I was movie starved since the New Year as there were almost no releases in the last three weeks. ‘Agneepath’ came as a welcome relief to spend this holiday. The long queue for the multiple shows at the Multiplex was an encouraging sight as the day began and I managed a nice seat for the 10 Am show. So far show good.
As the opening credits rolled, a mention is made as to how this is a humble contemporary take on the original Amitabh starrer. The quaint village scene set in 1977 in a small place called Marwah is done nicely with a poetic recitation in chaste Hindi. Predictability is the biggest bane of Hindi cinema in general and remakes accentuate that bane. The Hero’s father seems poised for a painful death right from the beginning to sow the seed of revenge which would make the storyline of the film. But when he eventually does die, there’s very less pain you feel for him thanks to lack of character building and apt direction. I would have felt more pain had somebody scratched my new car or for that matter the Hero’s new car.
The pace of the story remains languid despite the 15 year jump it makes to the early 90s Mumbai. Care is taken to avoid later day inventions such as Cell phone, Big cars and new age bikes throughout the film. The film scores in patches with some nice detailing but it all gets too muddled up and tedious. The film is fraught with emotionally ambivalent moments that make you cringe with confusion. Slick editing might have made that passable but the slumbering pace and pointless songs make a coffee necessary midway in the first half.
The second half had me in utter conflict as I fought my instinct to leave the movie midway because of the protracted drama with loud background score that was getting to me. While the film kept progressing episodically, the peppy Item number notwithstanding, it seemed lost cause and I left the theatre after 130 tiring minutes and the third part of plot remained to be revealed.
I knew that I might do injustice in my review if I left midway. But that was the risk I was willing to take as falling asleep would have been worse. So for a film that alters the geography of India by creating a new island, tires you out with confusing emotions and bases a 3 hr long film on premise of a revenge of a lifetime, I give you 2.5 STARS to try it at your own risk.