Review : Agneepath – This Agneepath Doesn’t Pack the Same Punch!!!
Published on Jan 26, 2012 10:04 pm IST
Release date: 26 Jan 2012 Rating : 3.25/5
Director : Karan Malhotra
Producer : Karan Johar
Music Director : Ajay Atul
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor

Overall Impression Of The Movie:

Producers and directors who have dared to walk down the path of making remakes have always acknowledged that this path is literally an Agneepath (Path of Fire). The weight of living up to the basic expectations of the original and then even daring to surpass those expectations has left many a person heart-broken or ecstatic. The best examples I can think of is RamGopal Varma who still receives brickbats for his remake of Sholay while Farhan Akhthar walked away with the accolades with his version of Don. Now, Karan Johar steps in to remake Agneepath which was incidentally produced by his father in 1990 and directed by the very talented Mukul Anand who along with Amitabh Bachchan churned out an intense and fiery film which lived up to its name. Amitabh’s character of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan” went on to bag the National Award for the best actor. So let’s see how Karan Johar (the Producer) and Karan Malhotra (the Director) have fared in their interpretation of this saga!

What Is It About:

This Agneepath takes the same basic plot of the original starting in the village of Mandwa where the idealistic school headmaster (Dinanath Chauhan) strives to improve the lot of this impoverished village and its cynical villagers while teaching his son (Vijay Chauhan) to walk on the idealistic Agneepath. The village headman’s son Kancha (Sanjay Dutt) enters Mandwa with his plans to convert Mandwa into a haven for drug smuggling and incites the villagers against the head-master and kills him in cold-blood. Vijay and his mother (Zarina Wahab) make their way to Mumbai where Vijay bumps into Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor) who controls Mumbai’s underworld and adopts Vijay into this world of crime while distancing him from his mother. 15 years pass and Vijay grows up to be the right-hand man of Rauf Lala and he starts working on his one-point obsession to reach Kancha by hook and crook. The rest of the film is how Vijay works his way up through Rauf Lala and Kancha’s henchmen to reach Mandwa and get his due vengeance.

Karan M – the director has made changes while adapting the script to bring his own interpretation. While Amitabh had his own loyal gang who helped create the aura of power and popularity amongst the masses, Hirthik is a one-man army who literally walks alone. While the original had Amitabh create his own criminal empire in Mumbai and then bumping off his rivals to force Kancha to come down to Mandwa from his Mauritius hide-out, this one has Hrithik working his way through to the Mumbai underworld to Mandwa to meet Kancha.

What Is Good:

Sanjay Dutt’s act as the evil Kancha is the highlight of the movie. His bald look, the smirk, the drawl in his voice, the tattoos, the Bhagwad Gita quotes and his interpretations, etc convinces us that he is the embodiment of evil right from his first scene. He is a complete scene-stealer whenever he appears. Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala is another revelation in his bad boy act and we should hopefully see him playing more such roles in the future. Priyanka Chopra In her limited role as Vijay’s girlfriend does a neat job though the Maharashtrian character seemed to carry-over from her previous film – Kaminey. Om Puri and Zarina Wahab are adequate while the child artiste who played the young Vijay was outstanding. Sabu Cyril’s production design is exemplary in the way he has designed the chawls of Mumbai and village of Mandwa. Since the movie is set in 1977 and 1992, the art direction replicates those years without glitches. Kiran Deohan’s photography captures the bright hues of Mumbai and the brooding greys of Mandwa.

What Is Bad:

What didn’t really work for me was the Hrithik’s interpretation of Vijay since the punch and the intensity of the character was missing. Amitabh with his kohl-lined eyes and the different dialogue delivery style ensured that you empathized with him and the situations he was in while Hrithik plays his character on a single note. Hrithik’s brooding single-minded obsession of reaching out to Kancha doesn’t make much of an impact since it turns it into a simple revenge saga with no other redeeming features about his persona. Also, what is puzzling is the fact that a bigtime gangster like Hrithik walks around alone in Mumbai or Mandwa esp., when everyone is out to get him. The background music could have been toned down since it overwhelms the dialogue at times.

Me Thinks:

Comparisons are inevitable esp. when the original was a classic and I would say that people who have seen the earlier version might not like this version of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. On the contrary, folks who haven’t been exposed to the original might find this to be entertaining enough since they would have nothing to benchmark it against.


The Chikni Chameli song is the only song that gets your attention thanks to all of Katrina’s jhatkas-matkas!!!

Aks Rating : 3.25/5

Legend: 5 – Flawless

4 – Must Watch

3 – One Time Watch

2 – Wait for the DVD

1 – Stay Away

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