When Karan Johar announced that he would remake his father Yash Johar’s 1990 cult film, Agneepath, there were murmurs that the original Amitabh Bachchan starrer had not done well at the box-office windows. Well, now that the verdict on Hrithik Roshan’s film is out, we digged into our archives to bring you the review of the original Agneepath.
Agneepath (1990) Review
Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s Agneepath (UA) is one more story of dons at war. A bright son of a Gandhian teacher changes his course of his life when his father is murdered by criminals. To avenge his father’s death and to get back the lost glory of his mother, the son grows up to become an underworld king. He eliminates the other dons, small and big, one by one, and finally loses his own life in the climax. Right from the start, the film is heavy, violent and tension-filled. There are light moments but they are few and far between. While the story is oft-repeated, the screenplay has loose ends. There are also some unjustified scenes, the principal among them being the one in which Amitabh Bachchan faces the bullets of the other dons and has to be rushed to hospital thereafter. Why does he do this? On the plus side, there are some breath-taking scenes like the mud fight culminating in the arrival of Amitabh Bachchan on the scene, the confrontation scene between Amitabh Bachchan and Rohini Hattangadi on the dinner table and the sindoor scene between Amitabh, Vikram Gokhale and his wife.
The opening scene and few thereafter have some emotional as well as class appeal but not of the type which can move the viewers. The long climax is thrilling. But Amitabh’s death is a jolt. The drama lacks the grip so essential for a film like this. Even the cold blooded murders lack excitement.
The biggest undoing of the film is Amitabh Bachchan’s voice
Dialogues are very hard-hitting at places. But the biggest undoing of the film is Amitabh Bachchan’s voice. He has spoken the dialogue in a different voice (inspired by Marlon Brando in Godfather) which will not be accepted by the audience. Further the mixing not being clear, his dialogues are incomprehensible at places.
Amitabh Bachchan looks tired at places but does an excellent job as the underworld don. His mannerisms are superb. Mithun Chakraborty as Krishnan Iyer, M.A., is too lovable. Although even his dialogues are unclear at a couple of places, he is superb in a difficult role and entertains a lot. Madhavi and Neelam have little to do. Danny is effective as the main villain. Goga Kapoor, Deepak Shirke, Sharat Saxena, Avtar Gill, Alok Nath, master Manjunath, Sudhir Pandey, Bob Christo, Monty, Arvind Rathod and Anjan Srivastava support well. Rohini Hattangadi leaves a mark. Vikram Gokhale impresses a great deal. Tinnu Anand also does a fine job; his character and dialogue should click in Maharashtra. Archana Puran Singh is okay.
Director Mukul S. Anand concentrates on takings and relegates the script to the secondary position. He has done a wise thing in making Amitabh dub in a different voice. Music is weak. There is not a single hit tune; Kisko Tha Pata and Alibaba numbers are fair. Song picturisations are routine. Photography is of standard. Locations are picturesque. Production values are grand.
On the whole, painstakingly made and treated Agneepath lacks in content. Experiment of changing Amitabh’s voice will further harm its prospects. However, it may fare in Maharashtara.
Have you seen the original Agneepath? What is your opinion of Karan Johar’s adaptation? Share your views in the comments section below: