Thursday, January 26, 2012


Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 26th January, 2012
Time : ~155 minutes
Director : Karan Malhotra; Writers : Karan Malhotra, Illa Dutta Bedi based on the film of the same name by Mukul Anand; Music : Ajay Atul
Starring : Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Zarina Wahab, Om Puri, Zarina Wahab, Kanika Tiwari, Arish Bhiwandiwala, Chetan Pandit

The story is built on the simplest of emotions, revenge. A young boy loses his father in the most horrific of circumstances, strung up on the flimsiest of evidence in his own village. For the next fifteen years the boy is driven purely by, focused solely on vengeance. Even at the cost of separation from his young sister & mother, who doesn’t approve of his methods.

I enjoyed parts of this film.

The first half was slick, fast moving. It seemed the hero was not just using brawn but was also playing Machiavillean politics in Mumbai’s gang wars.

I got the stylisation.
The way the grimy city of Mumbai is depicted, replete with art deco slums.
Or the tiny island of Mandwa, with picture perfect views
The way colour is shown to splash during Ganpati. And the entire city is lit up & everyone turns up in their finery during the festival period.

The way Sanjay Dutt is made to look, oozing menace from every bald pore (though found his dialogue caricature-ish).
The way Rishi Kapoor is given the Muslim makeover, hennaed hair, stubble et all.
I liked Priyanka’s brief role, understood in part her relationship with our hero, the man for whom love is always secondary.
I really liked Hrithik. With all his Greek God looks, finely sculpted body, there always does seem to be a little boy somewhere around him. He can be intense in one scene, all anger and bloodshed yet look extremely vulnerable the next, misty eyed and aching for a loving touch.

What I didn’t get was the overall story. The end left me disappointed.
So what was the grand master plan for the revenge, the one he’d been cooking for fifteen years ? The way things panned out, it couldn’t have been how he conceived or wanted it to be ?
What was his relationship with the one honest cop in the system, Om Puri ? Why was he willing to ruin everything to protect him ? And vice versa.
The way he eventually went about things, the entire bit about the gang wars, the part since he had grown up, seemed unnecessary.
And I don’t get how our heroes seem to transform into superheroes. Most men would die or be close to it when they’ve had butcher knives poked in and out, been shot at or been tossed about like rag dolls. Our heroes seem to simply draw strength from such experiences.

Its grim, colourful, larger than life, tragic, touching and brawny at the same time. Watchable. But I guess I was hoping for something more, an extra layer beyond the blood thirst.

PS : slightly shamefully, for someone who confesses to be a hardcore AB fan, I don’t remember much of the original Agneepath. All I can plead in my defense is that its his earlier work that I am more enamoured by and can describe scene by scene. Be that as it may, am unable to compare the two.


Prashant Misra said...

what??? no mention of chikni chameli???

Winnie said...

This is my first comment on your blog although I have been a regular reader for a long time. In fact I decide to watch a movie based on your recommendation: I generally have scant regard for the hired critics opinion.
The reviews by the media on the internet have given Agneepath an above average rating. But you have dubbed it just average (6/10). Inspite of your average rating, I think this is the first time I am going to watch the movie anyways. Coz I am a big AB fan and this movie has been etched in my memory since my school days. I dont plan to compare the movies (subconciously that might be inevitable) But I want to watch the so called tribute to the original and see if the performances and the screenplay glue you to your seat and watch it in a daze or not. If it does, hats off to KJo, or else this will be another instance of him disappointing us fans of AB and Agneepath!

Apurv Nagpal said...

Prashant - prefer Sheila...

Apurv Nagpal said...

Winnie - i would place a 6/10 in the watchable category of films. have tried to describe what makes it watchable or not in the review. Am hoping you do like it and are able to tell me what worked for you or didnt. Thanks for the comment...

Winnie said...

Tum kya dekhkar aaye thay! Aur kya dekhkar jaaoge!! KJo has struck gold. Although most people will still prefer the older one, KJo is laughing all the way to the bank. He has used brand Agneepath, which already has a fan following, to his advantage. I won’t be surprised if makes it a franchise to mint more money out of it.

Heres what I feel about the movie:
The Good:
New characters of Rauf Lala and Kancha (Not Cheena) – Exciting. Excellently presented on the screen by Sanjay Dutt and Rishi Kapoor. Who can imagine the chocolate boy heroes of yore can look and behave so demonic.
Story tweaked to show the protagonist’s rise as a Don/Bhai in the movie – this was not really the focus in the original.
The technical aspects – Locales, Cinematography etc gives it a slicker look.
The Bad:
Too many romantic and emotional moments slow down the pace and lengthen the movie.
Because there are 2 anti-protagonists they have to share screen time and one feels one didn’t get enough of them in the movie.
Women in the story are used for the sentimental moments. In the original, VDC’s wife asks him why is he not doing what he has promised?
My biggest problem was with the characterization of Vijay Deenanath Chauhan (VDC) although Hrithik has acted well in the movie – In the original VDC was portrayed on the screen by AB with a lot of intensity. There is only one scene where he smiles (when he becomes a father). His insecurity and need for love is portrayed when he goes to the nurse’s house and sleeps on the couch. Or when he takes her to the slums to show how much people love him.
The new VDC cries almost throughout the movie. He calls up the cop to tell him that he reminds him of his father.
Simply put the new VDC is boy next door. The old one was larger than life. In the new one its Kancha who is larger than life. And that’s the problem, you come out of the movie hall and there is only one dialogue of the movie that plays in your head: ‘Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, poora naam’

Nimsrules said...

Great review. I went on to watch it first day first show and couldn't help but a review too. You might wanna check it out: