Thursday, January 26, 2012

Agneepath – Good but far from the Cult Agneepath

How do I review this movie? This question popped to me as I sit on my Laptop and try to type the thoughts post my 3 hours of Agneepath.
This movie unlike any other remakes will have two set of audience. One is who are the all time fans of the Cult Agneepath (Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Dinanath Chauhan) and the latest one. The fan following of the old Agneepath is much stronger than the other classics of which remake have been made like Don.
The movie opens with a tribute to the Late Director Mukul S Anand who had directed the cult, original Agneepath and was a highly talented director, unfortunately died in his 40’s.
The original Agneepath was more intense with less of humor but high on emotions whereas the latest Agneepath intensity is diluted. The old one was a flop whereas the new one is more commercially viable as it has bit of humor, romance and drama as well.
Speaking of characters, can anyone fit Vijay Dinanath Chauhan other than Amitabh Bachchan in the whole of bollywood, probably not but yes, Hrithik Roshan does deliver a good performance. I understand he doesn’t have the strong, hoarse baritone like of Amitabh, but I wished that the director could have experimented with his voice a bit, as it seems to be softer in the movie.
The old or, I would say the real Vijay was cold blooded, intense, no nonsense criminal or Robin Hood whereas the reincarnated one is slightly softer, bit of humorous and seems to be low on confidence.
Did the director underplay his character deliberately or he was not able to live the immortal again on the screen?
Either the debutant director Karan Malhotra or Hrithik knows better about this.
Let’s get into the skin of supporting characters – the father of Vijay, the mother, Police Officer Gaitonde and the same characters in the latest Agneepath ; the characters are much better played in the old movie than the latest one without any doubt.
I also missed the character of Krishnan Iyer M.A played by Mithun Chakraborty in the old one which has been eliminated in the latest one.
Add to it the leading lady of Vijay played by Madhavi, in the old one was a supporting cast whereas the leading lady played by Priyanka Chopra in the latest is a distraction.
How can we end the character discussion with the infamous Kancha Cheena played by Danny in the original and Sanjay Dutt in the remake? While Danny was stylish, Sanjay Dutt is menacing with his looks, a complete contrast to the character. Danny was subtle in his dialogue delivery where Sanjay Dutt is bit loud.
Well, the latest one does score over the older one in the item song Chikni Chameli by Katrina Kaif against the one done by Archana Puran Singh and Shakti Kapoor in the old one.
Another missing feather in the latest Agneepath is the lack of popular one liners or bunch of dialogues from the old Agneepath. Though, they have kept the most popular ones like “ Naam – Vijay Chauhan pura naam – Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, Gaon- Mandwa but the types of unnoticed yet classy one liners like – “Hawa Tez hai Dinkar Rao, Topi Sambhalo Ud Jayega” are missing.
Overall if I sum up the comparison I can say that the latest Agneepath is like the Cult Jack Daniel’s Scotch which has been diluted with water – Real fan of Jack Daniels would vouch that they love it neat and hard and so am I as the ardent , never fail to watch type fan of the original Agneepath.
I try to erase my memories of the original Agneepath and take a fresh perspective. The movie is well shot with good cinematography and some strong performances by Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt and not to forget Rishi Kapoor. Infact, Rishi Kapoor for the first time played a completely negative character and he has done it perfectly. The Mumbai slum goon who is a flesh and drug trader gives patronage to Vijay, the hero against another goon Kancha Cheena. The battle is between Rishi Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt as they both want the control of Mumbai’s drug business whereas Vijay wants the village Mandwa where his innocent father was not only brutally killed but his character assassinated as well by Sanjay Dutt.
Add to it, there is childhood love interest of Vijay played by Priyanka Chopra as she tries to bring in some humor and romance in the movie to subdue the violence. After all, it’s a Karan Johar production and the movie has to appeal to the whole family than a specific set of audience.
There are few strong emotional scenes which have been beautifully shot like the one where Vijay goes to his estranged mother’s place for having dinner and the conflict of opinion happens between the mother and the son. Then, there is another one; the violent killing of a henchman by Vijay during the Ganpati visarjan.
I also liked the climax scene where Sanjay Dutt is killed; it’s violent but you want the hero to win over the evil by then.
Overall, the movie good and I am sure it will be commercially hit unlike the old one. The opening on Day 1 is surely going to break the earlier opening records as there is news coming of house full in every theater across India.
My Rating – 3/5