The delightful whimsy of the creators of Wallace and Gromit (I still haven't seen the film, but I remember seeing a couple of shorts someplace) makes this very silly comedy work. It's a relief that the gratuitous pop-culture references which really killed Shark Tale for me don't surface here as often.
High points of the film:
- A group of slugs/leeches/what the hell were they? singing "Don't worry, be happy" and a couple of other cleverly picked songs.
- A French mercenary frog voiced by Jean Reno. His gang says "We surrender" at random times. They stop for five-hour lunches. And yes, they travel with a mime.
- Bill Nighy and Andy Serkis ('My precious' Gollum) as a pair of good 'fer nothing sidekicks.
Don - the chase begins
Farhan Akhtar doesn't disappoint in this slick re-visitation of the classic. SRK is surprisingly good, especially as the comic Vijay. His Don is as much respectful tribute as personal interpretation. Priyanka Chopra is competent and Boman Irani shows serious acting chops to complement his comic timing I've seen in various other places.
The soundtrack too is a good re-work, using the high points of the old and blending it smoothly with new refrains and lyrics. The new title song and Raat Baki work well and the songs don't flag the pace of the film. The fight sequences are slick and except for a couple of sequences which are really arbitrary, they re-define Bollywood style for this generation.
Neatest touch: In Don's 'safe room', Edvard Munch's Scream is hanging on the wall. The painting itself was stolen in 2004 and recovered in August this year. Assuming they shot the film before that, it's a good painting for a man wanted in 11 nations to own.
As always, the blighted weather outside and a general lack of outdoor-sy things to do will meet the 'end of Oscar nomination' season and lots of movie viewings are in order. Still pending: Iraq in Fragments, Babel, The Prestige, The Departed and The Illusionist. Yes, I'm also looking forward to Casino Royale. The fun just began.