Ram Jaane is a reworking of the 1938 Hollywood classic, Angels with Dirty Faces, with Shah Rukh Khan in the James Cagney role of the slum kid who grows up to be a ruthless criminal. The Hindi version turned the virtuous boyhood friend into a social worker instead of a priest (can't work in a love triangle with a priest...), but otherwise the plot is very similar, and the ending is the same. The Cagney/SRK character is caught and convicted, and goes to his death promising bravado and defiance. At the last minute, in full view of witnesses, the condemned man cries and pleads for mercy. It is understood that this was his one unselfish act, an attempt to reduce himself in the eyes of his adoring young gang of wannabe gangsters.
Update: Marilyn, a sister SRKian from Ohio, posted this on Twitter: "Ram Janne makes me grieve for the child who craved love and grows into the man who was denied love, turning bad because of it." Beautifully said. The performances make it possible to be appalled by Ram Jaane's behavior without reducing his humanity. Ram Janne is the most fully developed of SRK's early negative characters; if there is a Don 3, i would love to see the same level of complexity, which the first two films in the franchise don't quite achieve.