So first up, Agneepath. Unfortunately I haven't seen the original or at least I don't have any memory of seeing it so I'm not going to be able to do a fair comparison of this vs that, but then again, maybe that's a bonus point for the new movie because I've gone in with no expectations and no biases. Though to state the obvious, every person I've spoken to about this movie, says that the original was better, but the remake is quite good too.
Storyline? Family of three, mother, father and son living in Mandwa, a tiny village at the coast of Maharashtra. The father's a progressive masterji and runs the school in the village, encouraging the villagers to stand up for their rights and protect themselves against the general tyrannies of life. The son of course is Hrithik, aka Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. The king of the village is envious of the masterji's rising level of influence and wishes to crush his power. Enter, Sanjay Dutt, aka Kancha, the king's son who terrifies everyone, even his father. Kancha comes into the village and starts to establish a factory for the production of cocaine, he lures the villagers into selling their lands to him so that they could do this mass production of cocaine by promising them tons of money. The masterji puts up a fight and faces the consequence which is death by hanging. The mother and son are asked to leave the village, and that's how the movie begins, with a young son fighting to save his father from his inevitable death, but failing to do so and begins to nurture a hatred and a feeling to avenge his father's death at the hands of Kancha.
What follows after that is a series of incidents and storylines, woven together in the city of Mumbai. Vijay and his mother come to bombay's girgaun chawl where they make their home. Wanting to amass power, he gets into the local gunda's gang, led by Rishi Kapoor, aka Rauf Lala. Rauf Lala mentors him and trains him into a ruthless killer, although a smart one who uses his power only when needed. Something like a Ranbir Kapoor from Rajneeti, though not so suave. In the meanwhile, his mother has disowned him because he took up the side of guns and power when all his childhood his father had spoken against violence. He is thus distanced from his own sister who is unaware of his existence. The only companion he has is Priyanka, aka Kaali who was his friend ever since he and his mother entered the chawl. She and her mother are his only companions along with all the people of the chawl being around to help him.
The story culminates at a point where Vijay is big enough to challenge the might of Kancha on his home ground at Mandwa. That's it, I'm not giving any more details about the story, if you haven't watched it already, watch it once. :)
Out of the entire movie, amongst the things that strike me; we have Rishi Kapoor's fantastic acting as Rauf Lala. He was by far the best actor in the movie, very unlike his previous sweet person roles, here he was menacing and extremely convincing as a women-auctioner, gang-leader, and mafia don. Menacing to the point where I was afraid of him in that one riveting scene where he attempts to auction off Vijay's sister.
Sanjay Dutt's acting as Kancha is more grotesque than anything. He doesn't strike fear, but instead makes you repulsive. His opening scene where he's walking in this black kurta in all his bulk and glory makes you squirm in your seat because this man is bald, ugly and seems to have no neck, so it's this one huge mass striding to strike fear in the hearts of those villagers! I didn't particularly like his acting much purely because I was just so 'eew' everytime I saw him I couldn't make myself look at anything else objectively. :/
Hrithik Roshan was fairly good as Dinanath Chauhan. Fairly good because he did act his passion very well, even though a lot of people found fault in how if he's such a big mafia person himself could he tear up when he sees his village 20 years later.. But I found that to be human. What I didn't like about his portrayal and this is probably the director's fault, is that he wasn't his character. He was like how SRK is in most movies, as SRK. He was Hrithik and not Vijay. His character only went to his skin but not his soul... There were of course some moving scenes where he was the character, but on the whole I'm relating to him as Hrithik and not as Vijay. It's a very conscious effort for me to remember what he was called, whereas it's a no brainer to remember what Rishi Kapoor played. There was this one scene where Hrithik walks down a corridor dressed in a white shirt and jeans and a friend remarked that he looks like he walked off the sets of ZNMD! This is precisely why I felt like he wasn't his character in the movie and that took away from his acting. Needless to say he acted like he always has, passionate, and very intense throughout.
The cinematography of the movie was brilliant! There were so many shots that were just beautifully sculpted, almost as though they were painted... I enjoyed the lyrics of the movie too. Particularly of this one song, Gun Gun Gunna re.. Reproducing one of the verses here:
Hmm hain sar pe tere ke jhaloke yeh tokre
Laa humko dede halka hoja re tu chhokre
Jo teri neendein apne naakhun se noch le woh
Dard saare jalte chulhe mein tu jhonk re
Zindagi ke raashan mein, gham ka gota zyada hai
Black mein khareedenge khushi ka pitaara re
Overall, it's a good movie to watch at least once. There's a lot of passion, a lot of action and some of it is quite senseless. Especially the ending. I wish they had done a better job with that, would've left a good taste in my mouth.