Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Watching Agneepath

...the new Agneepath, starring Hrithik Roshan.

It affected me in many different ways. We were around 10-12 minutes late for the movie. We missed the start. But I don't think that mattered much. I have not seen Amitabh Bachchan's movie and so this version was totally new for me.

The first thing that stuck me was the tremendous violence in the movie. It is downright nerve-wracking. I was on the edge of my seat and was not sure I had done the right thing by coming to watch the movie. The movie starts with violence where Vijay's father is murdered by Kancha, the main antagonist. It is an incident that drives the movie. It drives each and every move that Vijay makes. It sets a grim tone to the whole movie. There are almost no light moments; emotional, yes; but lighter moments...I really cannot remember.

Vijay's father, a school master had tried to oppose Kancha's dream of turning the village in a drug center by renting the lands of all villagers. Kancha successfully removes the thorn (Vijay's father) from his way, while the whole village celebrates that they can now freely help Kancha. Kancha lures them that their lands would be used for a salt factory and they would get money out of it. This grim victory is actually the downfall of the villagers. They win the battle of doing away with the schoolmaster and in turn lose the war of having a happy and prosperous village. They literally walk towards their downfall.

When Vijay's father is murdered, his heavily pregnant mother is shown being trampled at the feet of the angry village people. I was hoping that they wouldn't show her bleeding to death, and thank God, they didn't! Eventually, the mother and son escape to the big city and arrive in a basti. The mother goes into labour pains and a daughter is born.

Soon enough, Vijay-a boy of 12 years, witnesses a murder by Rauf Lala, and lies to the police about the murderer. Vijay  also murders the police officer who tries to get him tell the truth. His mother severs all her ties with the son and moves out of his life to lead a life of her own with her daughter. We now see a Vijay that's all grown up handsome and all with a girlfriend, who works as a mafia leader for Rauf Lala. Rauf is not just a drug mafia, but also a human trafficker.

As Hrithik Roshan entered as the older Vijay, I found it very similar to Fiza, a movie directed by Khalid Mohammed. Fiza is the story of how a sister seeks out to find her brother-a troubled boy who goes on to become a terrorist. Vijay in Agneepath too has had a disturbed childhood that has made him a violent mafia leader. I think I made that comparison more because Hrithik Roshan has played the troubled boy in both the movies.

I won't give away the whole story here. But what with songs in between, more murders, mass killings, double dealings, we are finally led to a climax, that's again a replication of what we saw in the beginning.

The once happy and prosperous village that Vijay and Kancha hailed from, has now turned into a barren land. Death, disease, poverty, unhappiness, and distress is what you see and it makes you feel all the more horrified and hollow.

At every violent, illegal, unhealthy event in the film, I was more and more engrossed with feelings of futility, hopelessness, dread, and loss.

What also aided these feelings was the tremendous background music given by Ajay-Atul, the Marathi composers, who have done a fantastic job. The tension, the evilness, the futility, the murderous villains, the dark atmosphere is all enhanced by the background score. It increases your heartbeats, it gives you the chills, it makes you all nervous. Salute to the two.

The duo have also provided the music to the songs in the movie. One particular song affected me in a totally different way. The song is "Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin" and shows how Vijay enjoys his time with his sister and girlfriend together. The lyrics are really nice and the song made me cry. The emotions of Vijay meeting his sister after 15 years, and how he had lived each unhappy day to enjoy this one happy day in his life resonated with me and brought out completely different feelings. I don't know why that happened. But I cried remembering my parents, how sometimes I miss them very much, how they miss me, how we are unable to be with each other in our moments of distress and happiness too. I thought how each day I hope to have them with me and meet them. I cannot describe all that I felt as I cried dearly. It was a very, very distressful moment for me. I miss my parents a lot. A lot.

My life has been so very different since my marriage. The song brought it all out. I was quite disturbed for that evening and night. The violence and this song of the movie have made a major impact on me.

Agneepath has really been a different experience for me. Unforgettable!

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