Don Review

In an industry where superstitions reign supreme, a delayed film usually causes apprehensions. Don has been in the making for a bit too long. However, it was released on the day that Nagarjuna wants his release €“ December 20. So in that sense, they have balanced out each other. Moving on, there has been a lot of hype about the stylish look that the film would have. Well, it does come with a glossy package, but the content unfortunately is surely to disappoint even Nagarjuna€™s hardcore fans. However, Nagarjuna still makes his fashion statement by wearing pristine white chikan kurta pyjamas. But we would vote for the golden paisley patch on his jeans in Mudde pettu song to be the most copied style, this clubbing season!

For starters, Raghava Lawrence is the director-cum-choreographer-cum music director of the film. And if you thought, that was not enough, there€™s more of him in the film. Yes, he plays the beloved sidekick of the Don, Suri. So, you have Lawrence and more of Lawrence, from the beginning till the very end. This is his technical contribution apart.

The film starts off with Suri (Nagarjuna) and Raghava Lawrence and with the establishment of the fact that Suri is the Don with a golden heart. Then of course, he has Raghava (Raghava Lawrence) as his sidekick, who adores him to death. Together, they rule the underworld of Andhra Pradesh. Since he is the unopposed kingpin, our don even has time for a song and dance on his birthday with his basti people. Everything is peaceful and hunky dory. But only till Stephan (Kelly Dorjee) enters the scene. The suave don with sideburns decides to add Andhra Pradesh to his underworld fiefdom. That€™s what sets off the battle of the dons. Well, though we don€™t want to disclose what happens next, it would be too naïve to assume it would be any different from the good-wins-over-evil genre of films.

However, we must confess that the film has a surprise twist, but again, unless you are too carried away by the golden-hearted don, you can spot the red herring. But that is for you to watch and figure out!

Raghava Lawrence plays the role of three technicians apart from playing the sidekick. It is indeed laudable to try and be good at everything one does. While his effort cannot be undermined, it does leave one asking for more, especially more of Nagarjuna. The script has too little of Nagarjuna. You cannot help but feel that the story actually belonged to Raghava and that don is just an important character in the film. Barring the three songs, you have Raghava in just about every frame. Also, there is no strong script. It neither has well-defined action, comedy or drama. Whatever drama is on offer, it is something that you would expect in any film revolving around a don.

Raghava Lawrence€™s latest role as a music director works really well for the film. It€™s the songs that keep you going as you are watching it. Though, a couple of them remind you of songs from his earlier films. Like we have said earlier, music is what helps you sit through the film. The two soft numbers are good and both Nag and Anushka look really good in them. As for the choreographer, looks like Lawrence decided to give him a rest. He does not try anything scintillating, given that it is his very own film.

Another major glitch is its extreme focus on style. If henchman with shades, the lead actors with shades and the night clubs being passed off as offices of the dons -- is style, then we would rather not have stylish flicks. Most of the film has been shot in Touch, Ahala and Jayabheri Club. Of course, there are the bikini clad babes doubling as Stephan€™s bodyguards and hordes of other East European girls prancing around in bikinis. There are two scenes with choppers. But unfortunately, they only evoke a sense of deja vu.

Also, there are no well-choreographed action sequences that could have worked well with the storyline.

Nagarjuna, for his part, is his usual best. Though he many not like some of his close-up shots. He is seen in kurta pyjamas in quite a few scenes and they look really good on him. Anushka does her bit with enthusiasm. Nikhita is believable and that is where she succeeds.

But it is the import of Chetan Hansraj and Kelly Dorjee that is disappointing. Chetan is wasted as Stephan€™s sidekick Anthony. Kelly Dorjee matches up to the style of Nagarjuna and his uneasiness with the language is made up by the fact that Stephan is from north. However, his character lacks the slick smoothness that his contemporary model Arjun Ramphal had in Om Shanti Om. Given that he is a model, this Lara Dutta€™s ex-boyfriend surely matches up to Nagarjuna, though it is his first film here.

Then of course, there is Nazir, wasted in an inconsequential role. Chalapati Rao and Jeeva are at their casual best.

So, in all, you can still watch it if you are huge Nagarjuna fan. Just for him.