Karan Malhotra's 'Agneepath' is definitely a visual spectacle but do we have an appetite for a three-hour-long revenge saga complete with blood, gore and heightened melodrama any more?
Rajeev Masand in his review commends the acting but rightly points out that it's 'over-indulgent':
Debutant director Karan Malhotra's re-telling of Mukul Anand's 1990 vendetta movie 'Agneepath' is a glossy, well-acted production. Compared to recent 'mass entertainers' that tend to lazily sacrifice story and plot for retro-style action and star appeal, this remake rolls along like a well-oiled machine. And yet, after watching three hours of stabbing, gunfire, blasts, and hand-to-hand fighting, you realize the film is somewhat crippled by its over-indulgent length.
Malhotra's remake might be a tribute to the cult classic but the close-ups and the loud background score is almost reminiscent of RGV's films. Mayank Shekhar in his review says:
The debutant director (Karan Malhotra) is an equally unapologetic devotee of Bollywood's old-world scale and melodrama that few get right. He does, to a great extent, though almost every scene's an announcement, the jarring background score is always in jaagran (or concert) mode, and the camera is constantly at close-up or mid-shot, which can get exhausting to the eye.
The other flaw that really drags the film is the love angle between Hrithik and Priyanka. Taran Adarsh seems to think that the film is overall brilliant but even he agrees that the romantic track is completely unnecessary:
Most Hindi films initiate with a bang, but run out of gas by the time they reach the finale, often getting deflated in between as well, but AGNEEPATH is vigorous from the very commencement to the absolute conclusion. The conflict at the very initiation and also towards the closing stages, the tension between Vijay and Kancha and also between Vijay and his mother, the game of one-upmanship played by Vijay to grab power… AGNEEPATH is one exhilarating ride. A vendetta story needs to be garnished with several terrific dramatic moments and Malhotra does just that. His handling of the subject deserves brownie points. The only 'hiccup', if one may say so, is the romantic track towards the first hour, which is lackluster.
Gaurav Malani hails the film saying that this is "how a remake is supposed to be! Retaining the spirit of the original and having a soul of its own":
The remake isn't essentially remodeled to modern times because the film retains its original era thereby reviving the raw essence of the 1990 film. And beyond the epoch, Malhotra also imparts the cinematic treatment of that time period to his film. So both the villain and hero have stylized entries, their confrontations boast of high-voltage drama and, in the climax, when the bruised and battered protagonist rises to take revenge (in exactly the same manner like his father was killed), he wins instant applause.
I agree with the stylized entries and the high-voltage drama but what I don't understand is why did the protagonist wait for 15 years to avenge his father's death? His master plan was a completely futile exercise because 15 years of strategizing and planning boils down to a mere fist fight between him and the villain.
For once I totally concur with Kunal's take on the film. You can read Kunal's review here.
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