In pursuit of the icon comes another thriller

Lovers of Hindi films (which include a growing number of Europeans and other ethnic groups from Asia) can expect an entertaining Christmas weekend if they would get to see one of the most expected films of the year at local cinemas.

Don 2: The Chase continues will be screened at Hoyt Cinemas in Auckland and other centres in New Zealand from December 22. The film is being distributed by the Melbourne based Mind Blowing Films Limited on both sides of the Tasman.

Farhan Akhtar, the film’s principal producer and storywriter was justifiably excited about the release of the film, which has been in the making over the past two years.

The actual filming began at the end of 2009 but registered rapid progress from October last year in Germany, a country known for its rigid rules. Shot later in Malaysia and India, Don 2 will be a thriller apt for the holiday season.

“Don 2 is an action film with exquisite settings, special effects and songs. There is more to this character well portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan than any other that I have done in the past,” Farhan told Indian Newslink during a telephonic interview from his office in Mumbai on December 7.

He said people will enjoy watching the movie since the story is entirely new and nothing to suggest that it is a sequel to Don: The Chase begins again, which made box-office history in 2006.

Like all other film critics, we were also intrigued by his decision to make Don 2, contrary to his earlier announcement that there would no more ‘Dons’ from his camp. He was apparently guilty of his declaration.

The Don Obsession

“I have been obsessed with this Don Character. Following a discussion with co-producers Shah Rukh Khan and Ritesh Sidhwani, I decided to go ahead. I had no doubt in my mind that Shah Rukh would be the Don again,” he said.

Farhan is a chip of the old block, drawing inspiration from his father Javed Akhtar, a prominent scriptwriter, poet and lyricist and grandfather Nisar Akhtar.

The urge to do well in Bollywood is equally orchestrated by his illustrious extended family, which includes famous producer and choreographer Farah Khan and her actor and TV host Sajid Khan.

Movie buffs would know that the original version, just called Don was an Amitabh Bachchan-Zeenat Aman starrer released in 1978. The anti-hero theme, supported by superb performance of the star and Kalyanji-Anandji’s lilting music made it a box-office hit.

Like all other producers and directors of films, Farhan would not say much about the forthcoming movie.

Film with a difference

“All I would say is that Don 2: The Chase continues is a film with a difference. I have derived utmost satisfaction in making it and I am sure cine-goers will find it exciting as well,” he said.

Farhan has retained Shah Rukh, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani and Om Puri in their roles and added Lara Dutta, Kunal Kapoor and Sameera Reddy to the cast.

Bollywood writer Netherland based Charla Manohar said in a recent commentary that compared with the hype surrounding Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One (his second and last release in 2011), Don 2 makes its entry with a whisper rather than bang.

“While Don: The Chase Begins Again had immense pressure on the makers to aesthetically re-create the yesteryear favourite, the sequel has not been subject to such expectations. Don 2 is an entirely new and different concept, opening the makers to a goldmine of creative opportunities. Arguably, this applies to music directors Shankar-Eshaan-Loy more so than the reminder of the film’s cast and crew,” she said.

Farhan was equally excited about the songs for his latest Don.

“Our promos released so far for the film and the music have had rave reviews all over the world,” he said.

Don 2 (The Chase Continues) Credits

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Producers: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Shah Rukh Khan

Screenplay: Ameet Mehta, Amrish Shah

Story: Farhan Akhtar, Ameet Mehta, Amrish Shah

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Om Puri

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Cinematographer: Jason West

Editors: Anand Subaya, Ritesh Soni

Distributors: Reliance Entertainment, Excel Entertainment

Date of Release: December 22 (ANZ) December 23 (World)

(2011-12-23)

Don 2 in New Zealand

Auckland: Event Cinemas Queen Street (on 2D and 3D), West City, Manukau

Hoyts Sylvia Park, Wairau Park, Botany Downs (all 2D & 3D), Octagon

Hamilton: Hoyts Te Awa (on 3D)

Wellington: Event Cinemas Queensgate

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