Last Friday Tom Cruise’s big-ticket franchise Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) entered the theatres with some edge-of-the-seat action sequences. This Friday, Shah Rukh Khan’s long-anticipated Don 2, directed by Farhan Akhtar, opens with the promise of more thrills. There’s been a lot of speculation about how both the movies, releasing within a week of each other, have exploited the same locations in Berlin.
Co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani, who has seen MI:4, insists that while it is easy to identify Moscow, Dubai and India in the Hollywood movie, he didn’t find anything of Berlin.
His lead actor also finds little resemblance between both films, despite them belonging to the same action genre. “Our film is about a bad guy who wants to take over the world and destroy it for his personal gain and sadistic pleasure. MI:4 is about a good guy who is out to save the world. He’s done it before, and people know he’ll do it again because this is the fourth instalment in the franchise. But in the case of Don 2, this is only our first attempt to take the story forward after the earlier remake. And people are waiting to see if Don can fool people again,” Shah Rukh Khan argues.
Quiz him about the similar locations being used in the film and the star shrugs dismissively, “When we shoot in Delhi we invariably take shots of India Gate. Ditto for Berlin. You invariably end up showcasing the popular tourist spots. But if that was a criterion, then every year, out of the 200 Hindi films that are made, the 120 that are shot in Mumbai would be the same.”SRK picks Patna over Dubai
Last week it was reported that Shah Rukh Khan, frightened off by reports of mobs, had cancelled a promotional trip to Patna. Producer Ritesh Sidhwanai informs that SRK and he were waiting for their aircraft to take off when they were informed that the local administration, fearing chaos that could be triggered off by the visit, had requested them to pull out: “We disembarked and spent the day quietly in Mumbai.”
SRK’s fans in Patna expressed their disappointment and the star, keen to interact with them, decided to end Don 2’s 10-city tour of India in Patna. “We’d planned a Dubai premiere for Thursday, but since we were there recently for two days for the Dubai Film Festival, we agreed to go to Patna instead,” says Ritesh. “Don ko pakadna mushkil hai
, namumkin nahin
. (Catching the Don is difficult, but not impossible).”Don goes berserk with 67 cars
A high-speed car chase picturised in Berlin is one of Don 2’shighlights. It has Don (Shah Rukh Khan) being pursued by his Jungli billi
Roma (Priyanka Chopra), now a tough cop, and includes 67 cars, of which 10 were shipped from Korea. Twenty-three of them were destroyed.
“It’s one of Bollywood’s biggest car chases and took us three weeks to film. We zipped down freeways, skyways and tunnels, past several of Berlin’s iconic landmarks, cars exploding along the way,” says co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani. “We cordoned off many streets, including Brandenburg Gate that houses the US and Russian consulate and the central bank for a few hours in the morning for the climax shots. I don’t think any film has been given permission to do this before.”