Agneepath - Review
And this is how you make a remake! Weed out the unnecessary elements, fill in the blanks, and be ready for the brickbats from those for whom the original is now "cult". For those like me, who are not a part of that sect, it was a pleasure to see the 90s style of narration blend beautifully with contemporary aesthetics and sensibilities to form a pakka entertainer. So, steer clear if you don't like that kind of masala in your films. But, make sure you go for it, if intense drama mixed with song and dance entertains you. And while at it do lend a special applause to makers for resisting the urge to use exotic locales and most importantly, slapstick/lame comedy!
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A true villain doesn't have any attachments and is pretty much soulless. Why he wants to achieve ALL, no one knows, but that's all he wants - achieve all. The lack of reason instills fear in both his enemies and the audience. Kancha (Sanjay Dutt) is that truly detached villain and Viju (Hrithik Roshan) is trying to get there. Every time he commits a murder, you see a weight of sadness in Viju's eyes, which reminds us that his parents wouldn't approve. That difference is what makes the audience root for Viju while dreading Kancha. And this polarity in emotions for the characters makes Agneepath a watch well-worth the time and money.
The only charm of 1990's Agneepath was in watching Vijay Dinanath Chauhan struggle between his father's ideology which became intrinsic to him and how he thought the world really needs to be dealt with; between seeking his mother's, thus the 'good' world's approval and knowing only one way to avenge his father's death. 22 years later, this struggle has been blunted. Yet, the charm has taken new form. His single-minded focus on seeking redemption in revenge takes you through almost t-h-r-e-e hours of watching a film. In this SMS age that, in itself, is a huge achievement.
It can be argued that a couple of songs could've been done away with, but that is exactly what Agneepath takes rightly from the 90s style of film-making. Build tension, break tension with some good-sounding music and lyrics, build tension within the said song to keep the story from stalling and let it beak with another intense/action sequence. This tempo worked very well then and from the way it's done here, can live on if used by the right hands. Sure, there is nostalgia hidden there, so I'm really interested in seeing how the generation, which hasn't grown up on that style, reacts.
Enter Hrithik Roshan. While his "star" value will rope in enough audiences from Gen-X, he's very unlikely to remind the previous generation of Amitabh Bachchan. That won't be because he hasn't done a good job, that he has, but because director, Karan Malhotra's interpretation of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan is so different. So intense is his gaze and so serious his demeanour in his first hour of screen-time that you feel relief and joy when you see him smile.
Priyanka Chopra must've known when she signed the film that all she, like her character, Kaali, is required to do is lend support. She plays the simple girl with simple needs role to perfection. The backdrop Kaali grew up in grants enough leeway to make her, cheesy, silly, smitten-in-love character, adorable. Similarly, it's good to see Kancha (Sanjay Dutt) have that slight change to his background which gives him additional motivation to be in love with that particular village. Yet, I wish his character was less dramatic. The madness he represents made him into a caricature and thus a tad bit comical. This stands out even worse because none of the other characters are really cartoon sketches.
And we know, with the underworld, drugs and body-trading as a backdrop there is enough scope for mockery. A ready and available character was that played by Rishi Kapoor, Lala. Through most of the film, you forget you are watching one star after another, but when you see Rishi Kapoor beating and being beaten up by Hrithik Roshan, a certain line is crossed and you suddenly realize the intensity of what's going on on-screen. A moment is created, even if it is not the pleasant kind.
I also liked the moments that the makers chose to keep from the original like the one with Viju and his mother having dinner or the one when Viju visits Officer Gaitonde's house. Also, some new moments were created like the one where Viju is living his sister's childhood as he would've liked to or the one which he shows intentions of getting married. I admit, these moments might make the movie sappy and a little longer than some would like, but they certainly added to the second dimension of Viju's character - that which makes him likeable despite his mean streak.
Yet, it doesn't mean there were layers to various characters that were fascinating to peel off. A couple of dimensions from each character were chosen and they were given definite shape - enough to keep you engaged.
Yet, plugging some holes from the original doesn't mean new ones aren't created. Some things came too easily to Viju and some events needed better explanation.
But, today's Agneepath was still a better version for me while retaining a lot of what I loved about the 90s. More importantly, this Agneepath loses the unnecessary comic relief and doesn't glamorize itself with the oh-so opportune exotic locations. Now the question, what about the people who either belong to that 1990-Agneepath cult or have never seen it, so they have nothing to compare it to?
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Loads and loads and a couple of brutal scenes too.
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: Prostitution, bodyselling, drugs are all shown/alluded to. One child-birth scene.
- Concept: Revenge.
- General Look and Feel: Crisp. Gritty.
Agneepath - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Dharma Productions
- Producer: Hiroo Yash Johar, Karan Johar
- Director: Karan Malhotra
- Lead Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor
- Supporting Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Zarina Wahab, Om Puri, Sachin Khedekar, Chetan Pandit, Deven Bhojani, Rajesh Vivek, Brijendra Kala, Ravi Jhankal, Arish Bhiwandiwala, Kanika Tiwari, Aditya Surve
- Story: Mukul Anand
- Screenplay: Ila Bedi Datta, Karan Malhotra
- Dialogues: Piyush Mishra, Piyush Mishra
- Cinematography: Kiron Deohans, Kiran Deohans
- Editor: Akiv Ali
- Action Choreography: Abbas Ali Moghul, Abbas Ali Moghul
- Choreography: Saroj Khan, Brinda, Chinni Prakash, Rekha Prakash, Ganesh Acharya, Firoz Khan, Brinda, Saroj Khan, Firoz Khan, Chinni Prakash, Rekha Prakash
- Music Director: Ajay, Atul
- Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
- Costume Designer: Mandira Shukla, Navin Shetty, Manish Malhotra
- Art Direction: Sabu Cyril
- Facebook Page: Link
- Inspired by: Agneepath
- Running time: 170 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Action, Crime, Docu-drama, Musical
Agneepath - Trailer
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