Even before you start reading this piece, I would want to make it very clear that this one is dedicated to the Agneepath of 2012. I will not be drawing any parallels here to the Amitabh Bachchan starrer. I think that deserves an entire post and cannot be included in bits and pieces here. So, let’s get started with what I thought about Agneepath!
For me Dharma Productions immediately translates to melodrama, songs, costumes, colours and emotions. Agneepath is no different. What is different however is the treatment. If I had to describe the film in one sentence I would like to refer to the film as ‘a tale of brutal revenge’. Karan Malhotra seems to have made Karan Johar proud with his debut direction. (Off late, I guess Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions is relying heavily on debutant directors). He seems to have invested all his intelligence and sensibilities in making this Hrithik Roshan starrer a grand success.
It surely is a deserving effort for various reasons –
1) Karan Malhotra has come across as a director who has not only dared to experiment with novelty but has also stuck to the success formula of Bollywood – songs, dance & drama. He has managed to keep the audience engaged almost through-out the film.
2) Rishi Kapoor has probably delivered one of his best performances playing the role of a rather unkind and unapologetic Rauf Lala. The darks shades that surround his character seem to have come effortlessly to Rishi Kapoor! Is this the benefit of having such awesome genes.. I don’t know. But yes, there has to be something in the Kapoor Khaandaan!! What a performance!! Hats off!
3) Arush Bhiwandiwala takes you by surprise. A stellar performance packed with passion would leave anyone awe-struck. Btw, he plays the young Vijay Chauhan and he I think has been one of the best actors of the film. I would say that you must watch the film for him! Simply brilliant
4) Cinematography is something that has played a central role in the film. It makes Mandwa desirable and mysterious at the same time. It adds to the eeriness of Kancha (played by Sanjay Dutt). It makes Mumbai look cheerful and bright and yes, Ganesh Visarjan is as colourful as ever.
Overall, Agneepath is very gripping until the interval and you would end up loving the film for its pace, performance and plot (rather, change in plot!). The buildup has so much intensity that you would wish that Karan Malhotra would have just stayed away from including songs at crucial moments of the film. Actually, every song, barring the Ganesh Visarjan song, seems to be a misfit and breaks the pace of the film. Well, I don’t know if this could have been avoided or if it had to be included as songs constitute a key ingredient in the success formula of any Bollywood film.
Some characters seem unimportant and eventually you would end up thinking that the script and screenplay were compromised in order to justify each of those unwanted characters. I think Priyanka Chopra’s character seems to testify my statement. Well, I am not really impressed with Om Puri’s character as well. However, I choose not to be too critical as I have decided to look at Agneepath as the story of the lead character, Vijay Deenanath Chouhan, Rauf Lala & Kancha.
Everybody seemed to love Sanjay Dutt’s role and performance. Well, I choose to differ. I am not really impressed by either his role or its portrayal. It seems like the team has put in too much effort to bring out the negativity in Kancha. The look, the make-up, the costume, the characteristics, the mythology and philosophy inspired dialogues, the tattoo, the strength, the psychotic nature and the eeriness just seem too forced. I would not want to consider this as one of Sanjay Dutt’s best performance. However, this will surely be one of his memorable performances. People would always remember him as Kancha from Mandwa.
Coming to Hrithik Roshan; post a phase where I would detest his screen presence, I have now started enjoying it. There was not a moment in the film that reminded me of the Hrithik of the ‘Mein Prem Ki Deewani Hoon’ or ‘Yaadein’ days. Oh! How I hate that Hrithik. Yes, I could tolerate him all through the film and in fact even liked his performance. However, the anger and revenge could have been portrayed with stronger emotions and actions. I am just happy that the film was not so much about showing Hrithik as the best model for a shampoo advertisement or a vests & briefs ad! It was more about the character, his pain, his agony and yes, his revenge.
And if you are wondering why I have not mentioned a word about Chikni Chameli until now, then well, it is because it does not deserve a mention. Period.
Agneepath is a fairly reasonable film and deserves a watch at least for the reasons highlighted earlier. I would give it a *** on 5 . I think the ending was weak. The final battle had nothing much other than brutality and exaggeration. There are various loop holes and somehow the film seems to tied in loosely.
P.S: Now coming to something I never thought I would include in this write up. I however think the void that Amitabh Bachchan has left behind is something that today’s leading actors just cannot complete. In my opinion Hrithik has probably been Bollywood’s best bet for the role.
If I were to take the liberty of picking one Indian actor who could do justice to the role of Vijay Deenanath Chouhan, then that would be the Tamil superstar Suriya. Ghajini, 7am Arivu and Singham are a few of his hits! Trust me, he would have excelled in this role!!