The cult film which didn't get it's due when it released"
"Hawa Tez hai Dinkar Rao
Nahin Toh Udd Jayega"
Mukul Anand's first of the trilogy with Amitabh Bachchan, #Agneepath adorned the megastar with sass and swagger, where he played a fearless gangster, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, determined to avenge the death of his father.
Vijay's grudge was not against only his nemesis - Kaancha Cheena( played by the suave Danny Denzongpa), but it was against the society which compelled him to choose the path of crime.
In a way, the film was a ressurection of his previous cinematic avatars - it had traces of Deewaar where he also played a wronged man, Muqaddar ka Sikandar for his 'Gareebon ka Maseeha' deeds and even Namak Halal ( the broken English ," Maut ke saath Appaintment"!).
Anand was a prolific filmmaker and God only knows how much I still wish his last outing #Dus could be completed in 1997. His Agneepath was rich in style and substance.It saw the unique fusion of the rawness of Mandwa and the exquisiteness of Mauritius.The deadly fight that ensues between Amitabh and first-timer Deepak Shirke in the chaotic basti following the abduction of the former's onscreen sister( Neelam) is a master-stroke from the genius director that captured the formidable rage of Bachchan's character. "Kaat ke rakh dega main"! the ghaati lingo was laced with scorching decibels and irresistible background score !
Vijay Chauhan's attitude and charisma elevated the film to a cult status , even though it was a box office failure and slammed as a middling 'Scarface' drama. Amitabh's course synthesized voice cudn't salvage it from its ill-fate.
I still remember the frenzy that had cought me before it's release.The life-sized poster of Big B amidst the inferno, and his countenance that of a wounded tiger was imprinted in my mind.Those days, we didn't have Color TV and Agneepath's extravaganza could not be enjoyed in B&W.A week prior to its release, we had met with an accident that injured my left leg badly with couple of stitches and jeopardized the plan of watching it on big screen.So, the viewing was compromised.
Even today, I find the movie very compelling. Though revenge formed it's crux, Anand embellished it with some memorable characters, each of them stroking the humane side of Vijay Chauhan.His mother(Rohini Hattangidi won Best Supporting Actress award) friend in need, MA Krishnan Iyer( played by Mithun Chakravorty), the sympathetic cop( Vikram Gokhale) and his permanently sloshed Kaka(Tinnu Anand).A slight tweak in the original storyline brought Madhavi into the cast.
Agneepath fetched Amitabh a National award but it's commercial failure couldn't be digested by filmmaker Karan Johar whose father had produced it. So he remade the film with Hrithik Roshan in 2012.