Remaking a classic is always a tricky job and it becomes equally risky when you remake a cult movie made memorable by superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Comparisons are inevitable and it is like a noose around the neck.
To begin with and to its credit, Agneepath is not a thorough remake of the cult movie but an adaptation of the classic, inspired and still treading its own path.
Yes, we have the same famed name Vijay Dinanath chaouhan, the wound and revenge in the protoganist’s heart is the same, we have the Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s classic poetry but the treatment is vastly different, the characterisation varies, many characters you liked have been chopped off (remember Krishnan iyer MA made famous by Mithun da), even some cult dialogues done away not to take the risk of comparison with the iconic Big B and all this gives this Agneepath a refreshing change but not without its own pitfalls.
This Agneepath belongs to Sanjay dutt’s Kancha Cheena, who has given easily one of his best performance of his career. As menancing it could be, dressed in a black attire and Gita in one hand and uttering religious lines but with a satanic heart and an evil grin Sanjay Dutt is a devil personified and sends shivers in your spine. I don’t remember seeing such a menancing, psychopathic villain in Bollywood for a very long time. Have you? For Sanjay Dutt’s Kancha Cheena you can watch Agneepath inspite of many other pitfalls that I will talk of later.
Going by the promos, we all expected Sanjay Dutt to deliver the cold role to the perfection but the surprise act is delivered by the veteran romantic hero Rishi Kapoor. As Rauf Lala, a drug peddler and kingpin of child trafficking ring, sporting a thick surma he comes across despicable yet makes a strong presence.
As far the Hrithik Roshan, he delivers what can be summed a clinical perfectionist performance. With a controlled act that brings out his anger, revenge, anguish and also the ruthlessness and coldness he harps in his pursuits he excells. Yes, he might be well aware he cannot replicate Amitabh’s magic and aura but he excels in his own way with a fine crafted, articulate acting.
As for the rest of the cast, its all minor roles. Priyanka Chopra as the girl-next-door comes and goes doing a few dance sequences, and this Agneepath could have been better without a heroine role, which is more of a speedbreaker than a welcome addition.
Now coming to the negative points. The story. Some story plots are best buried in 70’s and 80’s. Resurrecting the villain-kills-father-son-takes-revenge and maa-beta sentiment fails for current period. The formula is stone age old for cinema buffs. Though the treatment is different, the essence of the plot packs the same vintage story often told and retold and it does not excite much. The second sore point is the movie length. It is quiet stretched and the movie could have been done away with few songs and even the love story that is patchily done inbetween. I wish the story was just raw, brute and overwhelming without the song and love sequences.
GingerChai Verdict: Agneepath treads its own path and tactfully avoids the comparison with the original to a larger extend. The three main characters are powerful and compelling but the length and vintage plot drags the movie down. Agneepath can be watched for Kancha Cheena and Rauf lalla and ofcourse the clinical Hrithik.