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Don 2 (also known as Don: The King Is Back) is a 2011 Indian action thriller film, co-written, co-produced and directed by Farhan Akhtar. It is the second installment in the Don series. Jointly produced by Excel Entertainment and Red Chillies Entertainment, the film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Om Puri, Boman Irani and Kunal Kapoor. A sequel to the 2006 film Don (2006), Don 2 takes place five years after the previous film when titular character (Khan) plans to take over the European drug cartel. Meanwhile, Roma (Chopra) has joined the Interpol to hunt him down.

Don 2
A poster of Don 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Farhan Akhtar
Produced by Farhan Akhtar
Ritesh Sidhwani
Shah Rukh Khan
Screenplay by Farhan Akhtar
Ameet Mehta
Amrish Shah
Starring Shah Rukh Khan
Priyanka Chopra
Lara Dutta
Kunal Kapoor
Boman Irani
Om Puri
Music by Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy
Cinematography Jason West
Edited by Ritesh Soni
Production
company
Distributed by Reliance Entertainment
Release date
  • 23 December 2011 (2011-12-23)
Running time
144 minutes[1]
Country India
Germany
Language Hindi
Budget 76 crore[2]
Box office 209.50 crore[3]

The film's music was composed by Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, while Javed Akhtar wrote the lyrics. Jason West served as the film's cinematographer and Ritesh Soni was its editor. After the success of the first film, Akhtar had planned a sequel in 2010 which did not work out. It was then officially announced in early 2010, with filming scheduled to begin in later that year. Principal photography took place in Berlin, where it was shot extensively.

Don 2 was released on 23 December 2011 in 2D and 3D formats, which also included dubbed versions in Telugu and Tamil languages. The film had a positive to mixed reception from critics, receiving praise for the cast's performance, cinematography, production design and action sequences. However, its pace and music received criticism. With a box office gross of over 2.09 billion, Don 2 was a major box office success. At the time of its release, the film was one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time and is the fourth highest-grossing Indian film of 2011. The film received a number of accolades across various ceremonies in India. The film received five nominations at the 57th Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Akhtar and Best Actor for Khan, winning Best Sound Design and Best Action.

Contents

PlotEdit

The film opens five years after the events of Don, with Don (Shah Rukh Khan) narrating the story. The European drug cartel bosses meet in the French Riviera to discuss a new threat emerging from Asia: Don is jeopardising their business by undercutting their prices, and the bosses decree that Don must die. Living in Thailand for the last five years, he goes to a remote settlement to pick up a shipment of cocaine. Instead of the expected uneventful transaction, Don fights his way out. He returns to Malaysia, surrendering to Roma (Priyanka Chopra), who has joined Interpol, and Inspector Malik (Om Puri). Don is sentenced to death and sent to prison, where he meets old rival Vardhan (Boman Irani). He offers Vardhan a partnership, and they escape from prison after poisoning the other inmates.

In Zurich Don meets trusted companion Ayesha (Lara Dutta), and they retrieve the contents of a locker accessible only by Vardhaan. In it is a tape of J.K. Diwan (Alyy Khan), vice-president of the Euro-printing DZB (Deutsche Zentral Bank), who was sent by Fabian Kohl to bribe Singhania (Rajesh Khattar) to kill a competitor. Singhania was killed by Vardhaan five years earlier. Don blackmails Diwan into giving him the bank's blueprints so he can steal the printing plates. Diwan misleads him and hires Abdul Jabbar (Nawab Shah), a deadly assassin. However, Don escapes, and baits Jabbar to working for him. With no other choice, Diwan gives Don the blueprints.

Don and his team plan and execute a bank robbery, taking hostages. After stealing the printing plates he is betrayed by Vardhaan and Jabbar, but escapes. However, Sameer (a team member) calls the police and Don is arrested; he threatens Sameer for informing on him. Unable to enter the bank and free the hostages, the police are forced to work with Don in exchange for giving him German immunity.

Don and Roma reach Vardhaan and Jabbar. When ordered by Vardhaan and Jabbar - and even Don himself - Roma is shot by Jabbar when she refuses to kill Don. She still has feelings for Don, although he killed her brother five years earlier, and she also refused to kill him because she refused to do it the illegal way. Don defeats Vardhaan and his thugs, and kills Jabbar. Don ultimately saves the entire team. Don obtains his immunity papers, surrendering the plates and a disc with information about his team. He brings Roma to a waiting ambulance, and they exchange glances before the doors close. Don later detonates a bomb planted earlier in Diwan's car.

In a final scene Don still has one of the currency plates, which the police think was destroyed by the explosion. Sameer was actually loyal to Don; informing the police was part of the plan. The disc Don gave them actually contains the names of the European drug cartel; when they are arrested, Don becomes king of the European underworld and tells Ayesha and Sameer they have no idea how rich they will become. When Ayesha tells him she was afraid he would be caught, he says: "Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai" ("It is not just hard to catch Don, it is impossible.") and the film ends with the song "Dushman Mera".

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

A sequel was announced in 2007, a year after the release of Don by Farhan Akhtar.[4] However, the film got delayed due to Shah Rukh Khan's shoulder surgery.[5] The original cast reprised their roles except for Arjun Rampal and Ishaa Koppikar;[6] Lara Dutta and Kunal Kapoor were cast in new roles.[7] Akhtar said that he decided to make a sequel to his 2006 film because it "gave him a lot of freedom to explore the character".[8] Khan copyrighted a tattoo of "D" on his arm for the film.[9]

Khan exercised extensively for the role and performed almost all the stunts by himself. Don 2 marked Khan's return to playing villains after earlier films such as Darr and Baazigar.[10] Chopra learned martial arts and trained for over two months.[11] Boman Irani lost 12 kg for the role and grew a beard to make his character look "cold, cunning and deceitful"; he felt that playing a villain was "a big stretch" for him as an actor.[12] Dutta was cast after Eesha Koppikar, who played the role in Don, dropped out of the film. She was recommended to Akhtar by Khan, who had worked with her on Billu in 2009. In an interview with The Hindustan Times Dutta said it was exciting to play a new character, since there would be no predecessor to live up to.[13]

FilmingEdit

 
The film was extensively shot in Berlin.

The principal photography of Don 2 began on October 2010 in Berlin, becoming the first Hindi film to be shot there. The decision to shoot in the city was made after Khan attended the Berlin International Film Festival for its screening of My Name is Khan and realised that the city provided the required realistic backdrop for the film.[14][15][16] Before shooting began the German government announced the film on its website, promising support and co-operation during filming.[15] A 70-member Indian crew travelled to the city for two weeks of preparation for shooting. Scenes were filmed at the Brandenburg Gate, the Alexanderplatz, the French Cathedral and the East Side Gallery.[17] The German government provided €3 million in incentives to the film's producers, since it was shot in Berlin. The shoot cost €6.8 million.[16]

Khan experimented with several looks and performed his own stunts in the film.[18][19] In Berlin, he performed a 300-foot jump for a scene.[20] A car-chase scene using 67 cars closed main thoroughfares (including the Brandenburg Gate) for three weeks. Each day, alternate routes were provided around roads cordoned off for filming.[21] The shooting schedule also included a special appearance by Hrithik Roshan, whose presence was kept under wraps by filmmakers.[22] In December 2010, the Berlin shooting ended.[23][24] In February 2011 the actors flew to Malaysia, where several scenes were shot in Malacca Prison with prisoners as extras. A section of the prison block was made available for filming, with special T-shirts distinguishing crew members from prisoners in the high-security zone.[25] Khan trained with Hollywood stunt and fight director Wolfgang Stegemann, who also played Karl in the film.[26]

In September 2011, filming resumed on a song featuring the two leads.[27] Another song was shot with Khan in Goa in late November, only a month before the film's release.[28] The song was shot as an action sequence, but did not appear in the film.[29] In August 2011, the producers said they will release Don 2 in 3D. The idea of 3D conversion occurred to Akhtar while shooting; after tests in Los Angeles, it was decided to convert the entire film.[30] The director of photography had used special lenses, which made conversion easier. Sidhwani said that the idea of converting the film into 3D came to him after seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Chuck Comisky, a veteran S-3D innovator who supervised 3D stereo and visual effects for Avatar and Sanctum, was given the job.[31] Anand Subaya was the editor and Jason West served as the director of photography.[32] The digital intermediate and VFX of Don 2 were by Pixion Studios, and the 3D conversion by Reliance Mediaworks.[33]

SoundtrackEdit

Don 2
 
Original CD Cover
Soundtrack album by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Released November 17, 2011 (2011-11-17)
Recorded 2011
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Language Hindi
Label T-Series
Producer Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy chronology
Aarakshan
(2011)
Don 2
(2011)
Chittagong
(2012)

The soundtrack was composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, with lyrics penned by Javed Akhtar. The album contains nine compositions: four original songs, two instrumentals, a dialogue snippet, and two remix out of four original songs. The vocals were performed by Vishal Dadlani, Anusha Mani, Usha Uthup, Shankar Mahadevan, Sunitha Sarathy, KK and Caralisa Monteiro. It was released on 16 November 2011 by T-Series.[34]

The soundtrack received mixed reviews from critics. Jaspreet Pandohar called it "safe" and a "disappointment".[35] Joginder Tuteja gave a rating of three out of five, terming it a mixed bag and wrote "There isn't anything which comes across as memorable enough to be played a few months down the line, leave aside a few years. Eventually what you get is a soundtrack that would go along with the narrative and acts as a good situational ingredient but that's about it."[36]

Koimoi also gave three out of five writing that album fall short of expectations.[37] Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com gave the album a rating of two out of five calling it "safe and self-conscious" and wrote "Don 2's music could fare much better if the composers Shankar-Ehsaan-and Loy had tried to step out of the prequel's shadow."[38]

Track listingEdit

No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1."Aa Raha Hoon Palat Ke"Shah Rukh Khan00:35
2."Zara Dil Ko Thaam Lo"Vishal Dadlani, Anusha Mani05:08
3."Hai Ye Maya"Usha Uthup04:42
4."Dushman Mera"Shankar Mahadevan, Sunitha Sarathy03:44
5."The King Is Back (Theme)"Sunitha Sarathy03:57
6."Mujhko Pehchaanlo"KK03:24
7."Hai Yeh Maya (Remix by DJ Shane Mendonsa)"Usha Uthup04:42
8."Mujhko Pehchan Lo (Remix)"KK04:51
9."The 'Don' Waltz"Caralisa Monteiro03:29

MarketingEdit

 
(from left) Shroff, Chopra, Khan, Sidhwani and Akhtar at promotional event for Don 2 in Mumbai.

The distributors, Reliance Entertainment, bought the rights to Don 2 from Excel Entertainment for 850 million (US$12 million) and spent another 220 million (US$3.1 million) on prints and marketing.[39] Zee Entertainment Enterprises acquired the satellite rights for 370 million (US$5.2 million).[39] Distribution rights in Tamil Nadu and Kerala were bought by Sudha Screen's Sreeraj for an undisclosed price.[40] Don 2 music rights were sold to T-series for 100 million (US$1.4 million). The theatrical trailer and poster for Don 2 were released with Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. A second trailer was released online on 24 October 2011.[41] The film previewed at the Dubai International Film Festival.[42] The producers collaborated with McDonald's and Café Coffee Day in 20 cities to provide free Internet access with Wi-Fi in their stores so that viewers could watch songs in 3D on their computers.[43]

The producers decided to publicise the dialogue from Don 2 by releasing 10 lines delivered by Don as "Don Says...": one line each Friday from 15 October until the film's release on 23 December. The lines were released simultaneously across all media platforms: television, print, radio, Internet and mobile.[44][45] The filmmakers also released a limited-edition toy version. The toy, Shahrukh Khan dressed as Don, is the first bobblehead of a Bollywood star.[46] The cast, director and producers embarked on a multi-city tour across India (including Patna) to promote the film.[47] Interrupted by security problems, the tour resumed from Nagpur to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and other cities.[48]

In October 2011 a comic book based on Don 2, Don: The Origin, was published that was about Don's past.[31] Excel Entertainment collaborated with India's largest video-game company, Gameshastra, on a console game. The firm developed a third-person action-adventure console game in which the player performs actions similar to Don's in the film.[49] A social game, Don – The Social Mobsters Game (developed by Mango Games), was launched on Facebook. It is available on Android and PSN for PlayStation 3 platforms. Sidhwani said, "This is the first time a game is based on an Indian film that will be launched on four platforms. For an iconic character like Don, I think this was the best way to keep the hysteria going amongst his fans."[49] A PlayStation 2 game, Don 2: The King is Back, was released in India in February 2013 as the final PAL game for PS2.[50]

ReleaseEdit

Don 2 was released worldwide 23 December 2011 on 3,105 screens in the domestic market, including 500 prints in 3D, and on 650 screens in 40 countries.[51][52] The dubbed versions in Telugu and Tamil were released with the Hindi version.[53] The second phase of the film's international release began in January 2012 in 84 countries.[54] In February 2012, Don 2 was shown at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.[55][56] Reliance Entertainment obtained a "John Doe" order from the Delhi High Court allowing it to serve cease-and-desist notices on film pirates.[57]

A month before Don 2's release Nariman Films, producers of Don, sent a legal notice to Reliance and Excel Entertainment about the sequel. According to the notice, Nariman had given the rights to Excel Entertainment in perpetuity for Don alone.[58] On 19 December, a week before Don 2's release, the Bombay High Court refused to stay the film's release; the court's ruling considered the film's scheduled release on 21 December overseas and 23 December in India, for which many theaters had been booked.[59]

The smoking scenes in the film came with a disclaimer per Health Ministry's advise to the producers.[60] The DVD was released on 7 February 2012 with two different versions, Blu-ray and a special feature releasing on 10 April and 24 May.[61]

Critical ReceptionEdit

Don 2 receive positive to mixed reviews from critics.[62] Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 75 percent based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8 out of 10.[63] Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India called it "a classic action/crime thriller that doesn't let go, even for a moment. More importantly, the plot has been finely crafted, with every twist and turn falling into place like a complicated albeit neat little jigsaw."[64] Rachit Gupta of Filmfare praised the performances by Khan, Chopra and Irani and wrote "They carry the film through its flat moments. It's not very taut, but Don 2 serves up enough thrills in the finale and that alone makes it worth a watch."[65] Priya Joshi of Digital Spy gave the film four out of five, praising its dramatic conclusion which she thought was brilliantly executed, and wrote the it "is a thoroughly exhilarating action-fest, fashioned in a Bollywood-style – and a shot of adrenaline amidst the usual elf-inspired festive film fare."[66]

A review carried by The Express Tribune called the film "a visual masterpiece", adding that "it sets a very high benchmark for future Indian action films."[67] Komal Nahta rated the film 3.5 out of 5 calling it "a winner" but felt that the first half was slow-paced.[68] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film 3.5 out of 5, feeling that the second half took the film to another level, and wrote "Farhan chooses an entirely new concept, garnishes it with classic action, stunning visuals, giving it an international look and feel".[69] Aniruddha Guha of Daily News and Analysis gave three out of five complimenting Khan's performance and action sequences, which he thought made the film work.[70] Mid Day gave it 2.5 out of 5, praising Khan's performance and wrote "The film is slick, the cinematography is captivating but the racy, edge of the seat pace that you expect from an action thriller of this kind is sorely missing."[71]

Raja Sen of Rediff.com termed the film as "a glossy, unashamed action offering polished within an inch of itself, visually coming together seamlessly and effectively."[72] Sen also added that "although the film has been impressively produced, it has been let down by the over-the-top acting by Khan, while other actors were underused and were given nothing much to do."[72] Rajeev Masand gave the film two out of five stars, calling it "spectacularly boring", and wrote "Don 2 is nicely shot, and there are moments where Shah Rukh Khan is riveting. But that’s not enough to hold your interest for well over two hours…even the actor’s most loyal fans will find themselves yawning."[73] Sonia Chopra of Sify also gave 2.5 out of 5, feeling that the original film was better as compared to the sequel but praised the action sequences, writing "The car chases are superb and will have you at the edge of your seat. For the rest of the film though, you'll be slouching on that very seat, waiting for the thrills that the Don series promises."[74] Writing for Hindustan Times, Mayank Shekhar was disappointed with the film, calling it "never ending" and criticised the stretched storyline.[75]

Among the overseas reviewers, Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "Shah Rukh Khan’s foray into bad-boy territory is all swagger with not much substance."[76] David DeWitt of The New York Times called it the "slick cousin" of "Mission: Impossible and Ocean's Eleven".[77]

Box officeEdit

DomesticEdit

Don 2 was made with a production cost of 750 million (US$10 million) excluding SRK's acting fee with shares in profits which is 650 million (US$9.1 million). On its first day, Don 2 had 80-percent occupancy levels throughout India. In multiplexes its occupancy level was 75%-80% percent and 70–75 percent in single-screen theatres.[78] The film grossed 147 million (US$2.0 million) from its Hindi version,[79] in the process becoming the third-highest opening-day grossing Indian film (fourth-highest for the Hindi version)[80] and the highest opening-day grossing film on a non-holiday Friday.[81] The film increased its earnings by about 20–25 percent in high-end cinemas during its second and third days, aided by a sizeable increase in multiplex revenue.[82] Over the weekend, Don 2 grossed 470 million (US$6.5 million) from its Hindi version and another 15 million (US$210,000) from its Tamil and Telugu versions.[83] It held well the following week, collecting a total of 700 million (US$9.7 million) by the end of its first week.[84] During the film's second weekend, Don 2 grossed 145 million (US$2.0 million) from its Hindi version.[85] The film held well during its second week, declining 62 percent and collecting 270 million (US$3.8 million) from its Hindi version[86] and thus taking its two-week total to 970 million (US$14 million). The second-week total of Don 2 was the second-highest of 2011, after Ready. By the end of its theatrical run the Hindi version of Don 2 grossed 1.06 billion (US$15 million) in India and regional versions added a further 60 million for a grand total of 1.12 billion (US$16 million) including Tamil and Telugu,[87] making it the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2011. Although it was commercially successful and critics praised the movie and Khan's performance.

InternationalEdit

Don 2 was released overseas in two phases, with most major markets covered in the first phase. The film set several records on its opening day. It grossed $550,000 from 164 theatres in the United States. In the United Kingdom Don 2's revenue debuted in the top ten, earning $527,000 in three days from 76 theatres; in the Middle East, the film grossed $930,000 in two days. It broke the record for highest single-day revenue in Australia ($62,000), grossing $136,000 in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji during the first two days of its run.

The film grossed 16.9 million (US$240,000) during its first week in Pakistan, breaking all previous records.[88] Don 2 grossed 371 million (US$5.2 million) over the weekend, and 504 million (US$7.0 million) during its first week.[89][90] It set a record for the all-time biggest opening week for a Hindi film in North America, earning $2.64 million.[91] The film was the highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas in 2011. During the second phase of its release, which began in February 2012, Don 2 earned $112,027 in Germany and $5,041 in Austria.[92] It grossed $11.24 million on the overseas market and was the third highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas at that time, after My Name Is Khan and 3 Idiots.[92][93] It face stiff competition with Mission Impossible Ghost protocol in its initial weeks which in some started topped the box office. Satellite rights for Don 2 were sold to Zee TV for 370 million (US$5.2 million), and it was also released on the Zee Cinema HD channel.

AccoladesEdit

Award Date Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Actor in an Action Film – Male Shah Rukh Khan Nominated [94]
Most Entertaining Actor in an Action Film – Female Priyanka Chopra Nominated
ETC Bollywood Business Awards Top Grosser of the Year Don 2 Nominated [95]
Most Profitable Director Farhan Akhtar Nominated
Most Popular First Look of a Film Don 2 Won
Filmfare Awards 29 January 2012 Best Film Don 2 Nominated [96]
[97]
Best Director Farhan Akhtar Nominated
Best Actor Shah Rukh Khan Nominated
Best Action Matthias Barsch Won
Best Sound Design Nakul Kamte Won
IIFA Awards 9 June 2012 Best Actor Shah Rukh Khan Nominated [98]
Best Performance in a Negative Role Boman Irani Nominated
Lions Gold Awards Favourite Actor in a Leading Role – Male Shah Rukh Khan Won [99]
Favourite Actor in a Leading Role – Female Priyanka Chopra Won
National Media Network Film & TV Awards Best Director Farhan Akhtar Won [100]
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Actor in a Leading Role Shah Rukh Khan Nominated [101]
[102]
Best Entertainer of the Year – Male Shah Rukh Khan Won
Best Entertainer of the Year – Female Priyanka Chopra Won
Best Sound Design Nakul Kamte Nominated
Best Sound Mixing Nakul Kamte, Debajit Changmai Nominated
Best Special Effects Prasad Sutar Nominated
Screen Awards Best Actor Shah Rukh Khan Nominated [103]
[104]
[105]
Best Actor (Popular Choice) Shah Rukh Khan Won
Best Actress (Popular Choice) Priyanka Chopra Nominated
Jodi No. 1 Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra Won
Best Action Matthias Barsch Nominated
Best Special Effects Prasad Sutar, Viral Thakkar Nominated
Stardust Awards Best Film Don 2 Nominated [106]
Best Director Farhan Akhtar Nominated
Actor of the Year – Male Shah Rukh Khan Nominated
Actor of the Year – Female Priyanka Chopra Nominated
Best Actor – Thriller/Action Shah Rukh Khan Nominated
Best Actress – Thriller/Action Priyanka Chopra Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Best Film Don 2 Nominated [107]
Best Director Farhan Akhtar Nominated
Best Actor – Male Shah Rukh Khan Nominated
Critics Award for Best Actor – Male Shah Rukh Khan Won

SequelEdit

About a sequel, Shahrukh Khan said: "It would be great to revisit Don after sometime. I’ve told Farhan that we could take 60 days out of our schedule and make a Don 3. But we need a script first, one that could take the last 10 minutes of Don 2 forward to another differently exciting thriller."[108] Farhan Akhtar also expressed a desire to take the story forward, and said he was fascinated by the character of Don. However, the filmmaker wanted to explore other genres without restriction and added that he was currently focusing on his acting career.[109]

In August 2014, it was reported that Farhan Akhtar planned to play a role in the film. In October 2015, Akhtar said that Don 3 will go on floors by late 2016. However, the film is at scripting stage. It has also been reported that Katrina Kaif will replace Priyanka Chopra in the next installment.[110] But the makers denied this, stating that the only constant in the third installment will be Don and the rest of the characters will be dependent on the script.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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