It’s definitely not a review of Agneepath but I’m going to talk about some things from both of the Agneepath movies, remakes and fan associations with original movies, appreciation of remake. And it has a lot of Spoilers for many movies so watch out!
To start off with original Agneepath (starring Amitabh Bachchan ) is supposed to be remake of Scarface(1983). Scarface had Al Pacino in lead, which had incredible acting performance of him. It’s also famous for its dialogues too. You could find many videos on you tube. If you make a list of top 10 Gangster movies, Scarface always makes to that list for sure.
Fortunately Agneepath wasn’t ‘exact rip off’ of the Scarface. It was more of inspiration for the plot of Agneepath.
If you look back, in those times revenge was common in most Bollywood movies. But three things made original Agneepath memorable
2. Incredible Voice
3. Fearless Eyes
Plot, action, deadly villains, supporting roles all these things made it more intense but these three things still standout.
When Amitabh Bachchan were asked about remake of Agneepath, his thoughts were well structured. (the words aren’t exact, I’m paraphrasing) From time to time remakes are being made. Even before Dilip Kumar’s Devdas, there was already a Devdas in previous generation. While for my generation, I associate feelings with Dilip Kumar’s Devdas. It’s apparent that when this new generation will think of Devdas, they immediately remember Shahrukh Khan. (that’s absolutely true)
In another interview, when Naseeruddin Shah were asked about classics being remade, he said, ” I feel bad when people refer classics to the movies like Don, Agneepath, the classic are movies like Guide” (Again, the words aren’t exact, I’m paraphrasing)
Well, he has a point too.
What do I mean? And why did I choose these two examples??
Indirectly both great actors are implying that how you look at the Remakes, is all depends on what time period you have been born.
As audience if you love some movie, there is reason you love it. Somehow, directly or indirectly you will be able to relate to the movie. That’s why those characters, story, dialogues, emotions and actors who portrayed those characters have special place in your heart. Somehow you were able to connect to those characters and sometimes you have immense respect and fascination for that work.
Whenever these things are remade for next generation or may be for another reason. It’s highly unlikely that you are going to relate in similar fashion to the remake. No doubt, It’s possible but damn rare !
Until now ,probably the best remake for me would be Devdas, I mean I haven’t seen Dilip Kumar’s Devdas. But before watching Devdas, I already had read Devdas novel.
Most fascinating thing for me was, in novel Paro and Chandramukhi never actually meet, neither in old Classic Devdas. So in this Devdas movie remake (of SRK) it was really great experience to see these two characters meeting each other for the first time.
And Devdas has one of the best performances of Shahrukh Khan. (One of my favorite performance.)
In the remake, film maker not only got the essence of Devdas right, but he also brought on screen something that you wish while reading book or watching original feature film.
Which concludes to – For remakes soul of original must be retained, but something creative is fascinating too, if you don’t destroy the essence of story.
(Another good example would be Kal Ho Na Ho (Remake of Anand), but I loved both of them.)
For remake of Agneepath, what Karan Johar did was really clever. He said it’s a tribute to the original Agneepath.
What Karan says is impressive, tribute means he does not want to destroy the soul of original but wants to respect it.
Let me explain my thought with another example –It is about the remake of Don!
In remake of Don, instead of keeping the soul of original movie Don, Farhan Akhtar killed off the original protagonist of the movie Don, Vijay. (He wanted be creative at that plot in his own way.)
It not only killed the soul of original movie but it’s quit arrogant towards the original movie Don. It’s not tribute to original but pretty much disrespectful towards original movie Don & its fans.
Creative Sides for the Remake of Agneepath without destroying the essence -
1. New Characters
In remake of Agneepath, they get rid of multiple villains and important supporting character. But as they got rid of multiple villains, they made the single villain, even more maniac, powerful and deadly.
For supporting character, they added well motivated grey shaded Archetypical Character Rouf Lala, which turned out to be really good decision.
And while doing all that they didn’t destroy the soul of original at all.
Next thing is if you remember Mandwa in original, it wasn’t as scary as it in remake. In the remake it looks like Nazi Camp or Zombie Land.
Here, they have used really good visual structure, cinematography and storytelling that associates with sinful part of Kancha.
Mandawa has dark lighting and dull bluish tint. In original Agneepath, backstory is of 10-15 minutes in remake they have spent half an hour in setup of backstory and in Mandwa. All the bad things happen in that bluish visual structure.
All other places in the movie are colorful and fresh. But when it comes back to Mandwa, the lighting and color changes back. The place almost feels demonic, it’s bad omen that something bad is going to happen around here. That’s a magnificent use of Visual Structure, semiotics and setup in story.
3. Worthy End
There is a lot of shortcomings in remake of Agneepath that I will discuss but here is the thing I liked most. Almost all of us know the story, good wins over evil. And villain has to die in the revenge themed movies.
In remake of Agneepath, aggressive and maniac Villain dominates until the end. And those breathtaking last 15 minutes and Agneepath poem, puts an end to all the evil that existed in entire movie.
4. Skipping undeniable Comparison
Whenever remake is made, the comparison between acting performances is undeniable. For Agneepath, most memorable thing until now is the way Amitabh Bachchan have said the name ” Vijay Dinanath Chauhan…”
It’s probably historic scene for the Agneepath movie fans. In remake, you actually wait for that to happen. The scene new screenwriters have chosen for remake is the perfect one.
For me in remake, last 15 minutes and those two minutes where he says his name was entire worth of the movie.
Here is the reason, only for those two scenes, you actually see Vijay from original Agneepath.
To avoid this comparison happening all over the movie, they have shown Vijay as underdog. It’s good thing and bad thing too.
Good because, the moment you realize Vijay in the remake of Agneepath is an underdog character, you stop comparing Hrithik Roshan with Amitabh Bachchan. Because you don’t expect from Hrithik to talk like real Vijay from original Agneepath.
5. Two Great Actors Sharing Screen
Memorable moment in movie is the one scene where Sanjay Dutt and Rishi Kapoor have shared a screen, specially when both are playing negative roles. It’s almost respectable gesture of Sanjay Dutt who doesn’t look eye to eye with Rishi Kapoor.
Where the Remake of Agneepath Fails At Some Extent ?
1. Voice, Dialouges and Fearless Eyes
We discussed earlier, what made original Agneepath so memorable was voice of Amitabh Bachchan, Dialogues and his fearless eyes in entire movie.
In the remake, as they have made Vijay a less powerful person/ underdog. You don’t see any of these three things. Expect those two scenes I discussed earlier.
On other hand, Rauf Lala and Kancha have all these three things and that’s why Rishi Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt stand out even more than Hrithik Roshan.
It’s ironic that really good acting performance is required for lead character is only for few scenes. In fact Vijay in his childhood is more impressive, aggressive and has a lot to act out.
Most noticeable thing in the remake, Vijay’s character does not even have good dialogues on the other hand original Agneepath is known for the outstanding dialogues.
2. Unnecessary Character of Kaali
Even in original Agneepath, lead actress didn’t have much of important role. In remake they cleverly got rid off many characters. It would have been really cool, if they could have skipped the character of Kali. That way Vijay’s character would have been more vulnerable and directed for the revenge.
The chemistry between both Kali and Vijay looks forced and unnecessary. It’s more of like you add supporting character so that you can kill it in the end or just yet another way to add 2-3 songs.
3. Pace Killers
After 30 minutes of backstory, in Remake of Agneepath there are so many songs. They just kill the pace of movie. It’s remake of a big legendary film and it is full of intense action. It’s more of common sense nowadays that you don’t need songs at all in most cases.
Without songs,remake of Agneepath would have been more focused and it would have given time to give attention to the acting performance of lead character. And more importantly, It would have looked spontaneous.
4. Less Apealing action scenes
Agneepath has the intense action and definitely not for kids. But still its action is not that well choreographed except for the last 15 minutes.
He just draws Rauf Lala, cutting his either hand first or both and blinding him would have been really classy, it shows more power, control, rage (yeah I used to work as serial killer )
I know things could be disturbing for people. Even if you skip that, crossfire and chaos in the middle, Fight between Rauf Lala and Vijay are not appealing fast enough to have good impact.
There are lots of ways to make it appealing (even though one does not want to cut hands)
Let’s say they missed the window of opportunity for action.
Rauf Lala gets heart attack that’s little inconsistent, he’s strong character. Another is in the end when Vijay directly enters in Mandwa and blows off things. He could have done that even before that he doesn’t have to wait until the end.
And last one was the almost fake explosions, they have used big sets, cinematography is really good. Spent money on many things then why to compromise on low-level special effects?? Either they should have spent more money on those effects or blown off the things in traditional way.
Remakes should be made or not?
It’s question of debate. But we all can look at it in a different view. If you ask me, I would say Yes and No. Well it’s not actually binary question. It depends on so many factors.
I think, if one has to make a remake, first priority should be for the films. Which had good concept but they failed to execute it on the screen.
It’s good challenge, than remaking a film which is already great. One should take movie that didn’t work and remake it as better one.
Second thing, I think remakes should be made of movies, which were made for ahead of their times but didn’t had the technology or resources to back it up.
Mughl-E-Azam would be an example. In this time you can use CGI to its greatest extent.
Yet another great example would be movie, Tron. Disney Studio created this movie around 1990-1995 with the help of CGI. They had great concept but technology wasn’t advanced enough.
In 2011, they did not make remake of it but they created outstanding sequel of it. Tron Legacy
Third reason for remake should be, if one wants to explore the world which was already created in the old movie. (Like a sequel to Mr.India)
I would really love to hear your thoughts about remakes in the comment section. And also here are two questions
Q. 1 Which movie remake you would like to see? Why?
Q. 2 Who do you think besides Amitabh Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan would have done role of Vijay really good?
If I have to choose, I would say Mughl-E-Azam and Ajay DevganRead Also
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