Touted as one of the most anticipated movie of the year with a clean shaven, bald and eyebro less Sanjay Dutt as its USP, Agneepath does deliver at varying levels but falls a tad short of what was expected. Perhaps the mamoth expections became its ultimate undoing. The biggest question in every inquisitive mind was wheather Agneepath would be a copy paste job of its predicessor, the towering Amitabh Bachchan starrer which won over both the critics as well as the aam junta. The answer to that question would be a resounding no. The basic revenge plot remains he same and the reason of conflict also remains but other than that, Agneepath takes a much more restrained and focused approach at the proceeding. Unlike its predicessor, which was peppered with subplots and a huge number of charecters to stand in the way between Vijay Dinanath Chauhan and his revenge. This version has four major charecters and they are interwoven seamlessly into the narrative. The reason for conflict between Kancha Cheena(Dutt) and Vijay(Hritik) is assertained within the first 15 minutes of the story. what remains to be seen is how vijay a bony 11 year old surmounts unsurmountable odds and delivers a knockout punch on the perpetrators who had killed his father and wronged his family. In doing so he crosses path with Rauf Lala(Rishi Kapoor) , a heinous slave trading, druglord who is the only person who can give Vijay a shot at Kancha. Vijay is nurtured under his ageis and grows up to overthrow him and set claim to his throne. Rauf evidently doesnt enjoy the sudden turn of events and plots his own revenge against Vijay.
Agneepath has a breezy first half, which is mostly spent on the charecter development. There are a few actions sequences which though strictly remains restricted to gun shots and explosions. Post interval Vijay sets asail for Mandwa, the village were his family was tarnished and which is also the den of Kancha. As Vijay persues his revenge, he also gets a chance to connect with his family or atleast whats left of it and we have some heavy dope of melodrama following. Apart from the brother and sister sequences which looks sweet, the rest of it fizzles out like a coke without the fuzz. The tender moments between Vijay and his love Kali(Priyanka) also look forced. Then there are the songs. In a movie like this, song and dance numbers are a blasphemy and they are repeated again and again without remorse. A song popping out here and there not only is a kick in the nuts for the momentum of the movie but also gives a chance for the audience to yawn. The climax and the final showdown between Vijay and Kancha is not worth the wait. Dutt looks menacing and almost alien in a grotesque avatar but Hritik just remains somewhat subdued. I also had a big problem with the way he survives multiple slashes just to survive long enough to dish out that chilly revenge that he had been contemplating.
Coming to the performences, Hritik Roshan does a decent enough job a sVijay. Even though comparisons are inevitable, but I would rate his performence as a standalone essay instead of making comparisons with the BIG B. He just never tries to copy The B and that works wonderfully in his favour. from mannerism, to the costumes to the stoic look, Hritik potrays Vijay in his own way and thats how it should have been done. Watch out for his sequences with his sister.Sanjay Dutt as Kancha does a creditable job. He does look his part and there is evil reeking all the way from his performence. His screen presense almost devours Hritik in many sequences and that goes on to speak of his sheer ability. But the biggest surprise of them all is Rishi Kapoor in the role of Rauf Lala. he breathes fire all the way through and he is perfectly hateable. Being use to seeing him in clean cut charecters, Rauf lala is a far cry for him and he performs with aplomb.Watch out for his sequences in the mandi and then hsi final showdown with Hritik.
Overall, Agneepath is a decent outing for the star value, their performences and a known but gripping storyline. But it does leave a lot to be desired….!!!