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January 27, 2012

Agneepath – No Fire in This One

Agneepath, Agneepath…! The lines from the famous poem written by the late Harivanshrai Bachchan, the father of the “Superstar of the Millennium”, Amitabh Bachchan. Agneepath – the first film to come out of Dharma Productions, the film that fetched Amitabh Bachchan his first and only National Award, the film, which over the years has achieved a cult status, thanks to the Superstar’s fabulous portrayal of “Vijay Dinanath Chavan”, aye!

It was Yash Johar who produced this film in 1990 with the creative Mukul S. Anand at the helm. 22 years later, it is his son Karan Johar who remakes this film with the debutante director Karan Malhotra. So, how good is this attempt? Let me remind you that the original Agneepath didn’t fetch many rewards but awards.
First things first, this film is not a scene-to-scene remake of the original. Not all the original characters are reatined, and director Karan Malhotra reworked on the original script to cater to the audiences of 2012. And to be honest, the script actually falls flat, and leaves the audience with an incomplete experience.

The Story
Agneepath is a revenge drama. Vijay Dinanath Chavan, son of Master Dinanath Chavan are a happy family (including his mother) residing in Mandva, a small island, a little distance away from Mumbai. Master Dinanath is a well respected person in the village, as he works for the welfare of its residents by producing salt. Enters Kancha Cheena, son of the Zameendar of Mandva, who not only has an evil look but also evil ideas. Kancha finds out that the soil of Mandva is fertile enough to grow cocaine. So, he lures the villagers to submit their lands on a lease basis to him for he would set up a salt factory, and the villagers would profit from the factory. Master Dinanath, tells the villagers to not submit their lands to Kancha, for they could permanently lose them. Kancha plots an evil plan to get rid of Master Dinanath and eventually kills him with the little Vijay watching him. Vijay and his mother leave Mandva and come to Mumbai, and all Vijay wants now is to avenge his father’s death. The rest of the story is how gets his revenge over Kancha.

 Hrithik Roshan as Vijay Dinanath Chavan is good, though not great. The director failed to extract the intensity that the character demands. Although I hate to compare his performance with Amitabh’s in the original, I would have to say the emotions that Amitabh portrayed in his character are missing in the adaptation. But nevertheless, Hrithik gives a wholehearted performance.

Sanjay Dutt as Kancha Cheena looks frightening for sure. But, his performance is somehow incomplete. Although he utters a few funny lines in pure Hindi, his characterization is flawed. Though he is a perfect match to Hrithik, as far as their muscles go, performance wise, the audience are left wanting.

Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala, well he is the surprise package! We all adore Rishi Kapoor for his acting skills but, in this one he plays a perfect bad guy and he just excels in this role of the ‘kasai’, and we are just going to end up admiring his acting skills even more. If for anything, you would have to watch Agneepath just for his performance.

Priyanka Chopra, who plays Kali doesn’t have a substantial role but plays her part with ease. Zarina Wahab as Hrithik’s mother is OK. Arish Bhiwandiwala, the boy who played the little Vijay Dinanath Chavan is very good. Om Puri as commisioner Gaitonde is fabulous.

Music doesn’t have a big part to play in the film. Although the background score by Ajay-Atul suits the bill. Cinematography by Kiran Deohans and Ravi K.Chandran is very good. Editing could have been a bit crispier as the runtime of the film is a little long. Screenplay by Karan Malhotra and Ila Dutta Bedi could have been better. Nothing new in the action department by Abbas Ali Moghul. Dialogues by Piyush Mishra need a special mention. The production values are very good.

This Agneepath has a couple of good performances by Hrithik and Rishi Kapoor that will leave the audiences awestruck, but the film falls flat as far as the content is concerned. The high that the original hits with regards to its emotions are amiss in the adaptation. But this one is going to be a money spinner for sure, thanks to the extensive promotion and ‘Chikni Chameli’.

A one-time watch, and do not go wanting to watch Big B reincarnated.

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