Agneepath vs Agneepath!

Everytime I hear the kohl-lined Amitabh Bachhan spew out the words ‘VIJAY DINANATH CHAUHAN’ on a re-run, the hair on my hands stand up and there are goosebumps all over. Such is the effect, even 2 decades after he first mouthed those dialogues in front of Vikram Gokhale in Agneepath, a heavy blood and gore revenge saga of the 90s.

So, with much trepidation and nervous excitement I landed up to watch the much-awaited remake, to see how the 2 Karans have stepped up to one the most iconic plates of Indian cinema. And disappoint they do NOT. Thankfully, the 2012 version is a completely different take on the screenplay and characters, with the same basic plot. And Hrithik adequately compensates through his eyes, where he lacks in terms of Big B’s amazing baritone.

This is not a movie review, rather just a quick & dirty comparison of the two equally impressive, potboiler movies!

Also, enjoy links to some of the best scenes and characters from the original.

 AGNEEPATH 1990 2012
Vijay Dinanath Chauhan (Protagonist)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAQEhnEWTmE

9/10

Big B looms in a larger than life figure and toys the movie and our hearts with a deep, gruff baritone. (Maut ke saath apinment, hay!)

8/10

Hrithik takes a U-turn here and underplays the character, with a raging angst and pain played right through his eyes in every scene.

Kancha (Antagonist)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDKNMliIOQY&feature=fvwrel

6/10

Danny Denzongpa, as Kancha Cheena was a stylized, suited- booted don of Mandwa who gets towered and buried under the Big B’s persona in the movie.

9/10

The bulked up, bald Sanjay Dutt shaves off his eyebrows and casts a dark shadow over the screen, and overshadows everyone else in the movie.

Rauf Lala (Antagonist) 5/10

Didn’t exist in the original, but there was a combination of 4-5 characters as a gang of Mumbai warlords in place. Mainly caricaturish Bollywood villains of those times.

7/10

Rishi Kapoor in a fantastic, negative turn surprises all and sundry as the despicable, evil kasai. Finally the actor does justice to his talent by selecting such a role.

Krishnan Iyer MA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPIg4i3JR3A

6/10

An over-the-top Mithun Chakraborthy hams through a few scenes but is an endearing support to BigB’s Vijay in the original

 

Done away here because of the new screen-time accorded to the evil Rauf Lala.

Young Vijay

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eGtAJn4QLY

7/10

Master Manjunath was riveting in the original. Cute and innocent in the initial few scenes and rough-edged in the transformation later.

5/10

Decent performance by the young boy here, though I didn’t find it powerful enough

Other Chauhans

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKy_4sF_1jE

7/10

Rohini Hattangadi and Alok Nath still remain etched in memory, despite their limited screen time but more than competent work in some great scenes. (Neelam was a waste, though)

5/10

Zareena Wahab and co are competent but don’t leave an impression to last beyond the movie hall.

Other Elements

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_u7OYVbfAs

7/10

-Mukul Anand made a potboiler which ran on the steam of some memorable characters, a great background score and seeti-inducing dialogues enhanced by Big B.-Nothing great about the plot, music, cinematography though the 1st point more than makes up for the flaws.

7/10

-Karan Malhotra impresses by re-making the movie with creating altogether new, but equally memorable characters led by Kancha and the same old plot.-Better production values, especially the cinematography and also a deeper, emotional connect  for the central character’s pain.

OVERALL 3.5/5 3.5/5

On a personal note, for me the most memorable part of the movie still remains the heart-wrenching verse of Harivansh Rai Bacchan, (beautifully shot under a  banyan tree – which in itself becomes an important character)

Vruksh ho bade bhale,
ho ghane ho bhale,
Ek Patra chhah bhi mang mat, mang mat, mang mat,
Agneepath, Agneepath Agneepath…

Tu na thamega kabhi tu na mudega kabhi tu na rukega kabhi,
Kar shapath, Kar shapath, Kar shapath,
Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath…


Ye Mahan Drushya hain,
Chal raha Manushya hain,
Ashru, Sweth, Rakta se Latpat Latpat Latpat..
Agneepath, Agneepath, Agneepath…

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The Secret Diary of KRK – Jan 2012

Dear Diary,

Jay mata di!

My ball gladder was overflowing with sorrowness last week, after my break-up with my Moroccan maid, Sabaal. Final kisses and goodbye to her. But life has to move on and today I am really feeling like a super chore after stealing the dils of the Oprah Winfree, right from under the nose of the Bachhans. Amit uncle tried to take her to his house as Beti B’s massagewaali. But I flicked her on the way and took her to my Pandharpur palace and made her queen. Super-Kool, ain’t I? *wink wink*

Some other things in this new year are still heavy on my mind, heart and balls. And I need to puke them out for lightness and sharing with all you lovelies.

1) When my original, first pyaar Lara asked me 10 years back – ‘Kya aapke toothpaste mein namak hai?” she forgot to tell me about the urea in my milk. No doubt whenever I do susu in my garden, the next day several santra and strawberries grow up. I am planning to now drink more doodh everyday and do susu all over bombay. Clean Mumbai, Green Mumbai as the great Ayesha Takia quoted once.

2) This Dhoni ka team needs to pull up their socks, pajamas and underwear if they want to draw the 4th test against the kangaroos. Why can’t they recruit Poonam Pandey and Oprah Winfree as their mental coaches? If they win, Poonam will strip and if they lose Oprah will. In all his novels, the management guru, Peter Drunkard calls it as Carrot and Stick approach

3) Why do all this #2Rs Khans keep checking for each other’s box-office collections? Also, everybody is coping Amit uncle for Don and Agneepath and all, but they foolish people don’t know that Sr. BigB is looking to copy and remake my Deshdrohi-4 in 4D. I will be main hero with my favorite love Asin (Kisses to her will also flow out to the audience in 4 dimensions).

I hope this technologicaly superior movie will beat the record of the Hollywood shitty movies like MI4 where that cleaner fellow Tom Cruise climbs Burj to clean it from outside. Arre baba, use technology naa and use hose pipe to spurt water. We will shoot our film on the tallest tower of Mumbai -Mukeshbhai’s Antilla house. I will bring in more style, chutzpah and bodyhair than what Anil paaji did in MI4.

4)  I will be flying Qatar Airlines tomorrow to get out of this shitty doha and fill in for Salman Rushdie in the Jaipur twiteraly festival. My role there is to recite some poems and dialogs from all my blockbuster hits, as well as my rocking tweets. I’ve also invited Baba Ramdev as my partner to do some jugalbandi and show off our 10 pack abs by sucking in all breath. Btw, sincere request to all Kamrans – please bring only red gulaal to throw at him. Holi is not a black day, you fools.

5) This new fatwa things are so confusing. So you nutcrack mullahs are telling me that I can kiss my favorite madrasi star ‘Surya’ but I can’t tell him namaskar? I crapblock all such fatwa people and fart on their beards.

If at all you want to put fatwa, put it on gay movies like sherlock holmes. That Watson character acts so gud. They should’ve hired Karan Johar, naa if they want to make gay movies like Dostana? Also, the main hero is so Downey, junior and slow. He does everything in slow motion. Even our very own modern Rajesh Khanna (Vinay Pathak) can do this role much better.

More later on my valentine’s kisses special in February, till then let me leave you with a few words from my favorite lyricswalla of all time – P.K. Mishra (he really writes very philosophical, especially post peekay 😉

 Telephone Dhun mein Hasnewaali, Melbourne machhli machalne waali – Dadicated to our team, currently fishing in Australia.

Players – Movie Review

Go for Gold, but please don’t dig for it in your nose, which I literally did as the movie went on and on for nearly 3 hours.

First of all, for the bottomline driven – it’s a 2/5 stars for this Abbas-Mustan directed desi rip-off of the Italian Job. And both stars are reserved only for the director-duo who dress like Jeetendra, and usually make tadakedar spaghetti noodles in shudh desi ghee. But this time it’s the 3rd Burmawala brother (the editor), who loses out on an additional star due to the 30 minute overtime.

Plot & Direction:

The storyline stays partially true to the original, only to the extent of being a heist by a motley team of thieves (oops..Players), with a renegade lurking in the shadows. The 1st half is an entertaining straight-laced robbery of a trainload worth of gold, headed from Russia to Romania (Keralites in the movie hall moaned orgasmically, everytime the shine sparkled on screen). Btw, some random world war 1 angle has been inserted to intellectualize a basic ‘chor pe mor’ movie. The 2nd half is where it starts falling apart, as the movie boils down to a long-drawn revenge saga with several inane twists.

It’s not as slick as the original because of the copious bursts of drama, comedy & music forced in, to try and make it a masala poppadom flick.  Only some areas are well covered like the cinematography and beautiful Russian snowy locales. Also a few of the scenes are hilarious (whether they are meant to be or not is a debate, reserved for some other day). Examples: 1) Bipasha Basu adding boosters on the top of a dilapidated train to make it zoom faster! OR 2) Johny Lever’s servant as a Kiwi gora – Ramu Kaka who serves chai, draped in a dada kondke get-up. OR 3) The Russian cribbing about how Indians want to have a song routine, even before having sex. 

Overall, the movie would’ve worked much better as a pure thriller, without these formulaic paraphernalia.

Acting:

Abbas-Mustan has probably managed to pick up a collage of the worst acting talent available in Bollywood and pasted them together on a single screen. Who in his right frame of mind casts Bobby Deol film after film, for those half-closed eyes as an only effort at expression. He certainly doesn’t disappoint with the consistent Arnold-meets-SunnyDeol terminator look as the illusionist of the team. Thankfully, he’s bumped off after some time in the movie, never to be brought back again.


It’s also unbelievable to fathom that this is the same Abhishek Bacchan who gave us Yuva and Guru. He does Dhoom2 all over again, just that he’s the leader of a pack on the other side of law now. He gets maximum screen time, but as Neil rubs it in every few minutes – ‘How Predictable!’… The only impressive performance of the lot is Neil Nitin Mukesh – his third negative portrayal after Johnny Gadar and Saat Khoon Maaf. His effort is laudable, especially once he starts showing his true colors. (He just needs to tan himself a bit more, lest he wants to make his career playing pale, white ghosts in Vikram Bhatt movies)

The computer hacker, Sonam Kapoor’s acting is certainly inspired by her dad. Unfortunately, she chose MI4 for the inspiration where probably Mr. Kapoor was at his worst ever. Her dialogue delivery and acting here, are pedestrian. The automobile expert Bipasha plays her regular bikini babe self, prancing on both sides of the fence. Of the supporting cast, the trapezium-faced Sikandar Kher is ok as the deaf bomb expert and Omi Vaidya provides comic relief in his failed actor-turned-prosthetic expert act.

Vinod Khanna looks jaded playing the Einsteinian guru of all thieves. It’s unintentionally funny to see him being treated like an ACP by the entire police force! That leaves us with Abbas-Mustan’s man friday, Johhny Lever who unfortunately is also an old shadow of his former self, both as MC and BC. (Yeah, he plays a pair of twins named such!) Most of his gags are force-fed to the audience, though couple of them do bring about a chuckle.

Recommendation

Go watch it if you don’t catch up on too many Hollywood movies and you’ll come back reasonably satisfied. Else, give it a skip and catch the Italian Job re-run on HBO some Friday night!