Agneepath review : A sure winner. **** 1/2

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan
A remake of a cult Hindi film which was a flop in it's time. A first time director. 3 actors who oscillate between brilliant acting and silly overacting. A movie about Bollywood-style violence.

I was skeptical. I'm not anymore. 

I know I tend to be lavish while giving praise but let me say this honestly : Agneepath ( 2012 ) is brilliant for so many reasons.

It is one of the best, if not the best remake I've ever seen.
Rather than go for a scene by scene remake, the creative unit ( director and writer ) have taken the basic theme of a child avenging his father's death at the hands of a drug peddling mob boss and redone the story entirely from there. The first half deals more with Hrithik's scheming rise to the top in Mumbai while the second half takes the battle from Mumbai back to where it all began - the small village/island (?) of Maandva. 
Iconic characters like Mithun Chakrabarthy's Krishnan Iyer ( who added humour to the movie ) are done away with and new villians ( Rishi Kapoor ) are added.

Iconic moments : There were many scenes that had the whole audience screaming in delight and sometimes awe/horror. A few of them which come to mind are  :
a) The poem that the school master teaches his hot tempered son and how it becomes relevant later on in the movie. ( Trivia : the original poem was written by Amitabh Bachchan's father and was the inspiration for the film's title. ) 
b) The death of the school teacher is brutal. The camera doesn't turn away from the chaos or horror of the scene. 
c) A scene where Hrithik 'questions' a police officer while driving. 
d) A scene where someone Hrithik cares for is literally being auctioned and the police are barricaded and how it is resolved.
e) The scene immediately following the 'Chikni Chameli' song. It's not at all what you expect.
f) The moment in the film where you first hear those legendary words "Vijay Chauhan. Poora naam : Vijay Deenanath Chauhan. Baap ka naam : Master Deenanath Chauhan. Gaav : Maandva." It's an amazing sequence with an almost rabid background score.
g) Hrithik having dinner at his mother's house.
h) The final battle.        

The very fact that Chikni Chameli, though being great, doesn't come in my Top 8 moments of the movie should tell you how much I enjoyed this movie.

Rishi Kapoor reinvents himself after 4 decades in Bollywood into a role noone expected and one he did amazingly well - an absolute lowlife indulging in child prostitution and drug smuggling. 
Sanjay Dutt's opening scene felt a little hammy to me but over time, you realise just how menacing and creepy the character is. By sheer size alone, he towers over Hrithik and is a great villian - both physically and cerebrally - to compete with. 
Priyanka's role is limited but she does well. Her smile and determined love for her man is endearing. 
Other characters like Hrithik's family and Om Puri are brief but well essayed, but give a round of applause to the man himself. 
Hrithik has outdone himself this time. Rather than try to emulate Amitabh Bachchan, he's decided to do his own take of a younger,more blood thirsty and manipulative Vijay Chauhan and it works brilliantly. I almost want to say "Give him the damn Filmfare trophy for the 2013 awards already". He's brought back the angry young man in style. 

The action is brutal at times, with very little to laugh about. The songs were okay, Chikni Chamile being the obvious standout , though the Deva song also was well picturised. Cinematography stood out both for the indoor scenes as well as the shoot in the village. Even in the few moments where light hearted banter prevails, you sense that the director is just easing his foot off the accelerator for a few minutes and we're soon going to be back to the thrill/rage/tension that envelopes the key characters. 

That's the mark of a really good director. Hats off, Mr Karan Malhotra. You've shown seasoned directors how a remake should be done.

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Let me know what you think.

  1. and my entire family watch the movie and we all are touched. each actor has done a superb job. A must watch movie. For those who only wants to watch Salman Dog-like act and SRK-Monkey-like move, i have something to say that watch this movie and know "What is an acting and entertainment. Final like. Full paisa vasool for all the category of peole youth/family/and even BIG B followers.

  2. Spendid performance by all.I honestly thought they all done the character of lifetime.Hrithik taught salman and shahrukh what the real acting means,how to get in the skin of the character.priyanka is the cutest marathi girl i ever seen.and word is less for rishiji and whole epic classic after 3idiots.

  3. Chikni Chameli not in to 8? ...Okay, then the movie has other great moments too..TOI has given it 3 average rating. I am encouraged to go and watch it after reading your review.

  4. I think the agneepath movie 2012 has leads to the expectation of people and all ready to make highest collection in box office.

  5. for some reason, i don't feel like watching this movie - even if it comes to tata sky HD!!!

  6. Its not my type of movie, but after reading this, I think I really want to watch it !

  7. Awesome movie! jus saw it yesterday!! Never thought hrithik was this good!!

  8. awesome, awesome, awesome.. I loved the movie toooo!! :)

  9. thanks for letting us know ..yet to see!

  10. I was expecting Sanjay Dutt to walk away with the film. But once I saw it, I knew I was wrong. It was Rishi Kapoor, no doubt. He looks and acts so evilly, I almost wanted to spit in his face. Brilliant.

    Sanjay Dutt was great, but I wouldn't say fantastic.Because after a point, his mannerisms started to seem very cliched, like rubbing his head, and overdoing the laugh. He was good, no doubt.

    Hrithik was a revelation. Even in normal white shirt and ordinary jeans with chappals, he manages to look great. I especially loved him in the Ganesha Visarjan sequence. And the one where he takes the plate out and sits outside his mom's house and eats.

    The cinematography is awesome. Ravi K Chandran, after all. That spot in Mandwa village where everyone gets hanged to death is haunting.

    Errm.. Sorry for posting a mini-review as a comment. :/

  11. I am sorry Rosh, but I don't agree with you here...It was Agonypath for me...the movie just went on n on n on n on....

    Rishi Kapoor was the only saving grace and even Hrithik who I love took too long to come on screen and was too much on the same base of emoting...

    even Chikni chameli was thanda...
    but then it is just stupid me!
    glad you enjoyed it

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