Cinema The stars of “Agneepath” interact with the media on treading the path of fire!

Some films transcend time, a fact which only time has reaffirmed. In 1990 Mukul Anand made a film under the Dharma Productions banner then headed by Yash Johar, the film was called “Agneepath”. This film notably starring Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty and Danny Dengzongpa over the years attained a cult status in the revenge film genre.

Rolling forward by 22 years, the vengeful story of a boy whose upright father was brutally murdered by the local goon and who returns years later to avenge his loss, has been redone and is being retold by the same Dharma Productions Directed by Karan Johar's one time assistant Karan Malhotra, the new avatar of “Agneepath” stars Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles and Sanjay Dutt in a sinister makeover as the villain Kancha. The leading trio who graced a pre-release press conference spoke candidly about the film and how it is different from the film which inspired this ‘remake'.

However comparisons with the original would be inevitable, as would with the original protagonist Amitabh Bachchan. Hrithik takes this on a humble note. “Really there is no comparison. If you go in to watch this film with a comparing mindset I would lose in probably the first five minutes to Mr. Bachchan. This film is completely different. It's a new and refreshing film with brand new characters. So really one can hardly compare.” Speaking about Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, the character immortalised by Bachchan in the original, Hrithik says, “This Vijay is deeper and more contrasted with his surroundings…also he is younger.”

Priyanka Chopra, who returns to the screen after a tepid 2011, as Kaali Gawde in the film, a new character introduced in this version describes her role as “Vijay's love interest in the film. Among all the pain and sorrow Vijay suffers in the film, she is the solace, the softness, the sunshine which brightens his life.”

But somebody who really darkens it out is the villain Kancha Cheena played by Sanjay Dutt. According to him Kancha is an “out and out mean and dangerous…a real villain.” The actor, who regards Amjad Khan's portrayal of Gabbar Singh in “Sholay” as the benchmark in celluloid villainy hopes to fill the gap of really dark villains in contemporary films. Asked about the possibility of overshadowing the hero in the present film with his new all shorn look and domineering presence, he retorts, “The film is important in its totality. There is no competition among the stars in this film, no ego clashes and no overshadowing.”

SIDDHARTH DASGUPTA