Shakti Samanta was a force to reckon with in the sixties and the seventies and early eighties. And now, his son, Ashim Samanta takes over the reins. He does so with a comedy, Don Muthuswami, whose plus point is the presence of Mithun Chakraborty, who continues with his act of the Tamilian from Agneepath, only this time he is a mafia don instead of a coconut seller. If he was eclipsed by Amitabh Bachchan in that film, then he is let down by the script in this one. The actor does his best to singlehandedly carry the film through, and he does succeed to an extent. Actually, he is the only thing abiut the film that works.
The story of the film is about Don Muthuswami (Mithun Chakraborty), whose dying father extracts a promise from him, that he will henceforth give up his crooked way and turn into an honest man. The Don promises to do so and thus begins the saga of a gangster trying to turn clean. His henchmen and goons are now ordered to become domestics instead. Muthuswami also engages an Urdu teacher Jaikishen (Mohit Raina) to help him improve his language. The teaching process understandably leads to a lot of laughter. The Don has a nubile young daughter Sanjana (Hrishita Bhatt), who he wants to get married. He wants to marry her off to his good friend's son. The good friend is actually another don. But Sanjana refuses and lies about being pregnant. The other complication in Muthuswami's life is caused by his manager Preetam (Rohit Roy). He has been, over the years, stealing money from the Don, in his bid to become a millionaire. He too wants to marry Sanjana, who proceeds to fall in love with Muthuswami's Urdu teacher. The film now goes ahead and solves all the complications.
The film is a comedy but the laughter comes only in spurts and not in rushes. More often than not, the quality of the jokes is quite pathetic. The situations are funny but it seems that the film's writers are unable to exploit the situations in the best possible manner. Hence, the quality of the comedy suffers. Also, the film's production values are not all that great. The 'look', if one may say so, lacks a certain kind of class that one has come to expect from films nowadays. Ashim Samanta cannot exactly be labeled a fitting successor to his father who made superb films like Aradhana and Amanush among others.
The film revolves around Mithun Chakraborty and it's only his fans who will truly appreciate the film. But he does tend to run among in the film, sometimes it works, and at others, it becomes a little tiresome. But it is not the actor who is to be blamed. On paper, it seems that the actor has a tailor made role, but in reality, at times Mithun seems to be struggling as the lines or situation are not really funny enough. The comedy rightly arises in the film, with the character of Don Muthuswami, in all, seriousness, trying to change his life around. The premise is perfect but suffers in execution. But full marks to Mithun for managing to pull it off. He dominates the film not just with his presence but with his acting skills as well.
One would have expected actor Shakti Kapoor to have also got into the spirit of things but he looks and acts in a very jaded fashion. Rohit Roy, on the other hand, puts in a charming performance as the crook. Hrishita Bhatt and Mohit Raina are just about okay. The film's music, composed by Anu Malik is melodious, but not very memorable. The cinematography is okay with nothing to write home about.
In short, the film's saving grace is Mithun Chakraborty, with some contribution by the rest of the cast as well. The film does not actually descend into buffoonery but is quite close to that. One can watch the film for Mithun's sake only.