Agneepath is less of a remake of the cult classic 1990 original and more a tribute to the film. Retaining its essence and spirit, director Karan Malhotra writes and delivers a restructured version that stands alone as a fresh new film and works well.
Vijay (Hrithik) is out to avenge his father's death from Kaancha Cheena (Sanjay Dutt) and uses Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor) as a means to his ends. A simple straightforward revenge drama, Agneepath starts off with a short flashback and jumps right into the present with energy. A watertight script does not let audience attention divert even for a second as Vijay establishes his seething rage and thrist for revenge.
Rauf Lala, a new character in this edition of the film, replaces the much popular Krishnan Iyer, a replacement so beautifully written and performed that one dos not miss Mithun in the story. Rishi Kapoor as the slaughter house smuggler Rauf is deliciously evil and delivers one of the best performances in recent times.
Kaancha Cheena too is rewritten by Karan in a manner that heralds the return of iconic screen villains in Hindi Cinema. Sanjay as Kaancha is menacing both in his looks as well as the psychotic performance. He towers high in the film and has the audience in his grip from the word go.
Hrithik, as the Vijay, gives the other memorable performance in the film. Vijay in this edition is seething with rage indeed, yet is silent, subdued and has none of the style or flair of Amitabh's Vijay. Hrithik never once imitates the original, giving a whole new definition to the character. Priyanka as Kali is impressive in a very small role, and perhaps the only weak link in the storyline.
If the earlier Agneepath was remembered for the iconic turn by Amitabh, it is the evil personified Sanjay and conniving Rishi who stay with you long after the film is over. A tad long climax and excessive blood can put a few off, yet Agneepath in it's new avataar is one of the very few terrific remakes in Hindi cinema.