I am in my early thirties now and the more I age, I have realised two things. First is the life that was in school and college was one of my best phases where I made friends and enjoyed life which was way simpler than it is now. That life and with it its simplicity ain’t coming back. And second is that I count myself the luckiest to be around mom and dad who have been my pillar of support always. Of course they are aging and it does play on my mind at times. Which is why I continue to cherish every single moment with them❤. With that I finished watching the new Tamil film Don which made its way to the OTT giant Netflix after a successful theatrical run. From the title you might think this is a gangster film but in fact it is basically a coming of age film which is not to be mistaken with the Amitabh Bachchan or SRK starrer by the same name. This film was a part of the new releases from last week and so you know that there are still a couple of them remaining. So then is Don worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Don is the coming of age story of an engineering student who opts to become a film director post his graduation. As you know, engineering teaches you what NOT to do in life(with one example in front of you who is writing the review). While getting into the film, I was under the impression that this will be another one of those nostalgic films which will take you down memory lane. But I was wrong. This is a mass masala entertainer gift wrapped in a coming of age film. And so it took me a while to switch modes in the film. The film stands at almost 3 hours which is daunting but the good part is that it is very engaging.
The screenplay opens with the introduction of the protagonist and the equation with his parents and more specifically his father. This relationship did feel quite personal. The fun begins in the engineering college where his “nemesis” awaits him. But it is from here on that some over the top antics form the crux of the story. The proceedings are entertaining but far from believable(having been an engineering student myself). But I still decided to look past it and slowly I began enjoying myself.
The whole sequence of taking up an alternate career is a trademark of an engineer which is very well portrayed here. Also, the emotional bond which the protagonist shares with reaches a zenith in the final act which is so emotional that it is sure to moisten your eyes and leave a lump in your throat. This is when the film scores and scores very well. The final message is very relevant and it gently tugs the strings of your heart in this otherwise fun filled but emotional screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are massy and they would definitely cater to the front benchers. The music is good but the songs act as a hindrance to the flow of the drama. The BGM is decent. Director Cibi Chakravarthy seemed to have chosen a chapter from his own life and make a film on it(as the name of the protagonist is also Chakravarthy and he is a director in the film too). So this is a bit of an auto biography and his direction is impressive particularly in the emotional moments late in the film. He does a fabulous job here!
The performances are pretty good. RJ Vijay, Balasaravanan and Sivaangi Krish(absolutely hilarious) all have their moments to shine. Soori as Perusu aka Senior is top notch. Samuthirakani as Chakaravarthi’s father is so good that you genuinely feel for his character at the end. SJ Suryah as Boominathan is outstanding and I thoroughly enjoyed his act which was slightly over the top but all heart in a lovely character arc. Priyanka Arulmohan as Angaiyarkanni looks pretty and does a good job. She shares crackling chemister with her “Doctor” co-star who is also the main protagonist here. Sivakarthikeyan as Chakaravarthi is brilliant here. He is endearing and sincere yet equally good in emotional scenes wherein his act will touch your heart. It is a fine balance to his over the top antics where his performance has depth.
Don is over the top but really heartfelt. This story did seem so personal and that is saying a lot in a mass masala entertainer. Available on Netflix.