Film Review: Agneepath

January 26, 2012 12:06 pm by

Director: Karan Malhotra
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Email from: Karan Johar

To: Karan Malhotra

Subject: Top secret recipe for the success of Agneepath

Ingredients: Take 5 ounces of blood, 4 kilos of make-up, 3 ounces of Cheddar cheese, 2 ounces of blue cheese, 1 ounce of feta cheese, 4 blue screens, 2 villains, 1 finely-built shirtless hero, 1 item number.

Method: Mix everything together and half bake it. Avoid insignificant ingredients like innovation, likeable characters and intrigue. Sautee with 300 plot holes. Add kitsch for (bad) taste. Serve blockbuster chilled.

Agneepath, producer Karan Johar’s remake of the cult classic of the same name, is a labour of love that reminds you that love is blind. The 1990 Amitabh Bachchan film, an unofficial remake of Scarface, was a B-movie to begin with. The 2012 Agneepath is in fact not even a remake, but a “reimagining” that plays out like a below-average 1990s Telugu gangster action film where all the characters speak in Hindi. Director Karan Malhotra’s debut sits in a patch somewhere between a shameless cash grab and a callow vanity project. What is certain though, is that the film is compulsively horrible and full of unintentionally hilarious OTT drama.

It’s been over 20 years since Big B’s Agneepath released, but there is not a shred of freshness to be found in the new version. The movie leaves absolutely nothing whatsoever for the viewer to digest—Mr. Johar and Co. just offer a frozen cadaver of Bollywood tripe and expect it to be reheated by paying audiences who can find nothing else in their fridges to snack on. It’s hard to say what’s worse, the film’s utter lack of entertainment value or the unabashed condescension towards its viewers.

The story remains more or less the same, but when you have big stars like Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt and an item song from Katrina Kaif, why do you even need a story? Mega baddie Kancha Cheena (Sanjay Dutt, looking like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family) descends upon the town of Mandwa to turn it into a drug haven. A schoolteacher (Chetan Pandit) who dares to oppose him is framed and hanged to death. The schoolteacher’s son, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan (Hrithik Roshan) then joins forces with high-profile rival gangster, Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor) and plots revenge against Kancha.

But none of this is interesting, new or arresting in any way—the film keeps throwing melodrama and songs at the audience, and trudges on unbearably for almost 3 hours. Agneepath is completely devoid of humour (Mithun Chakraborty’s Krishna Iyer “MA” character was written out), and there are barely any memorably witty lines of dialogue, save for a few of Dutt’s deadpan quips. Even the love story between Vijay and Kaali (Priyanka Chopra) doesn’t ease the boredom. Instead, we are treated with plot holes large enough to let a tiptoeing woolly mammoth through.

Vijay attacks Kancha’s lair by carefully placing and detonating big bombs, but refuses to carry a simple pistol to overpower the villain, and gets beaten to pulp. Vijay stages an assassination attempt on Rauf Lala’s son (Deven Bhojani) and takes a bullet to his own shoulder. Why? To get in Lala’s good books? Then why make a speech about not needing either of them? Kancha’s lair is guarded day and night by dozens of his armed henchmen manning the coast, so how does Vijay, carrying all those firearms, moor his boat and sneak past them? When Vijay is 12-years-old, he refuses to hand Lala over to the cops and that angers his mother so much that she abandons him. But 15 years later, when Vijay is busy taking revenge, she screams at him to let Lala go, despite the fact that Lala has prostituted her daughter just a few minutes ago.

The performances range from great (Roshan) to good (Dutt, Kapoor) to horrendous (Bhojani) to hilariously awful (Om Puri, playing a cop). Hrithik Roshan growls, kicks, punches, laughs, weeps, sweats, bleeds—he gives it his all, but is sadly eclipsed by the overall stupidity of the film. There isn’t much he can do to leverage his star power to avoid the embarrassment. An otherwise smart, talented and versatile actress, Chopra’s poorly-written role is not a highlight but a terrible misstep in her glowing career. Dutt clearly has more fun than the audience, as does Kapoor in his lecherous role, but neither of them are as suave or threatening as Danny Denzongpa, who played Kancha Cheena in the original. Agneepath is ultimately an insult to both Scarface and its 1990 recreation. Its only redeeming quality is that it reminds us of all the things that used to be fun about bad 1990s movies.

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Comments (27)

  1. ChuReview |

    What a Chu review to be honest.. and hope this comment gets published too.. one of the best movies i have ever seen. remake of 1990 classic agneepath but made with necessary changes in it. enjoyed this film as much as i enjoyed the Amitabh version.

  2. Essie |

    I completely agree with the critic. This movie truly sucks and is a waste.
    & yes org. Agneepath was “inspired” by scarface & made sense unlike this one.

  3. Sam Neil |

    On the Spot!.

    What a Crappy Movie.

  4. priyanka |

    I watched the movie on 29th along with my friends and it was worth watching. All the actors including Hrithik, Sanjay Dutt, Priyanka and Om Puri have done good job. When we came out of the Wave Cinemas, Rajouri Garden, after watching the movie, we all felt like the day was well spent.

  5. Kriya |

    Thanx Mihir for this review ! This movie is just a piece of shit ! Avoidable !!!

  6. Mahesh |

    Dude(Reviewer)…. need to get laid….
    No I mean it..Seriously..You need to…

  7. Parikshit |

    I simply fail to understand why people do not realize the purpose of a film review. A film review is by no means a judgement of the movie, it is a personal opinion of the reviewer and it is meant to be subjective. It is meant to provoke a discussion about the artistic merits of a work of art. (Although, one cannot use that term for a bollywood film, but I digress) So, don’t get personal at the reviewer, if you agree with him, good for you; if not agree to disagree and try to appreciate a point of view that is not in synch with your own.

  8. Robin |

    A moronic movie made for the enjoyment of morons. Of course it’ll make crap loads of money, there are enough idiots in this country who will willingly hand their money over because they enjoy crap.

  9. karen |

    I had really low expectations from this movie and it wasn’t very bad at fact, it seemed pretty well-made, compared to that disaster called “rockstar”..if you buy into the premise, then kancha, rauf and vijay were well cast and the actors did give it their best, no question.

  10. arpit |

    first of all want to ask to reviver
    acc. to u 5 best movie of last year which u like.
    and than want to say dont think that going opposite to a good movie made u smart
    rating to this review0.5 and to movie3.5
    horrible review

  11. Rithik |

    I wonder how a few readers ask this critic about his competence and education. I can see how the media is bought and the so called celebrated critics (i do not believe that India has any critic in the sense of the term) hail this film. A brave work Mihir, please keep on doing so. And my dear friends, please stop hitting him below the belt. A shit is made of so many crores, forced box-office hit, every hindi shit film claiming to be a bigger success than the previous one, and the Indian audience is quite undereducated as i can see. You use the name Agneepath to lure the audience and after that people sya why compare???? hats off. What a shit film !!!!!!! Bollywood sould start a crash course from a local college in films. Sorry to say, apart from a few shots cinematography is bad (the camera people are overjoyed with steady-cams, so no tracks), editing is horrible, prolly a 10 yr old would have done better on a Windows movie maker. The makers with huge money (black or white ??!!) have the guts to throw them away reflects the Indian psychy. Farmers die, and we spend crores on making shit, bought-out critics hail the film and lead common mass to the cinema hall, and the audience are brainwashed easily with chiknis and chamelies. Developing country after all !!!!!

  12. Irrespective of the critics as i myself have to yet see the movie, its the “BOX OFFICE COLLECTIONS” that will prove critics wrong.Everyone connected to the production of this movie is laughing away to their personal banks?Lets face the truth, its ultimately economics that decides a films fate and its better having a crtical y flop film being a “commercial hit” rather than a critically highly hit film being a “Commercial flop”. Agreed, in the long run or decades from now, a genuine well done film will be etched in memory of the masses and there are numerous instances of commercial flop films having done very well decades after they were produced, most famous being Guru.Dutt’s , “Pyasa”, a total flop but still relevant in 2012! Hope “Agneepath” with “Kancha Cheena” villain stands the test of time akin to “Sholay” which is still relevant with Amjad.Khan and “Gabbar Singh” character of menace.

  13. bimal |

    I Completely agree with this review. The movie is so horrible, there is not connection in the story, Karan Johar has lost his sense of logic, the vocal dubbing in the movie was so bad one could not understand what they were talking, the background music was piercing the ears , This movie has been made with creating a market value and no entertainment value, it has big star cast , and the producers are marketing the movies in a big way to draw crowds and make a money spinner, I wonder if this movie will do well after the first three days and if it does, Karan Johar is lucky. It’s a shameful tribute to the Classic , Sanjay Dutt looks like a joker, What happened to Munnabhai??? Mr Dutt.
    Mihir , Keep up the good work and keep giving us unbiased review, unlike the other publications who seem to be sold to the producers

  14. rohan |

    bogus movie and a real nonsense acting by the characters…. previous agneepath is far better (amitabh, mithun starrer) than this idiotic remake..

    Rithik is no way near to Amitabh, so is Sanjay dutt far away than Danny… luckily this idiot director didn’t include a Mithun’s duplicate..

    Don’t waste your time.. stay away from this crap.

  15. Bibek |

    Firstly why this reviewer is comparing it with Scarface???? From which angle does it looks like a Scarface inspired movie??? leaving that aside he gives it 1 star…haha…just by looking Hrithik’s performance u feel like giving it a good rating..the reviewer says the director keeps on throwing songs but i actually feel the songs came very well throught the film…The film has a simple story but it is presented very well..its fast pace 1st half dosent makes you bore…yes the film is long and drags a bit in the 2nd half….but still it a good watch through the performances and adrenaline rushing 1st half…it has many good moments which keeps you entact…..its a good one time watch…3.5 my verdict to the film and 0.5 to this review
    A tip to the reviewer:- dont live in the wrong belive that writting a bad humorous review of good film makes you an intellect….

  16. Sidharth |

    WHat?? Are you in your senses?? What the hell is wrong with you?? Where did you pass out from? I JUST SOOO WISH I COULD ABUSE YOU. but i cant. Having watched the movie yesterday, my jaw kept dropping more and more as i read on through this ‘review’. God it must be easy to become a critic these days. You need a kancha hammering to drill some sense of films into your head. GROW UP

  17. The songs are really superb especially the item song Chikni Chameli.

  18. mushtaq |

    i saw the movie yday and was utterly disgusted, so i come back and check reviews. All bull shit reviews claiming it to be a super duper super film.
    Your review is exactly what the audience felt. Thank you!

  19. Rahul |

    I liked the movie and you didnt. I dont get to write on MB and you do. Thats the only difference. So I dont want to flame you on that. I guess its a personal opinion.

    But hey the least you could do is at least get your facts correct. Gives a complete mis-interpretation to audiences

    “Vijay stages an assassination attempt on Rauf Lala’s son (Deven Bhojani) and takes a bullet to his own shoulder”.

    My friend the attempt was made on the elder son and not Deven Bhojani. At least get your facts right.

    Just curious – what are your favorite movies in the last 2 years?

  20. Ramona |

    Completely agree with this review. While the film has a few good moments, most of it seemed like watching a really bad slasher movie with no sense at all. And how the film managed to get a U/A certificate with just a one line warning that there may be violent scenes is beyond me. My mother, after the film, actually said that it was more violent that Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ!

  21. Don't Hate |

    Sarah and Noor need to get a bloody life. Its a movie, its subjective and the critic is allowed to trash it, if they feel it sucks. Grow up, you bloody losers. And get out more often, don’t let Bollyballs control you.

  22. Noor |

    Why does this clown waste 3 hours of his time every week watching a movie? His sole aim seems to be to trash it. I would suggest you guys hire someone that’s less frustrated in life and with a little more balance to write these things.

  23. Sarah |

    Hey please ur not a critic but a bloody idiot who doesn’t know how to rate films! Ur a fake critic now please get lost because right now, more than 50 people are laughing at u at my house here! This film is awesome and u can’t deny it! Ur just bloody jealous!

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