Don – Cibi Chakaravarthi’s conviction propels the picture to its conclusion, ensuring that, despite his formulaic approach of the topic, it stays mainly engaging. A predictable yet enjoyable drama.
Critic’s Rating: 3.0/5
A young man who is still finding out what he wants to do with his life enrols at an engineering college where he conflicts with a strict professor.
Chakaravarthi (Sivakarthikeyan), the protagonist of Don, decides that he’d rather establish a reputation for himself without studying since his strict father (Samuthirakani), or as he defines him, the “sirappana tharamana villain” in his life, wants him to study hard. The story revolves around whether or not this young man can find out what he wants to accomplish with his life while attending an engineering college. Boominathan (SJ Suryah), a college professor, adds to his hardship by being an even stricter disciplinarian than his father!
Cibi Chakaravarthi, a newbie filmmaker, uses this Santhosh Subramaniam-meets-Nanban set-up to appeal to both the younger and older audiences. He cleverly divides the video into two portions, the first for young people and the second for families. Yes, we notice how deliberate this strategy is, which turns Don into a commercial entertainment rather than a coming-of-age drama, but the filmmaker succeeds.
The tension between Chakaravarthi, the college’s Don, and Boomi dominates the picture, and Sivakarthikeyan and SJ Suryah’s energetic performances bring these scenes to life. The strategies that the two devise to bring down the other result in a number of amusing scenes, such as when Boomi organises a parent-teacher conference with Don’s father or when Don manages to put the instructors in the shoes of the pupils. This battle of wits is intermingled with a few moments of adorable and cringe-worthy romance between Don and Angayarkanni (Priyankaa Mohan).
Things wander into emotional terrain in the last sections, and the film comes perilously near to treacly melodrama, which is tonally different from the light-hearted tone we’ve seen thus far, but it doesn’t wreck the picture. However, the feelings it elicits in these sequences do not feel well-deserved, as it attempts to pass off destructive parenting as a type of ‘untold love.’ While the remark about parents learning how to raise their children via trial and error is accurate, the film’s attempts to make Don’s father into a lovable figure are difficult to believe, considering the way the character treats his son until then.
Nonetheless, Cibi Chakaravarthi’s passion propels the picture to its conclusion, ensuring that, despite his formulaic approach of the topic, it stays fairly engaging.
Cibi Chakaravarthi’s directorial debut, This film is a 2022 Indian Tamil-language coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Cibi Chakaravarthi, and produced by Allirajah Subaskaran of Lyca Productions.