Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag poster

Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

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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Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Running time: 155 minutes
Genres: Crime
More Movie Info

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

37 reviewers(?) - 0 yays 1 so-so 36 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

So-So, B4U TV : ...But it's watch able to see what treatment RGV has given in the modern day context... full review

Thumbs down, by Akshay Shah, Akshay Shah : ...The movie is a colossal letdown... full review

Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, All Bollywood : ...Trouble is, Ramu treats the classic material with an iconoclastic take-it-or-edit-it-out casualness... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...The cinematography by Amit Roy is brilliant, but Amar Mohile’s background score is terrible... full review

Thumbs down, by Razeen Shameem, Bolly Spice : ...Nisha Kothari doesn’t fail to annoy as always.... full review

Thumbs down, Bollyvista.com : ...the second half seems to go on and on and is definitely a cure for insomnia... full review

Thumbs down, by Rachel Fernandes, Bollywood Mantra : ...Even the menacing villainous act by Babban comes across as average and at times over the top... full review

Thumbs down, by Hetal Adesara, Business of Cinema : ...The love story between Herroo and Ghungroo is dull and dry and that between Raj and Durga Devi looks forced... full review

Thumbs down, Cybernoon: ...why are the cops so invisible in a place supposedly close to Mumbai, that mass killings don’t get any reaction from the law or the media... full review

Thumbs down, by R Krishnakumar, Deccan Herald : ...RGV, with fanboy enthusiasm, celebrates the original in an unholy fusion of pulpy material and overtly clever technique... full review

Thumbs down, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...Amitabh Bachchan as Babban aka Gabbar Singh of Sholay… played superbly.. and impressive.. ruthless character…... full review

Thumbs down, by Oz, Desi Train : ...Ramu too nervous too show larger canvas on camera.... full review

Thumbs down, by Indu Mirani, DNA : ...It has no soul, no heart and most certainly no mind.... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...If Gabbar’s ‘Kitne Aadmi The’ line still rings loud and clear, Babban has not a single line to shout about.... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...May we request all the Misters Sippy to refrain from violence please?... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Writing out a review for Ramgopal Varma Ki Aag amounts to dignifying this third-rate film with a studied observation on its plot, its characters and its treatment.... full review

Thumbs down, by Aprajita Anil, IBN Live : ...The plot begins abruptly, goes on to become weak and then falls flat.... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...Amit Roy's cinematography is outstanding... full review

Thumbs down, by Praveen Lance Fernandes, indiatimes : ...the sequences turn out to be very bland and the modifications fall on your face.... full review

Thumbs down, Indicine : ...Ajay Devgan is a mis-cast... full review

Thumbs down, by Renin Wilben, indya.com : ...Nisha Kothari looks good but her screeching irritates big time.... full review

Thumbs down, by Amit Kaundinya, J.A.M : ...did you have a casting director for this movie. You did, huh! Ok fire him right now.... full review

Thumbs down, by Vaibhav Wankhede, M TV : ...WHAT'S WITH: The constant in-out zoom and pan shots?... full review

Thumbs down, by Amit R Agarwal, merinews : ...Performance wise almost all the performances are marred by weak characterizations... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...everything that has been aped from Sholay is what falls flat, making the flaws glaring.... full review

Thumbs down, by surveen, musicNmovies.info : ...Nakaal Karne Ke Liye Bhi Aakal Ki Jaroorat Hoti Hai... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Mr. B chews up the scenery with his psychotic bad behavior.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...RGV movies are known for sleek editing, but here it's completely messed up.... full review

Thumbs down, by Jahan Bakshi, Passion for Cinema : ...more than an insult to Sholay, it is an insult to Ram Gopal Varma himself... full review

Thumbs down, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...leaves a few scars on the face of one of the finest storytellers in India... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...As Devgan pulls a pistol to his head to make suicide threats, we sorely wish he'd pull the trigger.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajnee Gupta, SantaBanta.com : ...Ajay Devgan neither looks like an action hero, nor is he comic enough, when compared to Dharmendra's Veeru.... full review

Thumbs down, SearchIndia.com : ...Amitabh Bachchan cannot hold a candle to Amjad Khan's performance... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ... There's only one improvement on the original: Abhishek Bachchan stepping into Jalal Agha's shoes... full review

Thumbs down, by Saakshi Juneja, To Each Its Own : ...If you don’t compare it (which I agree, is really hard not to) with the original, RGV’s Aag is your regular gansta meets masala meets early 80s kind-da movie.... full review

Thumbs down, Upper Stall : ...Ramesh Sippy must be having the last laugh and how!... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 0 yays 0 so-so 1 nays

Nay! Thumbs Down, by akki : the most annoying movie......and d casting is hopeless...even amitabh ji lukd clueless....

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

Narsimha (Mohanlal) wants to avenge the injustice done to him by Mumbai's underworld don, Babban (Amitabh Bachchan). He hires Heero (Ajay Devgan) and Raj (Prashant Raj) to do the honours.

What Worked

  • Though out of place in the Bombay heat, the bonfire transition looked very cool and was done well.
  • The scene in which Narsimha's fingers are being cut. Even though you know exactly what is going to happen, the anxiety is brought upon well. Incidentally, this is one of the few scenes in which the camera movements are minimum.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Rajpal Yadav's voice modulation - ineffective and rather pointless.
  • Why exactly do Heero and Raj agree to work for the police?
  • A wall breaks in the first action sequence. The falling stone bricks that fall look obviously like card-board blocks falling to sound effects.
  • The title card used to show passage of time in the jail - what a lame attempt at comedy!?
  • When Babban did not want to kill Narsimha, why did he organize such a bad accident for him? How could he be sure Narsimha wouldn't die in the accident?
  • The sets were quite awful. Especially, Babban's hangout places.
  • This time around Urmila Matondkar has an excuse for not looking good. They forgot to take her face pack off.
  • The lip-synching in "mehbooba" was very bad. It didn't look like Urmila and Abhishek were singing at all.
  • Why is Babban waiting for someone to get out of Kalikunj. In a city like Mumbai, there must be so many people leaving their residential area everyday.
  • The whole disinterest created by the movie. In a supposedly sensitive scene, we could hardly hear the dialogues because the entire audience was having loud conversations.
  • What was the dialogue writer's attraction towards Americans and the Al-Qaeda? There were at least 4 references to them


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Only Narsimha has a South Indian accent in his family. His brother and father speak Hindi without the accent
  • Where does Deviji (Sushmita Sen) come from into Heero and Raj's room? And why is she there?
  • Since when has Mumbai weather warranted bonfires and shawls in broad daylight?
  • Did Deviji go to her clinic in her holi-colored dress?
  • Babban digging his nose was just out of place and unnecessary.

Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
155 minutes

Comments (11)

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Review - Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag...

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 pre...

Thanks!! Hopefully "NYPD Blues" has some redeeming factor.

[...] - An earlier link (Remo) was deleted because it was a straight copy/paste from here. Apologies for the error and thanks for pointing it out, Meetu. Linked by BA. Join Blogbharti [...]

Thanks for the immediate action, BA! Much apprciated! I left a comment on Remo's blog too, but it promptly got deleted.

Thanks g. This is a comment that Anurag Kashyap left on a post at Passion for Cinema. for those interested, you can read the post and the discussion at http://passionforcinema.com/projekt-iview-rgv-or-what-industry-musclemen-getaway-with/

:) Thanks for the hilarious paraphrasing, Ali.

[...] people have lost their belief in cinema as a form of entertainment because of a catastrophe called Aag that hit our industry this [...]

Well, on the bright side, one person gave it a so-so rating. Lol, didn't we all see this clunker coming?

:) It is amazing how uniformly the movie has been disliked, Amrita. I have met people who went in the theater with low expectations, neutral and high expectations - but reactions were all the same.

Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag - Review...

Well reading this review I think the movie is quiet pathetic. What do you think guys is it worth the 150 bucks? In this review Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag gets only 2 out of 5....

[...] Now, instead of plagiarizing myself, I am going to have you read my complaints, which are the same for this movie, here. [...]

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