Sivakarthikeyan in and as Don (2022) is a familiar college film. In Nanban (3 Idiots) we saw the hero, a topper who makes the professors realise what is education, in Don, we see a last-bench student who doesn’t know any subject, doing the same. Even with an unoriginal plot, the director does make us giggle in many places in the first half, and in the climax makes us sentimental, but sadly the film dragged far too long in the second half. With some freshness and a sharp scissor, Don could’ve been a hit, but it manages only a Raw rating. If you like SK then rush to the theatres, others wait for it to release on OTT.
Director has used popular Tamil film song tunes with changed lyrics in the songs and they were well received by my fellow audience in the theatre. In the opening sequences, appearing as a school student SK was unbelievably young. In his recent films, he seems to get characters that preach from a pedestal and everyone below listening to him, in Velaikkaran (2017) it was factory workers who followed his orders, here his collegemates are obeying his commands – it will do SK a lot of good if he consciously avoids this.
S. J. Suryah as the college discipline head and later principal shines in the role, though in a few places his character reminded me of the ‘Virus’ from Nanban (Sathyaraj), it worked – it is doubtful anyone else could’ve played the antagonist better. Samuthirakani has played the strict father role very well. A pleasant surprise to me was Soori, who has played his character as a cameraman and a ‘senior’ friend to SK composed and balanced – there were no double meaning dialogues, no slapstick comedy, and no hitting of the person next to me. In a departure from recent Kollywood films starring big brand heroes, the female lead in this film, Priyanka Arul Mohan plays a part in the story and she has utilised it well.
Compared to the experienced directors in Kollywood making banal movies, first-time director Cibi Chakaravarthi has made a film that manages to humour you in many parts, for that he deserves kudos! Best luck to him.