Just outta Agneepath and without further ado…I’d say that its a well made remake. Flawed at times but made with passion.
I remember watching the original when I was a kid and the surma & white suit worn badass ‘Vijay Dheenanath Chavan’ still remains afresh in my mind. Mukul Anand’s original is indeed a cult classic which even got Amitabh Bacchan a National Award.
Fast forward to the remake and the first thing I missed out is the essential flair and ‘anti-protagonism’ of the Amitabh in Hrithik. The surma’s gone so is the white outfit so as to make it appeal to the contemporary. Hrithik did his best to rejuvenate the new Vijay incorporating an angelic/innocence in the revenge-ridden character.
Sanjay Dutt’s Kancha is very intimidating and could easily pull of a desi ‘Bane’. Uttering pure evil and Mahabharath-esque quotes at times, the new Kancha is a force to reckon with. Though his lines, towards the end, gets monotonous and exhaustive. Rishi Kapoor impressed me in the villainous role of Rauf Lala, Vijay’s ‘red carpet to getting revenge’. I dont remember him playing a more negative role than this in recent times…and stole every scene he was in.
Priyanka Chopra is there, being uber cute, to please some eyes. Katrina Kaif’s ‘Chikni Chameli’, to my surprise, made an almost fullhouse audience (who were restless the entire time) silent and gaping at the screen.
The songs were hummable especially ‘Gun Gun Re’ and the main theme oozed revenge and style. Brownie points to the cinematography…it made an otherwise grim movie colorful and well lit.
I previously mentioned that Agneepath had its flaws the first one being that its too melodramatic. Clocking close to 3 hours its was tedious to sit through numerous ’emotional’ scenes. Yes it did work in the original Agneepath coz it was essential at the time though its a test of patience in the new one. Justifications could be so that producer Karan Johar wanted to make it stay true to the original but the story itself is loosely based on the original and many portions were reconstructed…and that’s another flaw. The original had a very simple & followable plot though the reconstruction made this one a bit ‘knotty’. Proper editing could have saved a great lot!
Comparisons aside, Agneepath is a well restored classic…sincerely following, not imitating, the grand original and thus it works almost as an homage. Its hard to get over the awesomeness of the original but this is “as Bollywood as it gets”.