‘Agneepath’ movie review
There are loopholes but Hrithik Roshan plugs those leaks with finesse
The very idea of watching a film based on baap Ka badla, maa ki mamta and behen ki izzat was enough to develop a cold feet for someone brought up on the diet of vendetta films released in the 90s, right from ‘Elan-E-Jung’, ‘Main Intaqaam Loonga’, ‘Zakhmi Aurat’, ‘Jigar, ‘Boxer’ and of course, ‘Agneepath’.
The reviews were positive, the opening box office collection of Rs 25 crore was awe-inspiring, Hrithik was promising, Katrina was hot, and Sanjay Dutt looked menacing ¬- enough reasons to part from those hard-earned bucks.
The opening poem of the late Shri Harivanshrai Bachchan recited by Master Dinanath Chauhan played to perfection by Chetan Pandit sets the benchmark of the film to be something beyond one’s expectations. The next 'pleasant' surprise comes from none other than the once-sweater-clad-lover-boy Rishi Kapoor, this time donning the hat of Rauf Lala – a gangster who doesn’t bat an eyelid before selling teenaged girls to ogling men. The veteran Rishi Kapoor plays his first-ever negative role with aplomb, leaving you shocked in disbelief.
Well, unfortunately, the fun ends right there. The film suddenly gets into ‘Maqbool’-mode, where Vijay Dinanath Chauhan (Hritik Roshan) ploys against Rauf Lala for reasons best known to him or maybe the writers.
A viewer is left scratching his head as to why Vijay had to take that long a route if he had to go to Mandwa empty-handed with a few Diwali crackers loaded in a boat? If Rauf Lala was such big a gangster, why was he unable to fight against Vijay, who was armed by just a gun and a few anti-social elements?
Vijay’s mother Suhasini played by Zarina Wahab remains in silent mode almost through the entire film and gets her talk-time only when Vijay kills someone. Some loopholes here and there often make the film lose its grip but Hrithik Roshan, with his nuanced performance plugs those
leaks with finesse.
The music by Ajay-Atul and lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya seem redundant and hamper the narrative – not that their music or lyrics is mediocre, but films like ‘Agneepath’ ought to do away with naach-gaanas.
The climax is stretched enough to test one’s patience. Vijay seems to have taken his father's advice of 'becoming a pehelwaan' too literally, which perhaps is the reason he fights Kaancha Cheena bare-handed than exercising his grey cells to defeat him strategically. Further, when Vijay is punctured from everywhere by Kaancha Cheena, the dude rises unscathed to show his perfect eight-pack abs.
The dialogues by Piyush Mishra lack the punch. Blame it on dialogue writers like Rajat Arora of ‘Once upon a time in Mumbai’ and ‘The Dirty Picture’, who has raised the bar too high for films of this genre. Akiv Ali edits the film with a slickness that spares you of all the emotional atyachaar that films of the 90s inflicted on you. For instance, the daal-chaawal scene of Hrithik Roshan and Zarina Wahab would have been overdone if directed in the 90s!
Earlier, movie buffs used to spend ten bucks to watch torturous films with a hope of stumbling upon some real good stuff. Things haven't changed much in a decade; just the zeroes after the 10 have increased. Fortunately, one does stumble upon a good film like ‘Agneepath’, which is like a breath of fresh air amid the claustrophobic mindless action flicks.
Finally a complete action-packed film which also happens to have writers! (writer Ila Dutta Bedi and director Karan Malhotra take a bow).
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