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Karan Johar’s Agneepath – Nice Try

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In 1990, Yash Johar made a movie titled Agneepath starring Amitabh Bachchan as the lead hero on a plot and title inspired by a poem of the same name by Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The movie didn’t fare well at the box office but went on to become a cult classic and a television hit in the years to come. 21 years later, Yash Johar’s son, Karan Johar opens 2012 with a remake of the same movie in the hope that it gets the success that it deserves and sets the cash registers ringing.

While the movie has broken the first day record for any Bollywood film so far, earning 23.5 crore on its first day, that can largely be attributed to its being released on Republic Day. The timing of the movie’s release coupled with its many week long marketing and promotion efforts will possibly allow Dharma Productions to recoup the film’s production cost ( 62 crore) and possibly even make a decent profit, however the film as a whole is a let down.

After taking off on the right note with the first glimpse of Aamir Khan’s Talaash (prior to the movie starting) and the origin of the story with young Vijay and his father, the movie tends to start and stop in its pace very frequently. The result is that the audience is always left asking for more and there is already a sense of disappointment by the end of the first half. Post-intermission there is hope that now that the plot has been set, the movie’s pace will pick up and the audience will be left on the edge of their seats, however that too doesn’t happen. Overall, Agneepath 2012 seems stretched out, is too gory at times and some scenes could have very well been avoided for a movie that not rated as Adult.

If there is anything that works for the movie its the brilliant Art Design, exemplary performances by Sanjay Dutt and Rishi Kapoor in negative roles and an item number by Katrina Kaif which was already on everyone’s lips at the start of the year. Hrithik Roshan seems to have worked hard for the role but he’s not even 10 percent of Amitabh Bachchan and seems to be largely mute for most of the film.

Surprisingly, the movie seems to be getting rave reviews from critics which is quite disappointing since there hasn’t been a single release that completely bowled the audiences over with a complete package of entertainment, music and a message since 3 Idiots in late 2009. Lets hope Bollywood can gauge the real consumer’s sentiment and put some more thought into the movie they make.