Special feature: 30 years of ‘Agneepath’ (1990)


At the time not even Mukul S Anand and Yash Johar would have known how much this film would impact the generations to come. The film had everything in terms of entertainment yet it is hard to understand how the film did badly at the box office. In fact in 2012 the film was remade with Hrithik Roshan as the main lead and it was very successful.

We are talking about none other than the 1990’s film ‘Agneepath’, this year on the 16th February it will be 30 years since it first released. BizAsiaLive.com will explore some of the factors that made this film a classic today.

The Star Cast & Characters
A revenge saga which had elements of ‘Scarface’ (1983) within it, wrapped in Bollywood magic to make it the entertainer it was.

A well respected teacher tries to improve the lives of the people in a little village called Mandwa. Unfortunately the wise words of the master make Kancha Cheena (Danny Denzongpa) worry about how this could affect his illegal businesses. Kancha orders his men to take care of the teacher before he manages to get the villagers on his side. Kancha’s men cunningly make the teacher look like a bad man accusing him of a crime he didn’t commit, therefore leading to his death at the hands of the villagers who have been misled.

The teachers family are made to leave the village but as they are leaving his son Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, (Amitabh Bachchan) vows to gift his mother the very land she was exiled from. In order to fulfil that promise he forgets his childhood and begins a life of crime. Vijay grows up to become extremely powerful capable of protecting his loved ones and to take revenge. Bachchan cannot be praised enough for the way he presented himself in the film, from his voice to the way he carried himself, he was perfection in every way.

Mithun Chakraborty was seen like never before, he was the comedy relief needed in this film. Krishnan Iyer was loyal, hard working and extremely proud of his culture. He had a degree but he worked at a coconut stall and made an honest living by selling coconuts. After he becomes friends with Vijay he is given the duty of protecting his sister Shiksha.

Neelam Kothari Soni was cast as the younger sister of Bachchan in the film. Shiksha (Soni) would be eagerly waiting to see her brother who very rarely came home because of his mother’s disapproval. Shiksha looked up to her elder brother and had every confidence in him.

Madhavi had a brief role in the film but she still made an impact. Mary (Madhavi) is a nurse who cares for Vijay when he is hospitalised and as time passes Vijay can’t help but fall for the nurse who cared for him. He feels a strange connection with her although they say very little to one another.

Denzongpa was Kancha Cheena the bad guy who ruins Vijay’s world and puts him on the path of fire and destruction. Kancha Cheena was a villain who had class and in some ways resembled the gangsters that are seen in Hollywood films. Denzongpa not only looked cool but made his presence felt whenever he appeared in a scene.

Rohini Hattangadi played the role of Suhasini, the mother who watched her happy life burn before her. Her husband is accused of a heinous crime and is murdered, her children are orphaned and she is left without support. When her son starts to lead a life of crime she can’t help but feel angered as he is going against everything her husband believed in.

If anyone deserves credit for the comedy in this film then that has to be Chakraborty. Not many associate comedy with this actor as much as they do dancing but in this film he excelled in this genre. His character Krishnan Iyer is very proud of his culture and dresses very traditionally. Due to this he often gets ridiculed by people he meets but he doesn’t let that affect him. He tries to explain to them with words and if that fails he has other methods.

The music of the film was composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal consisting of four songs and the lyrics written by Anand Bakshi. Credit must be given to Jean Michael Jarr who did the iconic background music, without his touch the film wouldn’t have been the same.

S.P Balasubrahmanyam sang for Chakraborthy making this collaboration one that can never be forgotten. The lyrics were ‘I am Krishnan Iyer MA’ which was a disco number with a twist to it.

‘Ali Baba’ was an item number that had Archana Puran Singh performing on it with Shakti Kapoor who made a special appearance in the song. Sung in the voice of Runa Laila and Aadesh Shrivasta this song was an upbeat number fitting in with the story perfectly.

‘Kisko Tha Pata’ was the song that saw Shiksha (Soni) and Krishnan (Chakraborty) confessing their love for one another. It was a sweet song sung in the vocals of Balasubrahmanyam and Alka Yagnik.

The final song in the film was ‘Maurya Re’ celebrating the Ganpati festival. Kavita Krishnamurthy and Sudesh Bhosle sang the song with passion making the song a joy to listen to.

Also many may recall that the song ‘Yeke Yeke’ by Mory Kante was also featured in the film. This particular song is remembered for how it was filmed and the fact that all the characters looked ever so cool.

The dialogues in this film have become so iconic that every Bachchan fan will not only have memorised it but at some point actually recited these very lines. James Bond is known for his iconic introduction but in Bollywood it is Vijay Dinanath Chauhan who is known for his stylish entry.

A police man asks for the name of the person sat opposite him and here comes the iconic line: ‘Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, pura naam. Baap ka naam Dinanath Chauhan, maa ka naam Suhasini Chauhan. Gaon Mandwa. Umar chattis saal, nau mahina, ath din.. ey, ey solwa ghanta chaloo ey re’.

Another famous dialogue was ‘Aaj shaam 6 baje maut ke saath apna appointment hai, appointment, English bolta hai ey, haa’.

Even Chakraborty had his own iconic lines such as ‘I am Krishnan Iyer M.A. nariyal pani wala’, ‘hamara family ka bacha hai’. The late Kader Khan wrote the dialogues and we have to say they are not only powerful but very iconic.

We hope you enjoyed this special feature celebrating 30 years of ‘Agneepath’. For more features and showbiz entertainment do check out BizAsiaLive.com for more.

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