One of the hardest jobs for a director is undoubtedly doing the remake of an iconic film as comparisons are inevitable. Though he would have the benefit of an excellent script, at times he would have to alter it subtly keeping in mind the present day sensibilities as in "Don" & also package it in such a way so as to attract the attention of the audience all over again. This weekend saw the release of the remake of the iconic "Agneepath", which won Big B the National Award. So can debutant director Karan Malhotra come up with a credible remake???
As I mentioned earlier, except for subtle changes the thread of the film remains the same. So the film unfolds in 1977 in the island village of Mandwa, where the school teacher Dinanath Chauhan (Chetan Pandit) is held in high esteem much to the dismay of the Sarpanch. At this point, Sarpanch's son Kancha (Sanjay Dutt) sets foot on Mandwa with plans of setting up a narcotics factory & promises the villagers wealth and comfort in exchange for their lands on lease. Realising Kancha's sinister plans, Dinanath Chauhan strongly dissuades the villagers from falling into the trap. This entices Kancha to frame Dinanath for the death of a girl, which eventually leads to the school teacher being hanged in public. Dinanath's family is forced to flee from Mandwa & make Mumbai their home. In due time, Dinanath's son Vijay (Hrithik Roshan) becomes the trusted lieutenant of the drug lord & pimp Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor). But the sole aim of Vijay was to avenge his father's death & how he goes about it forms the crux of the film.
Karan Johar had taken a huge risk when he decided to remake his father, Yash Johar's "Agneepath" owing to the sheer magnitude of the performances in the original Anywaz his faith in debutant director, Karan Malhotra paid off big time as he has been able to come up with an impressive product. Karan Malhotra along with Illa Dutta has done away with some of the characters like Mithun Chakraborthy's Krishnan Iyer MA & included some new ones like Rishi Kapoor's Rauf Lala. The film is engrossing throughout with twists thrown in at times culminating in a riveting climax. But the flaw lies in the fact that its a touch too long & should have mellowed down the romantic track. Sabu Cyril has done a fantastic job as always in the art department rendering a sinister feel to Mandwa.
In the performance department, Sanjay Dutt was brilliant as the devilish Kancha as his looks, bulky torso & sinister laugh sends a chill down the spine like Lord Voldermort of Harry Potter series. Hrithik Roshan was impressive as ever & essayed the role in his own style rather than aping Big B. He hooks our attention with his manipulative ways yet expressing his pain & anguish convincingly.But the guy who is going to blow off the audience is Rishi Kapoor in a fantastic negative role that will leave you stunned. The female cast of Priyanka Chopra & Zarina Wahab were apt. Ajay Atul's music was fine with Chikni Chameli setting the charts on fire. The visuals by Kiran Deohans were stunning which was complimented by equally proficient editing by Akiv Ali.
Verdict: The hype & impressive promos will guarantee it a bumper opening. There is no doubt that the brilliant performances coupled with a decent script of revenge will ensure that word of mouth will go in its favour. In short, I believe it has all the makings of a blockbuster. So dont miss it!!!