Agneepath – where Vijay Chavan is killed by the Director

People say not to compare old and new version of film but why shouldn’t we? The filmmaker has named it the same, the storyline is same, the name of the characters are same, its set in the same timeframe. If the filmmaker has no issues in cashing out the brand ‘Agneepath’ then why shouldnt we compare?

Now, lets do it one by one..
The character of Vijay Dinanath Chavan is icnoic and made legendary by AB with his
mannerisms, dialogue delivery, style but in thie new Agneepath poor Hrithik Roshan can
hardly claim any of that. He is shown as a cunning, plotting sidekick of a ganglord
played by Rishi Kapoor. He reduces this icnoic character to an ordinary one. Hrithik
Roshan accpeted this role reluctantly after hearing the 2 Karans ( Director and
Producer). I really want to know what convinced him to do such a thing. Was it the
money? The chance to copy AB?, the chance to make a masala movie which would do 100 crore ? or simply because he wanted to annoy AB and his fans. He is shown to be
dancing, singing, crying, plotting and doing things which the ‘true’ Vijay Chavan would
not do in his dreams. He just destroys the character along with the Director-Producer.

The role of childhood Vijay in original AGNEEPATH was played by Manjunath who was
coming from his immense success of Malgudi Days. That role set the tone for AB to take
it over. There was a gradual progression into the role, the same kind of graduation
from childhood to adulthood is not there in this new version.

Rohini Hattangadi played an important role of AB’s mother and the kind of connect
mother-son had in that film is lacking totally with Zaeena Wahab and Hrithik. Rohini
Hattangadi’s ‘Hath Dho Le’ dialogue still echoes.

Romance in earlier film was non-existent and rightly. This kind of film does not need
romantic sidetrack and entire character of Priyanka Chopra was unneceessary. She was
plain irritating at times and doing nothing apart from cracking silly jokes, dancing
around and then getting killed in pre-climax, a scene which reminded us of much
powerful ‘Parinda’. The way Priyanka and Hrithik dance and sing and emote you feel you
are in a Yash Chopra romantic film instead of a gripping thriller.

Character of Kancha Cheena played by Danny in the original was legendary too, he had a
certain style and attitude, he loved good things in life stayed in a glass house in
mauratius where as Sanjubaba plays it exactly the opposite here and hams it to the
hilt. He looked silly and clownish and reminded me of his act in ‘Khalnayak’.

Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala was a new character and I must say he did a very nice job in
portraying the evil role, tries to be mean and tries to show his versatility as an
actor but he is too cute a guy to be taken sriously as a villain and his cuddly,
romantic image is too overpowering in our minds. Still, I think his was the only
redeeming factor in this collosal disaster of a movie.

Om Puri plays caroonish cop once again and his Gaitonde was no match against original
Gaitonde played by Vikram Gokhale who had the look of an honest upright cop, who
fathers over Vijay Chavan.

Where are the dialogues?? The original film had dialogues which are memorable till
date. The exchange between Vijay and Gaitonde, Vijay and Kancha, Vijay and his mom are
still viewed by millions on Youtube. Dialogues in this film are by theater veteran
Piyush Mishra but sadly not a single dialogue is worth remembering.He just cannot match
up Kadar Khan, a true legend when it comes to dialogue writing in Hindi Cinema.

The original had other important characters like Mithunda (done away with ) , Archana
Puran singh ( done away and partly replaced by Katrinaji), Goga Kapoor as Dinkar Rao (
played by Kancha’s dad here) and several more like Sharat Saxena, Avtar Gill and Deepak
Shirke…

And then there are questions and huge plotholes which no one can answer…
like …

1) WTF is Vijay doing in first half of the film? If all he wants is to kill Kancha,
then he could have very well asked his mentor Rishi Kapoor to help him do that, Rauf
Lala always hated Kancha. Why all the drama of ‘gaining his trust’ by taking a bullet,
then backstabbing him and then saying things like ‘ I do not need Rauf Lala’s approval
for anything…Vijay Chavan is shown in pain all the time, almost pitying himself and
crying at the drop of a hat..why have they made him a pussycat and just a henchman.

2) How the F… does he reach Mandwa ?? The place is an island, heavily guarded but not
only he reaches there but plants bombs everywhere and generally manages to reach
Kancha’s throne in his den even before anyone realises…!! He wwears Rishi Kapoor’s
shoes – were they flying shoes??

3)Sanjay dutt beats up Hrithik to pulp and even stabs him multiple times and all
Hrithik does is hit him once and then lifts him and hangs him..how did that happen? did
the director decide, enough was enough, lets just end the film !!

4) The villagers first side with Masterji, then turn on him and hangs him and supports
Sanjubaba all these years and then suddenly when Hrithik comes , they suddenly change
their loyalty !! Must be cocaine..they were growing..

5) Cocaine being grown in large amount in an island right opposite Mumbai for years and
Police doesnt do a thing..its cocaine factory !!..not some desi sharab ka
karkhana..wow !!

6) Police and inspector Gaitonde are shown such dumb and what happens to them in the
end? where are they? werent they suppose to attack Mandwa post Ganesh Visarjan? Di Om Puri run out of dates?

7) Hrithik aka Vijay Chavan – what exactly he does to redeem himself? for 15 years he
has been sidekick of rishi kapoor selling cocaine and under aged girls and then
suddenly he is the messiah of the masses ? ‘Sau chuhe maar ke billi hajj ko chali’

Its such a badly made and long movie that I can go on and on with plotholes…The
diting is cut randomly making it a real random film.
Agreed that the original wasnt the best of the movie but AB’s performance, Danny,
Mithun , Kadar Khan’s dialogues, Mukul Anand’s direction and shot taking made it a
special film. The Original was inspired from ‘Scarface’ and it wasnt perfect but still
a movie made well-ahead of its times. Sadly this new version has nothing. They just
killed the icnoic ‘Vijay Chavan’ character.

Yash Johar must be turning in his grave or wherever he is. Karan Johar might get the
money but he has failed as a filmmaker.

My biggest question in the end is why the f… is the film called Agneepath , the
characters are nothing like original, then why not name Hrithik Roshan – Raj Singhania
, call the villain Ballu and get it done easily. Its just that the producer wanted to
encash the brand which they are doing. They have marketed the brand succesfully, hyped
up the film and then there is ‘chikni chameli’ to bring in the front benchers running
to the single screen and thats about it nowadays to get huge opening. Huge opening is
not the sign of a good film, just the sign of succesful marketing and hype creating.

Lasly, this ‘agony path’ will make 100 crores at box office but then so did Bodyguard,
Ra.One, Ready, Golmaal Returns and Singham…Case rested !!

AGONY PATH………….’Karan Johar ki Aag’
P.S. I had a GREAT time watching the film in the theater, as everybody was laughing at  the film and passing interesting comments which made the 2 and half hours bearable.

Shaitaan – Not quite Devil

Shaitaan is the new ‘film-made for critical applause’ from the dark stable of Anurag Kashyap. The film set against upper middle class young generation of today’s Bombay or Mumbai deals with drugs, smoking, alcohol and just every kink today’s youth has. The generation is fearless, mindless, easily enraged and at times rudderless. The movie directed by Bejoy Nambiar is actually an upgraded version of Anurag Kashyap’s debut unrelease film ‘Paanch’ made a decade earlier.

The actors are mostly unknown and somewhat amateurish which gives a genuine look to the whole act but also at times looks like they are hamming as one does in a drama school. Kalki is the NRI suffering from a mental trauma of losing her mother who moves to Mumbai with his father and step mother whom she dislikes. Here she meets up with gang of friends Karan, Dyshyant, Zubin and Tanya. Together they do everything what today’s young generation considers hip which is drugs, parties, alcohol abuse, late night drives and midnight buffets, stealing cough syrup from a chemist and semi-porn jokes. And then they get into trouble. To save themselves from that they commit more crime and enter an endless loop of crime and violence from where the only way out is to end it all. Rajeev Khandelwal is the fiery suspended cop investigating the crimes committed by this gang.

The movie begins haphazardly not establishing any character properly almost making us believe that this is another adaptation of popular ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ but only for few minutes, and then leads into fun and games and then the big crash. By the interval the movie has a clear plot established and looks interesting but then the 2nd half it loses the plot and it becomes a mindless scenes of running around, action and violence on repeat. The story loses its key plots and the end is very predictable and the movie just fizzles out like a soda bottle. The plot about Rajeev and his wife fighting and filing for divorce and then getting back together doesnt make any sense in the film. Incidentally Rajeev’s wife doesnt utter a single word in the film. Also the main crime committed by the young gang of running over innocent people is just forgotten in the end. There are quite a few plot holes and even geography of Mumbai is wrongly depicted and only a true Mumbaikar would understand that.  The police is portrayed as almost buffoonish and police commissioner asking a suspended cop to take up the case because he has ‘good network’ is ridiculous. The cop hardly uses his network and the case gets solved by itself actually. The movie clearly had a great potential but the maker tried to put every genre of film-making into it instead of making just a thriller. It seems that the director gave away the reins of the film to the DoP and the editor and action director. The central theme of ‘there is a devil deep inside all of us’ is actually forgotten by the end and as most characters attain redemption it actually proves that whatever the devil in you does, in the end always your good conscience wins !! If only the makers had concentrated on a proper story line rather then super slo-mo camera actions we would have got a better movie.

To do something different for the sake of doing different is what hurts the movie most.

Technically this film is right up there. The photogaphy and editing is top-notch. The impossible and sometimes weird camera angles, super slo-mo shots and playing with colors makes this film technically a superior film. Background score is effective and ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ remix and ‘Pintya’ played during key chase-action scenes fits wonderfully. The DoP does a wonderful job in chase sequences as well.

Acting wise Rajeev Khandelwal tries to break his softy image and plays a tough cop and almost succeeds as well. He is not at his best but when you compare it with others in the film, he is the one holding the film. Kalki Koechelin has talent, no doubt and she does emote well too and she is the only one with a defined character. Kirti ,Shiv, Gulshan and Neil are the other actors who as I said earlier look amateurish at times. They are decent in most scenes  but ham up a lot in real important scenes. If only there were better actors !!. Rajat Barmecha in the cameo makes a fool of himself. Even veterans like Pavan Malhotra and Rajat Kapoor ham up.

Overall the movie incidentally loved by most critics would appeal to the urban young generation for the theme but cinematically its nothing great and almost disappointing. Of course its not half as bad as other movies doing the round so its definitely worth a watch.

My Ratings : 6.5/10 –  Urban youth – under 25- generation would love it. Watch it if you have nothing better to do.

Aarakshan – Trailer – Slightly Reserved

Here’s the first look of Aarakshan from director Prakash Jha who gave us Raajneeti last year. Aaarakshan deals with controversial issue of ‘reservations’ in school and colleges and stars Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Prateik, Manoj Bajpai and Amitabh Bachchan.

The first trailer gives it a very pop-cornish, high budget look, similar to what it was for Raajneeti. Saif Ali Khan looks slightly awkward and heavy duty dialogues dont fit in with him, Amitabh Bachchan looks comfortable in a familiar kind of role for him and Manoj Bajpai looks good. Overall the trailer looks lukewarm but the subject it deals with is quite powerful and perhaps the film will do justice to it.

Have a look.. The film releases on 13th August 2011.

Greatest Scenes – Clerk – Cure for Heart Attack

This is a new section of the blog where I would be listing some of the most glorious and unforgettable scenes from Old Bollywood films.

These are the scenes which brings out not only cinematic excellence but also a sense of achievement in you. They deserve to be clapped at and seen from time to time to understand how truly great some of our films are. Some of them will have unique acting presentation, some will have earth shattering dance moves and some will have just enough bollywoodish to be admired.

To begin with here is one of the greatest ‘ham’ scene of our times from 1990 blockbuster ‘Clerk’ starring our very own Manoj Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Rekha, some Pakistani actors and various others forgotten stars.

This is the scene which tells you how to cure a heart attack with a 5 Rs. battery cell and a dose of patriotism. Medical marvel in this scene is to be appreciated and if all our doctors were this smart then India would be a healthy nation today. I really wonder why no one nominated this discovery for nobel prize for that year!! The dialogue delivery, acting and photography is of unique quality.

This film has many other superb scenes worth watching over and over, in fact the whole film directed by Manoj Kumar himself is one big ‘ham’. Strongly recommended.

Watch it and enjoy…

Stanely ka Dabba – Heartwarming fare

Amole Gupte was credited as the creative director of ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and he was the original director as well when Aamir Khan took the mantle of directorship onto himself and directed the emotional tale. Amole Gupte was down but not out. He came back first as an actor in Kaminay and now directs this wonderful, hearwarming tale of young 9 year old Stanely in this film ‘Stanely ka Dabba’.

The film was made leisurely on Saturdays and vacations almost as a workshop so that the children acting do not miss their school and that is what this film is about. Not missing a school at any cost. To see every child in school is a goal this country tries to achieve through various methods but millions of children in urban and rural India are still deprived of basic school education. This is the underlying message of the film but the director does not even once mention it or try to push through the message through the film except a little slide in the end which informs us of the same. This is perhaps the most subtle way a message is passed across in any Indian movie.

Stanley ka dabba is about young orphan Stanely who is the darling amongst his 4th standard friends. He doesnt have anyone to give hima tiffin box to carry to school but he hides this fact to everyone and makes up stories about his family and parents. His freinds love him and share their tiffin with him however there is Prof. Babubhai Verma played effectively by the director himself. Verma is the only other guy who doesnt get a tiffin to school and he is perpetually hungry and at times bullies young kids to eat from their tiffin box. He dislikes Stanley and almost makes the young boy quit school and thats where he realizes what he has done and repents.

It is such a simple story that it is actually difficult to imagine how one can make a film out of it. But the director succeeds here in making you engrossed for little over 90 minutes or so. Stanley ka Dabba makes you smile, makes you remember your own school days and how sharing a ‘dabba’ formed some unbreakable friendship bonds that lasted lifetime. Stanley who keeps himself full by drinking lots of water is a smart young kid who does things unconventionally and is as charming as a kid can be. The movie follows perhaps the same path as Taare Zameen Par where the protagonist is disliked by all but later discovers himself. Here a serious issue of child labor is subtly introduced in the end where Taare Zameen par was more dramatic and emotional and made you shed your tears a bit more forcefully. The school scenes are also quite similar and how a good or bad teacher can influence young kids is shown by both the films. Amole Gupte perhaps tries to prove that he could still have helmed Tare Zameen Par equally well.

One of the most important character of the film is the ‘food’ in various tiffin boxes that is brought to school by various children. The food is not just that but represents the love of the mother whoc packs it every day for his young kid. The food certainly looks yummy and I felt hungry watching the film.

The film is not flawless either and drags at times in second half and there are quite a few loose ends as well with no satisfactory conclusion to the story. But it is a sincere effort on part of Amole Gupte and kudos to Fox-Star for backing such a film. Partho Gupte as Stanely is the star of the film and his simple mannerisms and natural acting and infectious smile wins your heart. He looks quite talented as well. His friends are also wonderful and Divya Dutta as loveable Rosy Miss, Divya Jagdale as strict Science teacher and Raj Zutshi as the new history teacher are equally apt for this smallish film. Background music and OST are decent. The photography is beautiful especially when you think direcot didnt use any extra light and used only natural lighting to make the film look more natural and real. Direction is superb however the script as mentioned before has some plot-holes and could have been tighter. The film could perhaps have been much better and executed in different way. It does not have the emotional appeal of Taare Zameen Par and it doesn’t have the marketing brains of Aamir Khan behind it but it has one important thing missing in today’s films and thats subtlety.

I would recommend this film to everyone with a kid inside him.

My Ratings: 7.5/10 –  Its a simple lovely film appealing to the kid within you. Watch it – Strictly For kids aged 8 to 80

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – Trailer

Here’s the awaited summer blockbuster. ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ stars Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol Katrina Kaif and Kalki in a road movie set in Spain. The film directed by Zoya Akhtar relases on July 15 and promises lots of eye-candy, masala entertainment and youth centric theme of going on an all boys trip. Sounds suspiciously similar to first half of Dil Chahta Hai and Hollywood film Hangover. Hopefully Zoya Akhtar director of ‘Luck by Chance’ will not disappoint and it wont be a copy of any film we have seen but something original.

Spain countryside looks pleasant and the 3 stars shine along with both the female leads. It does indeed look an upmarket product.

Dhinka Chinka Vs. Ringa Ringa – War of the Item Numbers

Here is the new item song ‘Dhinka Chinka’ from upcoming film ‘Ready’ featuring Salman Khan and Asin. The song has a nice beat and rhthym and has all the qualities to be a crowdpuller. Salman with his unique dancing style and colorful background fills up the scene.

Now watch this song called ‘Ringa Ringa’ from Telugu film Arya 2 featuring Allu Arjun. Allu Arjun dances brilliantly and song is far more raunchy version of the fun and dance Hindi one.

The hindi song of course is a straight lift from the Telugu original. Apparently same music director Devi Sri Prasad (DSP) has composed both songs and hence no controversies.

You listen and decide which one’s more funky.

Dum Maaro Dum – Lots of Smoke, too little Fire

This week’s latest Bollywood release is Dum Maaro Dum. The movie is a big film releasing after a long while and was eagerly looked forward to with its chartbusting song, cutting-edge promos and a drug-mafia story set in exotic Goa locales starring Abhishek Bachchan in a tough cop role out to clean the drug infested, mafia driven underworld of Goa.The film also stars Rana Daggubatti, Bipasha Basu, Pratiek and Aditya Pancholi amongst many others.

The film is set in Goa and here Goa is shown in a very different light from what we are used to seeing. Director Rohan Sippy has shown a realistic view of Goa unlike the fictitious view we get in past films. Goa shown here is neither the sweet romantic Goa of ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ or the south bombayish view of Goa as in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. Goa’s underbelly is exposed, its drug trade, local life and sun-kissed atmosphere is thoroughly captured. Beach, beautiful women, booze and drugs they form the identity of Goa.

The first half of the film is real breezy and sets up back-stories of various characters very nicely. The movie moves at a feverish pace and sets up the meeting of all its leads at the Goa airport, almost reminder of ‘Yuvaa’ in which 3 stories collide on a Kolkata bridge. The movie also tends to remind one of gritty cop drama ‘Sarfarosh’ to an extent. The thriller is very well written by Sridhar Raghavan, at least the first half,  however in the 2nd half of the film the writing goes a bit haywire.

The movie is about Police trying to clean up Goa from the clutches of  local and international Mafias acting in various parts of Goa, ruling their various fiefdoms with the power of drug money. Abhishek Bachchan with ‘nothing to lose’ cop is the fearless cop out to topple mafia lord Aditya Pancholi’s world. Prateik is the teenager with dreams and hope and love but caught in the mafia trap, he represents what Goa was before the drug money came in, soft, hopeful, dreamy, lazy and romantic. Rana Daggubatti who has lost his past girlfriend Bipasha Basu to the greed and lure of drug money is initially a mute spectator to the sorry tale the youth gone haywire. He later gets into the act along with ACP Kamath in the hunt for the master drug-pin Micheal Barbossa. Rana represents the Goa of today which has seen it all and continues to be see the same story unfold yet again and again. The second half of the film slightly disappoints as the suspense when revealed isn’t a big shocker but almost expected and almost all the twists can easily be predicted by the viewer. The film could have been much better if the second half was handled in a better way.

Abhishek Bachchan as Inspector Vishnu Kamath lives up to his role and how much ever his critics hate him, one has to agree that slightly crooked and touch cop acts suits him very well. Abhishek is a star who everybody loves to hate and dislike partly for no fault of his, partly due to the expectations people had in him and also partly due to his lazy selection of roles. But he lives upto the role here although he needed a much better conclusion to his role in the end. Slightly disappointing to see him not in focus at the end. Telugu star Rana Daggubatti as the local Goan singer Joki has a nice presence and easy on the eye to look but has similar expressions throughout. He does have a nice role too and by the end he becomes the central figure to the story.  Bipasha Basu as the girl gone the wrong path is okay and is almost a predictable act. Aditya Pancholi is nice as the Mafia boss Biscuta and he is seen on screen after a while. Prateik as the teenage is okay and his love story with Anaita Nair looks cute, but he quickly needs to re-invent himself or else he’ll be doing this same kind of roles all the time. Also he needs to do something about his squeaky voice !! Deepika Padukone in the much hyped and publicized ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ remix song looks drugged out, which of course suits the look of the song. Govind Namdeo and Muzzamil as cops are wonderful.

Technically the film is  excellent and is very well shot and edited. The entire look of the film is superb and suits the mood and story of the film. The background score is catchy and the songs are nice. The film is smartly shot and some of the scenes are indeed dark but overall Goa is shown in a different light altogether. The concept and core idea is nice but script and screenplay goes wrong in the later portion and the ending doesn’t satisfy you completely with several loose ends. It could have been a huge bonfire in the making but leaves us only with lots of smoke.

Dum Maaro Dum is certainly a one time watch.

My Ratings –  7/10 –  Entertaining watch. Not great but good enough.

Thayn Thayn – Kickass rap song

Here’s the new rap song from the upcoming film’ Dum Maaro Dum’.

The song is called ‘Thayn Thayn’ and features Abhishek Bachchan in his ACP Kamath avatar from the film, rapping in his succesful ‘Bluffmaster’ style. Preetam has scored the music.

Abhishek had a super succesful R&B song sung by him in his previous Rohan Sippy directed Bluffmaster and to bear the same results he has sung this rap song mainly for the film promotion. Very nice beat and rhythm to hear.

Watch it…