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An Ode to Twitching Eyebrows (or the new Don)

Written By: amodini - Oct• 13•06

Hmm, guess who’s eyebrows ? Shahrukh Khan’s ofcourse ! I didn’t think much of them in KANK , and I don’t think the twitch will help with the upcoming Don. I don’t condone the actual twitching. After all one must have one’s personal signature style; Rajesh Khanna had his immensely annoying mannerisms and we must forgive the Khan his.


With all the hype around Don, it looks like we have a major block-buster at hand. Or so says my husband, who’s an ardent fan, actually more of a devotee of the Big B. If worshipping at Amitabh’s feet was an actual paying job, I think he’d have done that. But then, I suspect, so would have millions of desi fans. He has seen Amitabh’s Don more times than I can count, and when he talks of the magic of the film his eyes glaze over. So when such an absolute devotee looks forward to a remake of THE CLASSIC, I am floored.

A Don Remake ? Blasphemy, I think ! Has Farhan Akhtar lost his marbles ? It is one thing to remake a crappy film, because you have a good chance of making it better. But to remake a 70’s classic super-hit, when the chances of recreating that magic are slim, one must be either really brave or really stupid. I thought Farhan belonged to the former category.

Plus he seemed to have the knack for story-telling an UNTOLD story – take “Dil Chahta Hai” or “Lakshya”. Both exude exhuberance and youthfulness, and tell well-crafted stories. They are modern day classics. They create original magic, the keyword here being “original”. Borrowed magic, my dear Farhan, is after all borrowed. Why borrow when you have your own ?


Don (1978) was the film it was because of it’s cast. Besides AB (much discussed and upon whom I could write reams), there’s Zeenat Aman, Helen and Pran. 4 actors I consider inimitable. Now consider the replacements : SRK replaces Amitabh. Can SRK recreate AB’s magic ? Hmm, can pigs fly ? You shake your head vigorously – No,No. I concur. SRK will be SRK, first and foremost. Any other character he might be playing comes second. Always. The only time he seemed to indicate otherwise was in “Swades”. But that was it. After that he has well and truly reverted to the SRK persona.


Yes, SRK does embody the modern-day Rahul as much as Amitabh embodied the yester-year Vijay. But, can today’s Rahul emulate the yester-year Vijay ? Again consider, will there ever be a time when pigs will fly ? You shake your head vigorously – No,No. I concur. And then of course then there’s the very indisputable fact : Bachhan can act. Can Shahrukh ? Yeah, let’s not go there . . .

Priyanka Chopra replaces Zeenat Aman. Yes, I agree that Zeenat couldn’t act either, but there the similarity ends. Ms. Aman had truck-loads more oomph, and a very upmarket touch-me-not aura to her. Chopra on the other hand is far more earthy; a poor man’s Zeenat if you will.

Then Arjun Rampal replaces Pran. Sacrilege ! Pran-like actors are born but once every googol years. To even think that Rampal can carry off Pran’s role, is inviting God’s wrath upon oneself. Rampal has the kind of face which belongs to handsome models, not raspy-voiced rascals with hearts of gold. Pran was the ultimate villain with acting abilities (even though he plays Officer Jasjit). Rampal in neither a villain, nor does he posses an iota of Pran’s dramatic talent. Don’t get me wrong; acting abilities or no, Rampal is very easy on the eye, and I do like seeing him on-screen. However not as Jasjit – please, please, Nooooooooooooooooooo . . .

Kareena Kapoor as Kamini. Helen was the original Kamini. A Kamini like no other. If there was ever a Kamini, then Helen was it. I am more kindly disposed towards Kareena after her blow-you-off-your-feet performance in Omkara, but that still doesn’t make her Kamini. It makes her Dolly. Still at least she can act. Which is more than I can say for the others.

Still Farhan Akhtar’s track-record leaves me optimistic. In the hope that he will take this ambitious project and be able to imbue a stale tale with freshness. Put a new spin on the old Don. Bedazzle us with visual imagery, enchant us with a tall-tale, and captivate us with cinema yet unthought of.

One hopes. And one waits with bated breath.

Categories : _films , _film_reviews

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