Remaking Agneepath by Karan Johar, whose father produced the original one, was a gamble. For remaking iconic cult movies of the bygone era is a gamble on any day. But the gamble has paid off. Whether you go to the theater with the original Agneepath at the back of your mind, or with fresh eyes, Karan Malhotra's Agneepath will definitely amaze you.
Lets begin with the fault lines first. The things that could have given the movie a higher pedestal would be a little stronger plot and better editing. There were a little more than required loopholes in the plot, be it Vijay going to Mandwa and getting beaten up or the assasination of gaitonde angle or the Rauf Lala vs Kaancha sub plot and a few. Better editing could have done away with those moments which were not able to hold the attention of the crowd. Item number was not necessary but the song rights bought from Ajay-Atul had somewhere to be used by Karan Johar.
The pros of the movie: acting, acting and acting. The star cast was perfect. Hrithik's portrayal of a troubled child growing into an youth filled with revenge is spot on. He does not shuttle between emotions of happiness and darkness. The does-not-want-to-but-have-to emotion has been showcased by Hrithik spot on. His looks have been perfectly presented. the child hrithik who has recieved a lot of screen time has done an amazing job too.
But the man who matches the protagonists performance is the khalnayak of bollywood, Sanju baba. Menacingly villanous with out of the league looks has worked for him. Most of his dialogues, if not all, are delivered with negativity oozing of it. Kaancha seth is the villain that bollywood has seen after a very long time.
Other performances list is toped by Rishi Kapoor, the man knows what roles to pick, and deliver them in style. Rauf Lala, the kohl eyed goon is both a visual and auditory delight. The female characters are more or less not important to the plot and hence their screen presence is limited. Priyanka Chopras character was used to bring the little bit of white shade to the primarily grey shade movie.
Agneepath will probably not go down well with the younger generation who have not grown on movies of 90's and place practicality before larger than life movies. If one sees it in that perspective it is bound to fail, because gone are the days when the hero takes on the villain single handedly after being stabbed five times. This movie takes you back to those days.
All that makes the new Agneepath (no comparison to the Al Pacino (in Scarface) inspired Amitabh Bachchan in the original (and one of my top favorite movies) work for the audience who still can watch a little mindless bollywood action. The movie has its many moments of high, especially in the vulnerable yet determined eys of Vijay and cold mischeivous eyes of Kaancha. The movie is certainly one-time watch, but a good one at that.
For the sheer acting prowess by Hrithik, Sanjay Dutt and Rishi Kapoor: 7 out of 10.