Director: Karan Malhotra
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor
The Vijay Dinanath Chauhan of the original Agneepath, with surma in his eyes and a gruffier voice, is an act difficult to beat. And the new Vijay (Hrithik) is wise enough not to compete and that endears you to him, along with Hrithik's trademark sincerity and the art of putting his soul into a character. This new Vijay is outwardly tough and intense but ready tears waiting to stream down his blue green eyes, unlike the seemingly more in control, more menacing Amitabh Bachchan. The new Vijay is his own person, almost just as effective if I may dare say so.
Vijay is the son of an upright teacher in Mandwa. The father is killed ceremoniously by the drug lord Kancha (Sanjay Dutt) and Vijay wants to take revenge. He manages to earn the trust of the drugpin of Mumbai Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor) to get to Kancha. Kali (Priyanka Chopra) is his childhood sweetheart.
The good points: The new Agnipath is just what a remake should be like. Even while paying tribute to the original by retaining some of the memorable scenes, it has an independent mind of its own, which only adds to the film. Even though it is a debut by the director, some of the scenes keep you mesmerised, which is quite an achievement. In direct contrast to Vijay's bubbling vulnerability is Kancha's unabashed aggression. In one of his best performances, Sanjay Dutt goes beyond being himself and out on a limb to present him as a complex, philosophy -spewing monster. Oh, hold on. In spite of such convincing performances by Hrithik and Dutt, it is Rishi Kapoor who takes your breath away. What could be easily hailed as the best performance of Kapoor's career, this Lala manages to dominate the screen with his sheer repulsive presence. To think this man not so many months ago, played the sweet, cuddly common man in Do Dooni Char. Glad that Kapoor, always brilliant but underrated, is getting meaty roles he is so ha
ppily biting into. And of course, there is Chikni Chameli. Even though I didn't dig the desperate moves too much (blame it on my gender), this one's a big attraction and I am sure a majority of single screen tickets sold is all thanks to the Chameli. The action sequences, especially in the climax scene are worth a wolf whistle.
The insufferable points: The movie is loud, violent and just too long. Some scenes could easily have been dispensed with, making it shorter, crisper and better equipped to hold the audience interest. Howmuchever I hate to say this, but certain concepts like the big brother ready to lay down his life to protect his chhoti behan is outdated and uhm �so 90s. Priyanka Chopra is wasted. Kali's character could have been easily portrayed any of lesser actresses. A dash of homour would have helped.
But whatever said and done, if you are a Bollywood freak and readily accept all its idiosyncrasies, go for this one. Never mind the nostalgia. This one's more than a remake. And it has enough masala to last for a while.