Review - Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag: Sholay mercilessly butchered
Dir: Ram Gopal Varma
Every frame reeks of self-obsessed director mercilessly butchering the original. The characters are not etched out at all and have plain bad dialogues. It is sad to think of Babban as Amitabh Bachchan instead of the other way around. Others are all pretty bad too. The villain of the movie is the cameraman. Just because some person got a camera, why should the audience suffer a headache!? Bahut na-insaafi hai...
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You have an inkling of the director's self-indulgence as soon as you have heard of the title. And frame after frame you are just sitting there confirming that this man is just obsessed with himself, and of course his camera. Or the camera has possessed him.
I was keen on sticking to a promise I made to myself a few months ago - control your urge to compare, and just enjoy the remake. But I was forced to give up when avoiding the parallels required way too much focus and started giving me a headache. Instead of narrating the story Ram Gopal Varma seemed to be solely concerned with changing the nitty-gritty of the original. You cut off hands, I think the story is better told if just fingers are chopped!?...You had a dialogue that is remembered 30 years later, I think a silence works better...You had a silence here, I think long-drawn dialogues over three scenes work better. Where’s the creativity? Where's the much talked about interpretation?
None of the characters are fleshed out. All come across as superficial and their motivations unclear. The actors are plainly regurgitating their utterly uninteresting dialogues. Most of the characters are dull and plain. Even Amitabh Bachchan is more Amitabh Bachchan than Babban (his character). In fact, Heero (Ajay Devgan) and Raj (Prshant Raj) have almost identical characters except that they fall in love with different types of girls. It's sad when "style" is shown through use of the word in the lyrics instead of oozing out of the character.
Oh wait! What am I talking about!? There is one strong character in the movie who wants to make sure you notice its personality - the camera. It is just all over the place, trying its best to steal the show. This behavior is getting progressively worse with every RGV product. And it is so even in the simplest of scenes. So, imagine what a treat they gave themselves in the action sequences. I hope the choreographer wasn't paid too much, because the camera was doing all the dancing. Amit Roy (cinematographer) must be such a tired person. He seriously needs a break - a long one. And he might as well take Amar Mohile with him, for he must be worn out cranking up the volume of his background score too.
It also looks like there were huge date problems with the cast. There are hardly any scenes with more than two people in the frame together (way too many over the shoulder shots and close-ups). This gives very little room for the chemistry, if any, between the characters to reach the audience. Okay, before I go on and on about the cameraman and the director...let's call it quits here (Huge hint to Ramu & his factory workers!)
Sholay? Nope, it is NOT Sholay. Sholay had detailed characters played by unforgettable actors, dialogues to die for, brilliant sense of humor, good music, a kick-ass background score, etc, etc, etc. Just shifting location from Ramgadh to Mumbai and festivals from "Holi" to "Diwali" with a full-of-life cameraman ain't going to help no one.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Adlabs
- Producer: Ram Gopal Varma
- Director: Ram Gopal Varma
- Lead Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan, Prashant Raj, Mohanlal, Nisha Kothari, Sushmita Sen
- Supporting Cast: Sushant Singh
- Story: Salim Khan, Ram Gopal Varma
- Screenplay: Rahil Qazi
- Dialogues: Farhad, Sajid 1
- Cinematography: Amit Roy
- Editor: Amit Parmar, Nipun Ashok Gupta
- Background Score: Ganesh Hegde, Prasanna Shekhar
- Choreography: Ganesh Hegde, Shabina Khan
- Music Director: Amar Mohile, Ganesh Hegde, Prasana Shekhar, Nitin Raikwar
- Lyrics: Shabbir Ahmed, Sajid, Nitin Raikwar, Sarim Momin, Farhad
- Costume Designer: Manish Malhotra
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 155 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Crime