Don Movie Review: An enjoyable campus film that is also a coming-of-age story
Don Movie Review: Some of the jokes are unoriginal, but you don't mind them because the performances are always measured.
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, SJ Suryah and others
Director: Cibi Chakaravarthi
Run-Time: 163 minutes
Chakravarthi (Sivakarthikeyan) is not your perfect son. He is a dimwit at studies and almost hates his father, who in turn hates him. This hate-hate relationship is the crux of the story. Or, so it seems.
The protagonist has a bigger problem to contend with. At the Engineering college where he studies (where he is condemned to study), Bhoominathan (SJ Suyah) is a discipline Nazi. As the head of the college's discipline committee, Bhoomi wants everything to come only after discipline, including education. He polices the students, cribs a lot, brandishes his ideology too often, and takes immense pleasure in destroying budding love affairs. He humiliates love birds with the glee of a gangster. No wonder Bhoomi and the hero become rivals in no time.
Chakravarthi and Angaiyarkanni (Priyanka Arulmohan) are in a love-hate-love relationship. The latter is the protagonist's strong-willed, cute junior and you can see Bhoomi's uninhibited confrontation with Chakravarthi coming from a distance.
Despite its predictable elements and cliches, 'Don' is not about what the audience member can predict. It's a campus film that inserts eccentric characters with the confidence of a Rajkumar Hirani. SJ Suryah's Bhoomi threatens to be a typical antagonist but his character arc is never complete until it is complete. A particular scene between him and his archrival Chakravarthi is stunning for the plot turn it rolls out and for the emotional value it holds.
The father's character is not well-rounded until a certain point. You are disappointed with how Samuthirakani's character behaves with his son and how the whole treatment doesn't rise above ordinariness. But then, this arc is layered and when the actual story unfolds, it hits home.
The love track is not linear. The heroine is a stock character at one level, but the performances, the sweet chemistry, and the unassuming way in which the comedy is narrated make the stretches watchable.
'Don' doesn't take its coming-of-age story too seriously. But when it does, the emotional quotient lends dignity to the proceedings. That's why you tend to forgive the film despite the fact that the campus scenes turn uneventful for a good 25 minutes or so in the second half.
Some of the jokes are unoriginal, but you don't mind them because the performances are always measured. The film doesn't turn too slapstick and that's why the idiosyncratic characters (especially the comical lecturers who are taken for a ride by the students) manage to be likeable.
There are convenient plot points for sure. But probably because we have watched a '3 Idiots' (Hindi), we tend to not think too much.
Anirudh's background score lends classiness to the campus comedy scenes. The songs tire you out a bit, though. The cinematography and production design are sincere.
Watch the trailer below:
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