Agneepath is a very well-made film in all respects – 4.0/5.0
By: FENIL SETA
Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions is doing a great job by providing young filmmakers a chance to prove their mettle. Over the years, several filmmakers made great use of the opportunity and came up with well-made films like Kal Ho Naa Ho, Wake Up Sid, Kurbaan etc. All these young directors were ridden with anxiety and nervousness while coming up with their respective films. But none of these can be compared with the enormous anxiety along with responsibilities on the shoulders of Karan Malhotra, the director of Agneepath. After all, he had to remake a classic which is vividly remembered even today. Karan Malhotra however can breathe easy. Agneepath thankfully has turned up very well and is sure to entice viewers, even the lovers of the old Agneepath!
The story of the movie: Young Vijay Dinanath Chauhan (Hrithik Roshan) resides in the seaside village of Mandwa with his father Dinanath Chauhan (Chetan Pandit) and Suhasini Chauhan (Zarina Wahab). Life is going good until Kancha Cheena (Sanjay Dutt) arrives at the village and wrecks havoc. He hangs Dinanath Chauhan to death and ousts Vijay and his pregnant mother. They arrive in Mumbai and gets into the good books of the gang leader Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor). 15 years later, Vijay grows up to be a dashing fellow, burning with rage and revenge. He’s the right hand man of Rauf Lala, due to which his mother has shunned him as he wants to stay miles away from crime. Meanwhile, in Mandwa, Kancha Cheena is the reigning king and has spread terror throughout. And fate brings Vijay back to his hometown.
Agneepath is extraordinarily helmed by Karan Malhotra who ensures the film doesn’t drag or bore even for a moment, even though the film is almost 160 minutes long! The film reaches a high in the commencing scenes itself and stays there till the last scene. In between, there’s enough drama, action and entertainment going on to thoroughly engross the viewers. Speaking of action, there’s plenty of it and some scenes are too gory and violent. However, the film is not only about revenge and bloodshed. There’s a romantic track and most importantly, there’s Hrithik’s sister as well and the bond between them is very well handled. Hence, Agneepath is high on emotions too!
The childhood scenes of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan leave a mark, especially his father’s gruesome murder. Kancha Cheena’s entry sets the heart thumping! See it to believe it! The scenes where he commits his first murder hits you like a ton of bricks! The entry of grown up Vijay is clapworthy and the drama from here till the intermission is quite an enjoyable ride. The revenge saga comes alive with the second half and watch out for the scene where Vijay revisits Mandwa. The execution of the sorry state of affairs in the village coupled with effective background score delivers the right impact! The best however is reserved for the finale, beginning from the Ganesh song followed by the fight for the finish climax. It’s a treat to witness the battle between two strong and competent men and how good eventually overpowers the evil!
The important question that arises here-how similar are the original and remake versions of Agneepath and which one is better? As for the first part of the question, the basic plot of both the films is same but there are surely a lot of changes in terms of execution and especially characters. Vijay has more of a rustic appeal in the new film. Popular characters from the original like Krishnan Iyer MA (Mithun Chakraborty) and Nathu (Tinnu Anand) are done away with while new ones like Rauf Lala, Mazhar (Rajaysh Tandon), Kaali (Priyanka Chopra) etc are introduced. As for the second part of the question, I had anyways found the original Agneepath as okayish! It was long, dragging and songs were boring! However, I loved Amitabh and Mithun and some scenes were exceptional. And unboubtedly, the new Agneepath is definitely better than the original! For one, watch out for the scene where Dinanath recites Agneepath poem…a simple scene but so well executed! And most importantly, Dinanth’s killing seemed unjustified in the old Agneepath while here, it seemed convincing and the way he’s killed arouse considerable sympathy for young Vijay. And although there are 5 songs in the film, all are great compositions and nicely shot too! The Agneepath remake surely wins hands down!
Two things that go in Hrithik Roshan’s favour is that first, he’s strong and beefy and looks like a solid match to Kancha and secondly, not even at a single place does he tries to imitate Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic performance in old Agneepath. The actor handles the character deftly and gives a new dimension to it. And watch out for the scenes where he mouths the legendary dialogue “Naam Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. Baap ka naam, Dinanath Chauhan. Gaav, Mandwa!” and also where he recites the Agneepath poem in the finale! The actor is sure to be loved by one and all and is surely one more feather in his cap!
Sanjay Dutt is easily the best performer of the film! Right from his entry till the finale, he oozes evil through his eyes, looks and dialogues! He looked every inch a strong and scary villain and hence utmost convincing! He has always been a great actor but sadly his wrong choice of films (Blue, Lamhaa, Knock Out, Chatur Singh Two Star, Rascals) had badly affected his track record. Hopefully, starting from Agneepath, Sanju Baba will give a line of successful films! Way to go!
Rishi Kapoor surprises with his villainous act! One has never seen him in such an avatar and is sure to receive lot of accolades! Priyanka Chopra is extremely cute as Kaali and looks ravishing. Sadly, she doesn’t have significant to do in most part of the film but shines in the film where she tells Vijay that she’ll somehow live without him and in the tragic scene after their marriage. Newcomer Kanika Tiwari (as Hrithik’s sister Shiksha) does a fabulous job and as said before, her characters has a significant role in the film. Rajaysh Tandon leaves a mark. Om Puri was his usual self as Inspector Gaytonde. Zarina Wahab is effective as Vijay’s mother. Chetan Pandit (who also gets martyred as Ranbir’s father in Raajneeti) performs with ease. Arish Bhiwandiwala (young Vijay) delivers a terrific performance. Others such as Deven Bhojani (Azhar Lala), Sachin Khedekar (home secretary), Pankaj Tripathi (Surya), Brijendra Kala (Kancha’s goon), Banvari Taneja (Kancha’s father), Ravi Jhankal (Shantaram), Rajesh Vivek (Om Puri’s subordinate), Madhurjeet Sarghi (Kaali’s mother), Sunil Chauhan (Vijay’s first victim) and Ali Asgar too were good in their respective roles. And finally, Katrina Kaif looks like a million bucks! Hats off her for dancing like a dream inspite of being injured!
Ajay-Atul’s music suits the mood of the film. All songs of the film-Gun Gun Guna, Shah Ka Rutba, Chikni Chameli, Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin and Deva Shree Ganesha are beautifully composed and utilized very well in the film. However, its Ajay-Atul’s background score that impacts the most! Agneepath is a fine example of a correct background score used in the most correct manner! Sabu Cyril’s art direction is outstanding, especially Mandwa. Cinematography (Ravi K Chandran and Kiran Deohans) too is top-class and enhances impact in many scenes. Abbas Ali Moghul’s action is very gory but then that was the need of the film.
Karan Malhotra and Ila Bedi Dutta’s screenplay is engaging but its Karan Malhotra’s direction that is a winner all the way. The filmmaker has not only scored a sixer in his first film but has also ensured the film gets thumbs up from all sections of audiences. The film does have some loose ends. For instance, Inspector Gaytonde’s character seemed half-baked at places. Kancha keeping Vijay’s mother and sister captive in the finale was a bit bewildering. Also, nothing was shown about Rauf Lala’s mute son Azhar as Kancha could have used him to take revenge against Vijay! However, the director compensates in other places and that’s why the film is a winner in all respects!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Dinanath Chauhan recites Agneepath poem
2. Kancha Cheena’s entry
3. Dinanath Chauhan is murdered
4. Vijay’s first murder
5. Grown-up Vijay’s entry
6. Kaali inaugurates beauty parlour
7. Vijay ties up the cop on car’s roof
8. The intermission point
9. Vijay revisits Mandwa
10. Confrontation between Vijay and Rauf Lala
11. Shiksha visits Vijay’s home
12. The last 30 minutes
On the whole, Agneepath is a very well-made film in all respects that is sure to impress audiences! Performances are exemplary but its Karan Malhotra’s direction that takes the film to a high! At the box office, the film is a sureshot blockbuster! It has taken, what is in true sense, earth-shattering opening and shows were sold out 2-3 days in advance, a rarity in a city like Mumbai where there are hundreds of theatres. Agneepath is sure to break many records and it rightfully deserves it!
My rating- 4 out of 5!