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RGV Ki Aag Movie Review By Taran Adarsh


Let’s get one thing straight! To remake a film that not only set box-office records and is referred to as a classic, but also one that by far has the biggest recall value, is playing with aag. Ramgopal Varma, the maverick film-maker, has the courage to remake SHOLAY, a film that continues to be one of the favorite entertainers across the globe.

Comparisons with SHOLAY are obvious and one presumes, RGV knew it all along that’s he’s bound to feel the heat by those who swear by SHOLAY. To give the credit where it’s due, RGV remains faithful to the classic, not once does he deviate from the plot, not once does he twists facts… you know exactly what to expect and where the story is heading.

Jai, Veeru, Thakur, Basanti and above all Gabbar are characters that attained cult status over the years, especially Gabbar. RAMGOPAL VARMA KI AAG does justice to those characters, especially Gabbar, who wore a sinister look on his face all the while. Terror has a new name now. It’s Babban!

Shortcomings? Oh yes! The romantic track, involving Ajay – Nisha Kothari, is a yawn. To be more specific, the by-now-famous ‘suicide’ sequence doesn’t work. Prior to that, Prashant and Sushmita’s meeting with Nisha’s parents to seek her hand in marriage for Ajay also falls flat. Besides, this is not for the faint-hearted who detest violent films. RAMGOPAL VARMA KI AAG is sure to give them hiccups.

To cut a long story short, the comparisons with SHOLAY will tell on RAMGOPAL VARMA KI AAG.

In the dark underbelly of Mumbai city, a nihilistic new leader has risen to rule the fetid underworld. His name is Babban [Amitabh Bachchan]. Cruel beyond imagination, psychotically violent and far more devious than any gangster the city has ever known.

Nobody has ever seen him and if they did, they didn’t survive to tell the tale. But one man believed in his existence. And that is Inspector Narsimha [Mohanlal], who has a single-minded determination to finish Babban.

RAMGOPAL VARMA KI AAG is SHOLAY, yet different. Sure, the story is the same, but the setting and interpretation of the story are different, very contemporary. As a storyteller, the RGV stamp is visible in a couple of sequences. Note Bachchan’s spine-chilling introduction. Nisha’s introductory sequence also makes you break into a chuckle. The Sachin episode that gives birth to a bitter enmity is tremendous. The sequence outside the courtroom [Bachchan - Mohanlal face off] is remarkable. Bachchan avenging his brother’s death by eliminating Mohanlal’s family is terrifying…

RGV Ki Aag Movie Review

After a riveting first half, the pace suddenly slackens in the post-interval portions. Courtesy: The prem kahani. These scenes are far from exciting and only add to the length of the film. In fact, the second hour should be judiciously trimmed by at least 20/25 minutes so that the events unfold at a feverish pace.

There aren’t many songs in the narrative. The song that deserves 10 on 10 is ‘Mehbooba’. The track is foot-tapping and Urmila’s presence sets the screen ablaze. Abhishek Bachchan’s appearance in the number will be greeted with surprise and of course, whistles. The Holi track is interesting as well, more for the picturization, not as much for the tune.

Amit Roy’s cinematography is outstanding. Note the scene when Bachchan plays with an apple and simply watch the movement of the camera. Awesome! Dialogues [Sajid-Farhad] are in sync with the mood of the film. Besides, the writers haven’t lifted any of those legendary lines ['Kine aadmi thhe?', 'Soja, warna Gabbar aa jaayega', 'Yeh haath mujhe de-de Thakur'], but provide interesting alternatives. Action scenes [Pradhyumna] cater more to the desi audiences. Do not expect the MATRIX stunts here!

Bachchan as Babban is exemplary. The veteran has portrayed a variety of roles in his illustrious career: Vijay in ZANJEER, Vijay in DEEWAAR, Jai in SHOLAY, Anthony Gonsalves in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, Don/Vijay in DON, Vijay in TRISHUL, Sikandar in MUQADDAR KA SIKANDAR, Vijay Dinanath Chavan in AGNEEPATH, Baadshah Khan in KHUDA GAWAH, DCP Anant in KHAKEE, Debraj Sahai in BLACK, Sarkar in SARKAR and Eklavya in EKLAVYA. Now add Babban to this enviable list!

Mohanlal is topnotch. He matches up to Bachchan in every sequence. Ajay Devgan is competent and balances the mischievous streak with the serious one with ease. Newcomer Prashant Raj does very well. He stands up to the veterans and looks confident all through. Sushmita Sen is restrained. Her performance is perfect. Nisha Kothari does well in her introductory sequence and maintains the pace all through. Sushant Singh is first-rate. Rajpal Yadav irritates. Virendra Saxena is okay. Rasika Joshi makes her presence felt. Sanjay Narvekar, Jeeva, Raju Mavani, Ravi Kale, J.D. Chekravarthy and Suchitra Krishnamoorthi are adequate.

On the whole, RAMGOPAL VARMA KI AAG has a strong first half, but a lengthy and violent second half plays a spoilsport. At the box-office, the film will find the going tough in the wake of its comparisons with the mighty SHOLAY. Its dull opening coupled with uninspiring publicity [the posters/billboards give an impression of an outdated film] will make a dent in its prospects.

Movie Rating of RGV Ki Aag : 2.5/5

Review Courtesy : Taran Adarsh | Indiafm

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  1. Pingback by » RGV Ki Aag Movie Review By Taran Adarsh

    [...] Original post by Movie Tonic [...]

  2. Comment by Scaria

    Mr Adarsh,

    I think this review really sucks. Its a terrible movie with no saving graces. I am surprised that you thought it did.


  3. Comment by sarita

    its really a sucking movie…… come you comment a movie like this…..

  4. Comment by Dr.Jawahar Surisetti

    In a variant of Sholay , Ram Gopal Verma ventures into what can be called an unknown territory where the blockbuster takes a new shape.
    The Thakur goes south.Mohanlal as Narsimha the police inspector whose family has been killed seeks vengeance Madrasi style. The accent is totally South Indian in contrast to Thakur from the north. The severing of the hands of Thakur by Gabbar is also cut down to the fingers in Aag. So make up costs are cut down because there is no effort to hide the hands instead only a lon shouldered Kurta covers up for the cut fingers. Moreso in the climax where the Thakur uses his legs and says”Tere Liye to mere paer hi kaafi hai” here Narsimha uses his finger stubs to fire a gun and kill the villain.
    Babban, the new avtar of gabbar is also different. He is not from Bihar or UP. He is Bambaiya. Gabbar’s infamous laugh is also in two instaments this time and is more subdued. Babban asks for Diwali instead of Holi and romances Urmila the replacement of Helen in Mehbooba. he also dances and enjoys dancing with Abhisheh who plays Jalal Agha in Mehbooba.Babban is more intelligent this time. He tosses the apple and asks the question that made Isaac Newton discover laws of gravitation.
    Basanti is more verbose than the Auto driver Ghungroo. Nisha Kothari cannot play the auto driver and looks too artificial using words like ‘entertain’ and ‘too much’ with gay abandon.
    Viru was fun whereas Ajay Devgun is a misfit for the role. The God Speaks to Basanti incident and the shooting lessons and the Koi Haseena song and the water tank sequences are painful. The water tank turns into a well and the drunk Devgun is so bad in the sequence that the audience would have wanted him to commit suicide.
    Jai was composed and serious. Prashant Raj is better than the others because we do not expect anything from him. But he also bungles on the Mausi sequence. He is not as romantic as Jai with the mouth organ .
    Jaya’s role played by Sushmita changes careers. A pure housewife turns into a doctor this time plunging into full time social service after her husband is killed. She too lacks the pain that Jaya displayed. Her flirtations with Jai are more open this time.
    Samba gets a bigger role this time as Tambe. He does not have to point guns and answer questions of Gabbar this time. He follows Babban wherever he goes and is a bodyguard with more visibility outside the den.
    Horses give way to Jeeps and auto. The Gabbar’s hideout here keeps changing and Ramgarh becomes Kaliganj.
    All in all it is kore of a spoof than anything else. RGV comes up with his own interpretation of the classic. But we remember the original so well even after three decades that our minds refuse to accept stylized versions and changed dialogues. So we call it a spoof. So Mr.RGV(Sholay ) and Farhan Akhtar (Don) and JPDutta(Umrao jaan) stop making remixes and start making originals.

  5. Comment by khuda gawa

    this movie was not bad. i wud giv 5 out of 10. its not tittled shoay and it is not don’s remake was the other don wit srk which we can compare and dat remake deffinetly suckd. but this one is called rgv ki aag. his adaptation of the idea of sholay which i think was ok and worked.
    much much better than srk’s don.or farhan akhtar’s adaptation. loved big b and even wit the other actors i had no was perfect,even therating of 2.5 out of 5.


  6. Comment by khuda gawa

    umrao jaan sucked too,titled the same too. i dont understand why ppl’s own adaptation shud hav the same name,i mean comparison are bound to happen more than. i was extremly disapointed with jp felt like he had nothin new to add except the costumes then took away the beautiful music and the dance steps.why he make it? he had no point to make except show ash n abhi together before dhoom2 and guru to let ppl have the idea of seeing them together or something…before they finally got married.

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