A tedious journey of pathetically illogical train with bogies of contrived situations
The Lawrence directed film Don has a body of high production values and a mind of stylistic taking, but no soul as such.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who said that the skewed system of an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Violence always begets violence, never any iota of peace.
The underlying message in this film is that whenever any injustice is done, one should go to Surya, the Don, who gets justice done by summarily liquidating the offenders, but never to the institutions of the Police or the Judiciary.
Surya (Nagarjuna) is a Don in Hyderabad with a difference; he is an affectionate friend to good people and an efficient enemy to the bad ones.
Surya is an orphan. His father, a policeman, and his mother had been killed by an underworld don. His brother, another orphan, Raghava (Lawrence) assists Surya in the execution of bad guys.
The son of the local MLA(Kota Srinivasa Rao) indulges in doing drugs and sexually exploiting female addicts. Raghava executes the culprit. Priya (Anushka) catches the eye of Surya and becomes his only female interest.
The state DGP (Nazar) calls for an emergency meeting of his officers to discuss the threat of an international don Stephen ( Kelly Dorji) adding the state to his expanding underworld empire. Finally, it is a struggle for survival for Surya, the Andhra Don and Stephen, the international Don. No prizes for guessing who wins.
Nagarjuna gives a stylish, but insipid performance. Lawrence is totally inadequate in his role. His laborious efforts to be comic, ends in his miserable body language and misery to the audience. Sunil, or any other professional comedian, in that role could have slightly enlivened the situation to some extent.
Anushka is merely a part of the props and furniture. Her role at best can be described as a cameo, but certainly not heroine. Kelly Dorji as the villain gives a strikingly stylish performance. The in-and-out roles carried out by Kota Srinivasa Rao, Chalapathi Rao, Jeeva, Nikita and others are adequate.
The screenplay, by Lawrence, is disjointed and illogical. Some scenes, particularly the songs and fights, are picturised well, but the total effect is that of pearls embedded, not in gold, but just a terracotta chain. The dialogues by Abburi Ravi are adequate, but in a vain attempt to dramatise, go to the extent of using unparliamentary language.
The conceptualization and characterization are in poor taste and totally inadequate. The micro-details of a flash back, where Stephen ( Kelly Dorji)
executes a don in Goa, is narrated by the DG of Police. If the police know such minute details about Stephen, the Don, what are they waiting for? Why do the police, the law keepers, have such unflinching faith in the unlawful activities of Surya to quell the plans of the international don ?
The music, except for two duets, is a simple symphony of perfect cacophony.
The choreography is more like going through the motions, with those motions often bordered not on delectable movements but on detestable pelvic gyrations.
Cinematography by S.Gopal Reddy and editing by Marthan K. Venkatesh is good. Background music, audiography and dts mixing leave a lot to be desired.
The film Don is not worth waiting in a queue, purchase a ticket, sit in the theatre and feel miserable. One gets the feeling that after shooting the fights and songs, a meager attempt had been made to carve out a story, merely to connect the song and fight sequences. The final result is a hotchpotch of sketchy vignettes.
The credits for Don can be written as: story, screenplay, music, choreography, direction and audience by Raghava Lawrence.