Iftikhar never had) resulting in two very important twists — one around the intermission and one at the end. (Both of which I figured out pre-intermission, so major preen moment for me.)

And does it work? Yes it does, it surely does. The new Don is slick, fast and snazzy-looking, and entertains you for its two-and-a-half-hours. Sure, it has its weaknesses, but there’s never a dull moment, never a point when you check the time. (As someone who has suffered KANK, the not-looking-at-your-watch qualification is an important one.) Now one could say, that the pace of the script works because the original Don is in the back of your head, providing the needed cohesion. But it is to Farhan’s credit that he used that fact to his advantage rather than disadvantage.

Now, for some minor whines (no really, don’t be fooled by the length), since no review is complete without them.

  • I promised myself that I would not compare King Khan to the Big B. It is unfair, especially since SRK wasn’t attempting to be an Amitabh, in the first place. But I cannot resist — Amitabh’s Don had an aloofness, a certain coldness about him. An example — when Amitabh says to Helen (right before ye mera dil yaar ka deewana) — mujhe romantic baatein bore kartii hain, the disinterested look he gives her, conveys the I-have-no-use-for-women-except-for-sex sentiment, effectively. That same line on SRK sounds like a pompous dialogue and nothing else. I almost expect him to go — eyyy KKKamini .. the next instant. Perhaps his romantic image works against him. Or is it the metrosexual one? Either way, it just doesn’t click. Or perhaps, given that Shahrukh’s Don is different from the original (he’s more maniacal than Amitabh’s chilling Don, I think), those dialogues shouldn’t have been re-used.

  • I wish Farhan had left the ye meraa dil yaar ka deewaanaa remix on the soundtrack, without including it on screen, and instead did a new version, like with the main hoon Don number. (Which has some spirited singing by Shaan, and has the recurring fundoo Don theme music.) And while on the music of Don, I love the very 80s-ish aaj kii raat, which was dissed for being very Bappi-like. (Since when has that been a bad thing, people?) I also like its picturization, with the continuous-shot sequences, while the singing lines alternate between Isha and Priyanka.

  • Having included the remixed song, casting Kareena Kapoor as Kamini was a mistake, and her choreography, an even bigger one. She lacks the sensuality and grace of Helen in the original and turned a classic into something generic that the audience is likely to fast forward during home-viewing.

  • In the original Don, there’s this not-very-remembered scene when Amitabh prior to beating up Shetty, politely tells him — maaf karna bhai taklu, main jaantaa hoon ki shaam ko tum kisii se milnaa pasand nahiin karte ho, lekin main tumhaare sirf das minute lene aayaa hoon. Pehle paanch minute main tumhaari pitaayi karoonga, aur doosre paanch minute, tum mere sawaalon kaa jawaab doge. In the middle of action, this scene brings the chuckles. In the new Don the comedy just doesn’t feel right. The Chacha Chaudhary ka dimaag computer se bhi tez moment, the scenes before khaike paan banaraswaala and other such gags barely make you smile. Jokes that should have worked, simply don’t.

  • SRK is not good at double roles. Duplicate is the only other time he’s tried it and that was pretty bad as well. Here too, the difference between Vijay and Don is hardly discernable. Beyond the clothes and the token paan, they are the same person, same mannerisms, same brow-furrowing and all.

  • I understand that a movie shot in Malaysia, has to have at least one key scene filmed on the connecting skybridge of the Petronas Towers. Admittedly it is a cool-looking structure and I am not complaining about how many scenes it appears as a backdrop in. But how can someone walk across a precarious thing like that without stumbling and falling at least once? I mean c’mon people, I paid good money for my thrills! and I want my moment where Arjun Rampal dangles precariously, while a scared kid goes ‘Day-deeee!’ and screeches to glory. And I was denied my happiness. Bah.

And now, to wrap up this neverending post, some general observations and lessons in film-making, that one has gleaned from the movie —

  • Whenever a Russian character is mentioned in a Hindi movie, his name is Boris.

  • Nothing denotes a scene shift to India like a bullock cart. Some other movies indicate that a grubby street kid can also work well for the same purpose.

  • Reversing the order of characters in unencrypted passwords is what ‘computer experts’ get paid big bucks for. IT professionals across the world should rejoice at this pat on their back.

  • Chunkey Pandey has remarkably enough, managed to retain his stupidity from his mera dil totaa ban jaaye, kaise mitthhu mitthhu bole haaye days. As the bard would have said, if he’d been alive — Chunkey is not Chunkey which alters when it alteration finds.

So, bottomline — the new Don is slick, fun, timepass and cool. But the new Don cannot exist without the original. Which, being an acknowledged tribute, makes sense. I guess a truly balanced review of this movie would have to come from someone, who has never seen or heard of the original Don. Heh heh. Aise aadmi ko pakadna .. yes, say it with me folks .. mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai!

(Yes peoples, we are alive and kicking on the blog once again. One shall stop being a lazy bum and start responding to comments. Random disappearances shall also (heh, hopefully) not happen. Apologies and all. And hope the length of this post makes up for our recent absence.)

58 thoughts on “Don

  1. anantha

    Let me start by congratulating you on the good news.

    Anyhooo, now to move in to more trivial issues. Where was Chunky Pandey in the movie. I think I walked in when the opening credits were rolling. Did I miss anything?

    As for you figuring out twists, I would have had to preen 10 minutes into the movie, if I did not know the major twist even before i walked in. Some people who I have to call friends/acquaintances were responsible for this travesty. And why no word about Om Puri? What was he doing in this movie?

    And I think it is a grave injustice for you to have not mentioned Thalaivar here. This movie was actually the second remake of Don. Thalaivar rocked as Billa first!

  2. HP

    aah..Glad to know that some one else also had to suffer Don 2…But, I never knew that Jeet Upendra starred in the music video(film?) of Hawa Hawa(love this song)…Btw, did you have the pleasure of seeing the Jeet Upendra serial ‘Ajnabee’ which has Danny in the title role. I have to admit that I used to wait for the serial and totally loved the title score going ‘La la lala…’

    And no, casting Kareena was not a mistake but a blunder,Himalayan blunder(if I say)…

    Nice review and yes, we hope you are back for good…

    Cheers,
    HP

  3. viktor

    Whenever a Russian character is mentioned in a Hindi movie, his name is Boris.

    And that is why i dont like Hindi movies. It’s always Boris. NEVER viktor. Viktor sounds so much more like a gruff truck-driver who goes around wiping fish grime off his face, and hunting elk in his free time. Boris is so boring – the only think it reminds you of is a German tennis playing robot with blond eyelashes.

    *grunt*

  4. raj

    And you dont even know the great NTR’s(he of underpants fame) DON remake in Telugu.oH! What a wasted life yours is!

    Anantha, an interesting fact for you – it was IR who did the music for that one. And it had a better substitute for Yeh Mera Dil, too.

  5. fact or fiction

    Agree with most things you said though that is a rarity since I generally dont agree with most people on most issues. Neways will tell you what I thought when i saw Don. Its like you have this pet video game (in my case it has to be DOOM where you can kill people and see blood and gore) and then somebody comes to u and says they will give you good money to tinker around with it and give it weird twists and turns and reproduce it. Ta ra ra Farhan Akhtar and thereby the new Don
    I quite enjoyed this one though comparisons honestly are a little odious. The fact that Don remains wicked and twisted till the end is nice, though both the surprises were pretty obvious.
    Kareena Kapoor really not a shadow on helen, those huge thighs will give generation to come constant nightmares, though priyanka chopra was nice.
    Regarding Shahrukh Khan, aftera long time felt the man was havin fun playin the character and that’s what came on the screen as well. cheers:)

  6. Suuren D'sa

    With Farhan Akhthar at the helm, the new Don should be slick.

    I remember both the Southern versions of the original Don. And they are not slick.

    ‘My name is Billa’ ≈ ‘Mai hoon Don’…
    The ugly mask was still there, and as a bonus, there was this BIG, pre-Shankarabharanam Manju Bhargavi, dancing with some more ‘healthy’ looking dancers for company…….
    No, definitely not slick….

    And…

    Yugandhar with NTR (this was before the chaddi-burning film)

    The song that comes in place of ‘Ee hai bambai nagariya’….

    While Amitabh, with the surma, lungi et al, totally looked the bumpkin he was playing, the TR from N, hammed it away like only he can.
    He was all himself, the boor, with an ego the size of his own midriff.
    The visual in the song that still haunts me is his noisy sputum-spitting act …(what was he trying spit out?, his food pipe?). Yes…. that was a slick!

  7. Amol

    Great review! After such a long time too! Welcome back and me hopes you keep your promise about more posts to follow.
    Also a very disturbing trend has started in your blog. You have stopped responding to our comments. Why? That was an added attraction for us poor folks.

  8. Vasu

    Great read. Loved the way you quoted Kipling (hope he doesn’t turn..)
    :) looking forward to your keeping ‘Colgates’ (old PJ, sorry!)

  9. Zz

    Aise aadmi ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai!

    Erm. I haven’t seen the first Don. But I don’t intend to see this one either, so I guess it works out. :)

  10. Megha Post author

    [anantha] Er, what good news? That I am alive? Or that I saw the movie? Thank you for both, in any case :) And yesh, Chunkey shows up in the first 25 seconds, so you did the smart thing by giving your popcorn a higher priority than the movie. And ah yes, I forgot all about Om Puri in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him role. I must have blinked. And why would I mention the Billas of the world when I have you in my commentspace to do that?

    [qs.gemini] Thankoo. Glad you agree! :)

    [HP] Don’t remember seeing Jeet in anything other than Don 2, so Ajnabee doesn’t ring a bell. And no no, Jeet didn’t star in a music video of the hawa hawa song. Don 2 was, in fact, a full-fledged movie with an entire soundtrack comprising of Hasan Jehangir songs. It had scenes, stunts, emotions and what not. Much joy. Some songs that come to mind – aajaa na dil hai deewaanaa, ye fashion ke naye rang hain and the most painful of them all – le bhi le, dil tuu meraa, o jaaneman. There are very few people in the world (including Altaf Raja) who can match Jehangir’s whining in le bhi le. A must-hear song, for anyone who hates their ears.

    [viktor] Hey, looky who’s back! Well, to be fair, there was no room in Don for a grumpy, smelly truck driver, so you should cut the moviemakers some slack for not casting you. Boris was an international crime kingpin types. Way too stylish and metrosexual for your more raw, edgy, spice of lice and stale scales loving lifestyle, perhaps?

    [vishwa] Glad you found it readable despite its length and all :) And nopes, I actually found the movie entertaining, so couldn’t bring myself to be too hard on it. And thanks for dropping in :)

    [raj] Yes I remember watching Yugandhar on Hyderabad Doordarshan at some point in life. I think it was just around the time I had a crush on Chiranjeevi, so as you can see, my sensibilities were all over the place. It’s a phase of my life I try desperately to forget. And you touched a raw nerve. *sniffle*

    And a better substitute for ye mera dil, did I hear? I mean, sure I am extremely fond of anything by IR, but given how fond I am of the original Asha-sung ye mera dil, bettering it is a tall order, in my opinion. Anyplace online that one can listen?

    [fact or fiction] Good to have some exceptions :) Yes, I agree, SRK certainly looks like he’s having fun! As I mentioned somewhere above, I think his Don is more maniacal compared to Amitabh’s more chilling one. I can understand Farhan’s urge to retain some of the more memorable lines of the original film, but given the persona that SRK’s Don had, I just didn’t think they all fit in. (The jungli billiyaan line works nicely, but the mujhe romantic baatein bore karti hain line doesn’t, for instance.) Oh, and welcome to the blog!

    [Suuren D'sa] Ooh, such a fun comment! You know, as I mentioned above, I have actually watched Yugandhar on Hyderabad DD at some point in my life, and you would think I wouldn’t forget food-pipe spitting moments like these, but oddly, I have! Given my penchant for remembering anything remotely childhood-scarring I am just amazed that I have blanked out the chaddi-ed NTR in jazzy studly threads. Am guessing some fashionable yellow tinted ‘goggals’ were also involved in completing the look? (Note to self – must hunt for Yugandhar on YouTube.) Cannot say much about Billa. But pre-S’bharanam Manju Bhargavi playing Zeenat/Priyanka’s character? Please oh please tell me it is not true? Oh and nice to have you drop in :)

    [Amol] Thankoo :) Yes, intending to stick to all my honorable intentions and some not-so-honorable ones too. See, I responded imaandaari se, for instance.

    [Vasu] Thankoo, glad you liked :) I am sure Kipling and Shakespeare are busy plotting my downfall right now. And yes, as you can see with these speedy responses, I am keeping my laung ke tel waala Promise :)

    [Zz] Er, yay for you, but how exactly does that work out for me? I was on the hunt for someone who has not seen or heard of the original film and is willing to see and write a review of the new one, if you notice. Some people, tsk tsk.

    [Fleiger] Brevity was never the soul of my wit, anyway :) Yes, do see the movie. Is worth a watch, for sure!

  11. Kusum Rohra

    Sure, it has its weaknesses, but there’s never a dull moment, never a point when you check the time.

    I too didn’t check the time, er, but that was because I slept through the movie :D. So many of my friends have told me stories about how they would fall asleep during the movie, I could never understand how could anyone:

    1.Pay so much ( the tickets in those damn multiplexes are pushin my retirement age to a decade further)
    2.Sit in the huge dark room, with all that noise

    and still sleep happily! But the moment I saw Kareena dancing and shahrukh trying to be the Don *yawn* off to dreamy lands I went.

  12. naam mein kya rakha hai?

    15 after the intermission I found myself in a completely different world.. I found kareena in my arms.. singing yeh mera dil pyaar ka dewwana.. and everything felt real like dreamy real.. and exciting and adventerous things kept happening.. but around an hr later I felt someone pushing me heavily.. and I was like What the f****?? JFC!!!! only to find myself snap out of my sleep and a great dream about kareena.. and seeing the end credits.. and my friends laughing at me..

    in last 10 yrs I havent slept for even 0.01 secs in a movie and I slept throughout the 2nd half.. one of the most atrocious movies of this year by FAR.. actually one of the most overhyped + BORING movies of last 10 yrs (it even gives paheli tough competetion..) ..

  13. deitaDi

    elkam byAk!

    Hassan Jahangir and Don 2! Priceless nostalgia :)

    To me, the new Don dragged on and on and on and on… background music and Priyanka were the only +ves.. “aaj ki raat” sounded so much similar to “raat baaki, baat baaki”, but I liked it too.. that one and the Ganpati song were the best, IMO

    For those of you who missed NTR’s Yugandhar – http://www.nbkfans.com/videos/annantrvideos/ohrabba-song.wmv

  14. Pingback: DesiPundit » Archives » Yet Another Don Review

  15. Anurag

    Hey, welcome back. Nice to see a long post from you.

    I loved the new Don. People who want remakes to be similar to the originals should probably watch the originals again and again. After all, most movie plots are about good v/s evil, and that story has been done to death.

    In any case, I loved the new Don enough to watch it twice in a theater to enjoy the music (lovely keyboards), cinematography (like you pointed out both the party songs have been shot extremely well) as well as the energy of the movie.

  16. Pingback: Asnee » Don - review by meghalomania

  17. A

    well, havnt read the other comments, but the one scene where a bullock cart appears to denote india, also includes a fast, snazzy, BMW type car that zooms past the guy on the cart in the same shot …and that i thought was a pretty cool and apt way to denote India :o)

  18. raj

    megha, sorry to have reminded you of a scarry childhood moment :-). As for the song, it is obviously subjective. I cant stand Asha Paatti. so….I will try and hunt out the link though. The thing is with IR, you got to look at the tune, orchestration and presentation, the sheer perfectness of the notes and the instruments and ofcourse the unbelievably seamless fusion mainly and the singer is incidental – and this doesnt go well with people who love their songs with a dash of vocal excellence :-)

  19. Zz

    Er, yay for you, but how exactly does that work out for me?

    Well, we didn’t want to ruin your snappy ending.. We liked the sound of “Aise aadmi ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai!”

  20. twinkletoes

    heh heh
    nice post and all,
    but when one saw a trailer of “ye mera dil” with that moron kareena trying to gyrate and failing miserably; and shahrukh looking even more like a moron with his moronic expressions, one didn’t have the courage to go watch the entire movie. one is allergic to all things shahrukh, and to go see him defile , of all things, amitabh’s role, would have been torture!
    heh heh. one is done

  21. shark

    SRK is not Amitabh Bachchan… he is DON! The Modern age DON.. where the evil wins ;-)

    And yes, kareena was a big dissapointment. I wonder what happened to her hour glass figure?

  22. Megha Post author

    [Kusum] Well, there’s always a first for everything. Glad you got yourself a 2.5 hour nap, even if you had to pay good money for it :)

    [naam mein kya rakha hai?] Uff, what is this. The part of the movie I did not like is the part you fixate on. And then you fall asleep completely missing all the fun parts. Tchah . Khair, koi baat nahin. Pasand apni apni and all that. Although I must say this – how do you know the second half was boring if you slept right through it? :)

    [deitaDi] Thankoo thankoo. And goodie! So glad there are other sufferers! And yes, agree that aaj ki raat has shades of raat baaki, baat baaki in it. Very synth-heavy Bappi-in-the-80s type arrangements. Didn’t care for the Ganpati song much. Main hoon Don was my other pick. And of course, the theme music. I thought the Midival Punditz version of it worked splendidly during the chase sequences.

    I think I said somewhere above that I have no idea why I have no memories of watching Yugandhar even though I know I’ve seen it. I realized later I must have owned one of those MIB types memory-messer-upper thingies. That’s got to be the only explanation how this childhood-destroying emotion-scarring travesty of a song eluded me till now. And for refreshing my memory – one of these days, I shall poke pins into a voodoo doll in your name and gleefully dance my Red Indian victory dance around you. Just you wait and watch. Grrr.

    [Anurag] Thank you! Happy that you liked the movie as much as I did, if not more :) And those who see remakes expecting the originals, should just see the originals and save themselves some time. And I cannot stop oohing and aahing about the theme music (which extends itself into various portions of the background score as well), so some more agreement there too. Gosh, I’m turning into such an agreeable person. Tsk tsk.

    [A] The fast snazzy car that zooms past is Don’s car. So it wasn’t so much a juxtaposition of extremes to denote what India was about as much as a simpler Don comes to India, I think :)

    [raj] Aww, I love and adore Asha, so we’re on very different sides here. But I must say something. I agree with you about IR’s orchestration and presentation. I also think he is a master in choosing a large number of instruments, but knowing how to use them sparingly, giving each one of them their moment of glory. But to say that the singer in an IR song is incidental would be unfair. A large number of IR’s compositions are designed to showcase the singer, and the same songs in a different singer’s voice would have sounded far less superior. I think IR’s compositions are made keeping in mind who the singer is going to be. The singer’s voice is perhaps one of the many instruments he plays with, but a very essential one, and far from being incidental. Entirely my opinion, of course.

    Pliss to give link, if possible. Very curious to hear it now :)

    [Zz] Ahh. So my namumkin-ness stays intact. Gotcha. Thankoo for staying away from the theatre just to keep the validity of my statement intact. Much kind, you are.

    [twinky] Had I watched trailers of golden-golden Kareena, it might have kept me away from the movie too! But luckily for me, ZeeTV only showed me trailers of SRK’s entry in the main hoon Don number, with Priyanka making a pink billowy entry. Enough to get me to the theatre :)

    [shark] Yes, precisely. He is not Amitabh but he isn’t trying to be Amitabh either. Once we accept that, it is a fun movie to watch, methinks!

  23. hap

    Edit: Spoiler alert in comment

    One major flaw in film…
    if Vijay never became DON, and DON who went as DON instead of Vijay, then why he need to go ahead with all the stunts and story in the movie … Does story make sense ?? Why he kept talking to D’Silva instead of happily living with his gang ;)

  24. Sue

    I know, I wanted to watch it for the coolth factor myself. Love watching interesting clothes. Of course, the son and heir decided otherwise.

  25. raj

    my bad, I meant the same thing. The singer in a IR song is a puppet in his hands – even the improvisations are programmed by him and he pretty much gets what he wants out of them. Asha, otoh, I believe adds her own personality to the song – hence, the dichotomy. Even SPB, reportedly, could never add his improvisations in IR songs. I agree with you that to the song itself, the singer is not incidental(my articulation was very bad in the previous post) but the singer’s personality is – thats what I meant. I mean, if you are a Asha fan, you like her for certain vocal and singing qualities – but if she sang an IR song, she would pretty much have to surrender to IR’s conceptualisation of his tune. So, the Asha fan in you wouldnt really find the Asha YOU like and admire there(Maybe yes, if IR’s conceptualisation for that song matches with your sensibility) – thats what I meant.
    I really appreciate the fact that you can appreciate both flavours – I somehow am more comfortable when the composer controls the song throughout – (ie) You probably can appreciate a ordinary(in terms of orchestration etc) song if sung well by a good singer. I cant. Thats what I meant.

  26. twinkletoes

    yesh yesh im sure that would’ve made me go watch it too,.alas.
    aaila!
    you’re actually posting responses and all. what aah?
    full back aa you are on blag?
    heh heh
    me all happy happy-ing
    ting ti-ding!

  27. Dawning Surprise

    How how how could you watch SRK reprising the role ? Not to mention Kareena ? Sighhhh. Does this mean the Evil One has taken over ? Is this the sign of 666 ? Are those the Horsemen of Apocalypse on horizon ? Where is an Ark when you need one … etc.

  28. anantha

    [aghast...] Nah, I don’t know. I just thought there was good news. A long period of silence and I just put two and two together. Wonder why no one else even thought of it!

  29. Pingback: DON.( Remaking of a classic.) How well ?: Humdigg discussion

  30. Hum Paunch

    [Anant ha] You put two n two together and instead of arriving even at the movie’s 5, you got into multiplyin ?

  31. Basanti From Sholay

    LOL! Good one! Did you notice in the movie that when that Ramesh is found dead, and Kareena goes to police, her make up is impeccable!

    2-3 days before I went for Don (the remake) I had seen Don (the original) and I could not help but miss Mac. I so love this character in all the movies.. ! Sigh.. !

    Had total fun reading your take on teh movie!

  32. Bhanu

    Megha/Raj,

    Was interesting to read your conversation. I am like Raj..except that I do like Asha but am with Raj when she messes up the accent and sometimes she cannot manage IR’s imagination. For e.g, the butterfly song in Meera is such a beautiful song…sung amazingly by SPB but in my own opinion Asha could not match the breezy way SPB sang this song. Here: http://www.raaga.com/channels/tamil/movie/T0000096.html
    But in general, she has some gems singing for IR.

    I think the Yugandhar song you are talking about is Na Paruvam (sung by Janaki). It can be found in the link below (at streaming quality). I heard that IR was not very happy to reuse the main pan song tune in Telugu but was sort of forced into it at that time.

    http://www.chimatamusic.com/club.php

    I think the above song was trendy and suits the south indian taste but Yeh Mera Dil (from what I can recollect) does seem more smooth and hep.

  33. Forgot, Mein Gott

    Jeet Upendra. Sigghhh. Deepshikha. Siggghhhhh. Hasan Jehangir, Altaf Raja. Siggghhhhhh.

    Who will keep the faith alive unless you chronicle these leading luminaries of our past ?

    What long gaps in posting, I say! Please do not take your role as historian of Indian Culture lightly. Why, the next generation may not even realize (gulp) who Kishen Kumar is! What Laal Dupatta Malmal Ka meant! Rupa “Draupadi” whatsername will fade from memory!

    ==> teeters off thinking of The Third Ice Age.

  34. Suyog

    Kareena looked like a horny lizard in “Yeh Mera Dil” – she was dismissed as a Lizard should be. I was pleased.

    Priyanka in comparison than hot..umm..chocolate :). I would like to see a sequel of this movie called Donness….

    S

  35. Megha Post author

    Spoiler alert

    [hap] Don’s purpose of working with DeSilva was to use DeSilva to eliminate Singhania, his boss and the biggest roadblock to Don’s complete control of the empire. And if he had eliminated Singhania on his own, Narang and the rest of his gang would have turned against him. So it was necessary to do it via DeSilva. Also, doing what he did, he made sure that Don is dead to the world, and Vijay is an innocent man anyway. So he is free to run the empire, now that Singhania (and eventually Vardhaan) are out of the way. So that be funda :)

    End spoiler

    [Sue] Ah. The heir has gone back to Cal so you cannot make him watch the son while you watch some wholesome eye-candy, I suppose? Of course, if you’re feeling particularly hateful towards the world, you could always inflict a wailing baby on a theatreful of moviegoers. That’ll teach them for telling you what an angelic bundle of calmness he is, and what not.

    [raj] Well said. I quite agree. The artist’s own trademarks, things that they typically like to add to the song tend to not get much bhaav, unless IR’s conceptualization matches the artist’s. Then again, there’s another way to look at this. If IR is not intending to use the artist’s unique contribution, then why does he choose that artist in the first place? On one side, you could say that he doesn’t allow the artist to bring in any of their touches, cos he likes to be in complete control. Then again, one could also argue that IR could have chosen a unique-touches-free singer to render the same song, and is thus making a bad singer choice? Yes, I realize I might be publicly lynched for this, but am just thinking aloud.

    And yes, I must admit, I do enjoy a song, purely for its melody and singing, even if the orchestration is ordinary. A lot of IR compositions that I absolutely love for their arrangements are also compositions that I wish had ‘unplugged’ versions, just so I could enjoy the melody without any of the other elements to distract me. But maybe that’s just me :)

    [twinkletoes] Oh yes, totally! Life had rudely interrupted while I was trying to live it and all :) But I have looked at it sternly, told it to go sit in a corner and made it write ‘I will not bother Megha’ a thousand times on the blackboard. So far, it seems to be behaving. (It sulks from time to time though.) Good to see you back in full josh here and all! Me most happy :)

    [Aghast in Alibaug] *groan*

    [Dawning Surprise] Uff. I wondered how long it would be before someone gave me grief for watching a SRK movie and not saying anything too nasty about him. Took a lot longer than I expected :) So yes, the KANK SRK deserves copious amounts of mocking. (Is a pity I didn’t write a post about that movie. Would have been so very cathartic!) But the Don SRK is quite entertaining. He seems like he is having fun and for once, his brow furrowing and hamming give his character some dimension instead of being just a poor shadow of the Big B version. Plus, as you know, we are all about giving the devil his due. So there :)

    [anantha] Tchah! What a jobless character! A person doesn’t post for a while and THIS is what you do? *strikes her favorite sad Meena Kumari pose* Ananthaaaaaaaa, tumse ye ummeed nahiin thii!

    [deitaDi] Why are you so fond of those voodoo pins, anyway? Bah!

    [Basanti from Sholay] Sigh, yes. Although to be fair, Hindi films have historically had that happen, so that wasn’t unique to Kareena madam. Heroine is captured by villain and made to dance for him – she has time to touch up her make up and look good for a guy she doesn’t want to dance for. Heroine has a huge fight with her dad/husband and hurriedly packs her bags and leaves home – she will walk out with one teeny tiny suitcase that won’t even shut properly, but shockingly enough accomodates some four hundred thirty dress changes and all the accessories needed for the next n scenes. And so on.

    So glad you mention Mac. Am sure the chappie who played him, is a decent actor and all, but *nobody* can be a Mac Mohan. The guy doesn’t need speaking lines to make an impression. (quite the opposite of Basanti from Sholay, I guess!) Hmm, I think it is time to do a post on character actors of the 70s and 80s, methinks. Glad you liked post :)

    [Bhanu] Pliss to see my reply to Raj. Also, is it really fair to compare Asha and SPB in a language that Asha is completely unfamiliar with? She can’t be expected to emote the same way as SPB, no?

    As for the naa paruvam number .. I know this is a subjective thing, but I just don’t think it holds a candle to ye mera dil yaar ka deewaana. And it isn’t Asha alone that is the reason. I think the Don song captures the mood more correctly. Then again, if Manju Bhargavi is seducing NTR, there isn’t a song in the world that can set the mood right, I suppose. IR or Janaki are not superhuman, after all.

    [Forgot, Mein Gott] Heh heh. Historian of Indian Culture, and all. Muchly flattered. Let’s see .. Jeet, Deepshikha, Avinash Wadhawan, Shaheen, Cushion Kumar, Tanya Singh, Laal Dupatta, Sumeet Saigal and Rupa Ganguly (only in passing though) – all done. What do you suggest we touch upon next?

    [Hameed] Thankoo. Glad you liked :)

    [Suyog] Shudder. The very mention of lizards gives me the heebiejeebies. Ugh. Bleh. But Priyanka .. Ooooh! Mmmmm! Mostest delish :)

  36. raj

    1. megha, i think the thing about IR’s singer choices, you are right – it causes a lot of heartburn even to a singer-indifferent fan like me. IR has this, what you call bhaav, what is called “aanavam” in tamil and what one would call arrogance in english – that the singer – and the lyricist as well -is/are immaterial to his songs. This attitude is more discernible if you can read his interviews in tamil. This seemingly belies his choice of divine SPB for what,like, million songs in the 80′s. However, you must note that IR once played Guitar in SPB’s performing troupe in the 70′s and there is a sort of “who-is-the-boss” going on between them. When IR became the prima donna of SI music industry in 80′s. my theory is that he wanted to put SPB in place by making him(SPB) sing for him(IR) but at the same time, control him(SPB) so much so that his(SPB’s) personality is not seen in his(IR’s) songs. SPB, seemingly a gentleman and a gentle soul not given to political bickering, had his notional revenge when, in an interview to a national TV channel mentioned a thousand MD’s who he has enjoyed working with but failed conspiciously to mention IR – who, according to other public utterances of SPB, was a “dear friend and a genius composer”.

    And I would term IR’s choice of Asha Bhonsle/Lata for a few Tamil songs is just a gimmick to show that he can get Asha/Lata to sing for him at his whim. In those days, Lata or Asha or any other Hindi singer hardly deigned to sing in “southie” films. These days, ofcourse, singing for ARR or IR is a badge that singers like Shreya, Sadhana stick on their resume with pride.

    Coming back to IR’s choice of singer, one can clearly see his indifference to quality singing in his choice of Mano, again for a zillion songs in the late 80′s. These are all songs that would have been enhanced by SPB’s mere presence but IR wanted to show that he didnt need SPB to give hit music. Or if you want the official version, SPB had a throat operation during that period so IR couldnt use him. That period, was, like, 3-4 years :-)
    I hate most IR songs sung by Mano(you should hear the tamil version of Gitanjali with Mano covering for SPB in all songs, yuck!), inspite of my general indifference towards singer quality.

    So, yes, if you say IR makes bad singer choices sometimes, I would have to agree.

    2. But that doesnt mean that every time he chooses Asha Bhonsle, he is doing so for expressing his whim or plain bad judgement. There could be some inherent qualities of the singer(the voice and the image of the voice to begin with) he needs for that song but he doesnt need the rest of the personality of the singer or the improvisations brought to the table by the singer. What happens in these cases is that the song comes out exactly as he visualises(even if it is SPB or Asha) and with(presumably) the correct touches :-). I think you can see the point I am trying to make.

  37. raj

    Thankfully, I never had the trauma of seeing MB seduce NTR. I have only heard the song. I have heard Yeh mera dil, though and seen it as well. I do somehow feel that it doesnt capture the mood very well. It is too fast, to begin with, and perhaps, I can be forgiven for thinking that seducing is not such a “wham-bam” job – not that I have the expertise to pronounce so :-).

  38. Suuren D'sa

    Roopa Gangauly and Sumeet Sehgal…
    Well, I remember one Tariq Shah, along with these two, in Bahaar Aane Tak*

    Jeet Upendra…
    you left out Ajinkya Deo, his on screen buddy in Humne Pyar Kiya(No, no, not a sequel)

    then, there was Sahil Chadda, he of Phir Leharaya Lal Dupatta (YES, YES, a sequel)

    maan, memories of my traumatic early teen years, coming rushing back…
    you are all bad peoples….
    doing this to me..

    *(Moon Moon Sen was the other heroine. But I have many other pleasant memories of her from her many many other films. so… she doesn’t belong here)

  39. twink

    priyanka is sooooooooooo niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice..she keeps getting hotter by the minute, doesn’t she?
    and i wish they’d used mallika sherawat in the ye-mera-dil number.she’d have been killed in a blink anyways, and we’d be saved from the agony of watchin kareena trying to be haat and shahrukh acting like a horny toad

  40. Basanti From Sholay

    LOL! I am glad you remember and *KNOW* who Macmohan is.. I find it so difficult to explain people that Samba’s original name is Macmohan! :P

    Being the movie buff I am, I guess, I should write something on those lines too! hehehe!

  41. selvin

    meghs,
    I wasn’t around for a loooooooong time (the no. of ‘o’s says it all)
    and for obvious reasons u wudn’t remember me now..
    what the hell was I doing u wud ask….cmon ask ?
    hibernating !!
    no..on a serious note…been busy with ‘da usual stuff’ – work, travel, studies (yea, I still study!!)
    thy post on Don was mind blowing (as xpected !), reading it was much more fun than watching it :-)
    u shud be tryng ur fingers (‘n brain too) in scriptwriting (hindi movies need good ones badly) or be a film critic ‘n make directors read your posts..
    Kkkkeep writing megs…dis space is truly a stress buster !
    aap likhte raho aur hum padthe rehenge…

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