This Week From Past – Agneepath (1990)
Release Date : 16th Feb, 1990
Agneepath is a 1990 Bollywood film directed by Mukul S. Anand. It stars Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Madhavi, and Rohini Hattangadi, with Danny Dengzongpa as the villain. It was produced by Yash Johar. The title was taken from a poem penned by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Amitabh’s father, and which is recited by the main character throughout the film. People have said it is a so-called copy of Al Pacino’s Scarface, but it is not at all. Their thinking this is probably due to one scene which was similar to Al Pacino, but the storylines are completely different.
The film opens with a school master Dinanath Chauhan (Alok Nath) and his 10 year old son Vijay (Manjunath) watching the sunset over their village of Mandwa, India. Vijay innocently asks why their village becomes dark (there is no electricity) at night when the city (Mumbai) remains lit. The two carry on their morning walk with Dinanath teaching his son the poem Agneepath.Dinanath is a reformer. He runs a small school, leads a (rather weak) campaign to obtain electricity and infrastructure, and generally uplift the village. Unbeknownst to him, the village of Mandwa has been insidiously taken over by a powerful crime baron Kancha Cheena (Danny Denzongpa). Kancha uses the coastal village as a landing point for his contraband from abroad. The village must remain an unnoticed hamlet on the west coast of India, so Kancha opposes any move for improvement, and specifically intends to remove or eliminate Dinanath. Kancha buys off a local merchant Dinkar Rao (Goga Kapoor). Dinkar Rao stages a scandal where the upright Dinanath is lured to the town brothel, drugged, and found to be in bed with a local prostitute. The angry villagers lynch Dinanath before his wife Suhasini (Rohini Hattangadi) and his young children Vijay and Siksha. Suhasini and the children are forced to flee Mandwa. Young Vijay swears to avenge his father. They arrive, penniless and destitute, in Bombay. As is common for street children, Vijay becomes a bootblack. Vijay is polishing a rich man’s shoes when he witnesses an attempt to assassinate Kancha Cheena. The assassins are hired by the rival dons Terelin (Sharat Saxena), Usman bhai (Avtar Gill) and Anna Shetty (Deepak Shirke). Some time after, when Suhasini applies for a job at a nearby gas station (owned by Kancha), some of Kancha’s goons try to molest her. Young Vijay files a police complaint, but quickly realizes that the cops are in league with the thugs, and so Vijay decides to blow up the gas station. Vijay is hauled before the senior Inspector Gaitonde (Vikram Gokhale). Gaitonde is a good cop and tries to get Vijay off the streets. But Vijay asks why the cops did not act, for their failure forced Vijay to take matters into his own hands; and Gaitonde is simply unable to answer. Some 25 years later, Vijay has grown (played by Amitabh Bachchan) to become a don in his own right. He sits before Gaitonde (now a police commissioner). When asked his name, Vijay replies: “Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, poora nam, maa ka naam Suhasini Chauhan, gaon Mandwa” This becomes Vijay’s tagline and is repeated throughout the movie.
Gaitonde, still sympathetic towards Vijay, urges him to give up crime. Vijay asks why. He has risen from utter poverty, fought through a hard and bitter world, and become a wealthy don; the system (including several corrupt cops) has failed him entirely; and why must Gaitonde, who is unable to eliminate corruption in his own house, speak to Vijay of law, order and a just society? Vijay points out that for all of Gaitonde’s efforts, the cops have no real evidence (yet another failing of the system) to prosecute him. Gaitonde resignedly warns Vijay of danger and death at every turn. Vijay retorts that he knows who his enemies are, whereas Gaitonde must forever be subject to an irrecoverably failed system. This interchange forms an important theme in the film where a such a society will produce Vijays. Vijay arrives next at a gathering of the dons Terelin, Usman bhai and Shetty and tells them that he knows of their plan to assassinate him. He tells them that he won’t run away and will take their bullets head on. If he dies they get everything but if he survives it’s him all the way. As he expected, they attempt to assissinate him; they are stunned when he bares himself and invites them to shoot him at point blank range; they shoot him nonetheless and leave him to die. Vijay is rescued by a comical coconut seller, Krishnan Iyer MA (Mithun Chakraborty). The dons try to kill him in the hospital, but he is again saved by Krishnan, and nursed back to health by Nurse Mary Matthew (Madhavi). Vijay appoints Krishnan as a bodyguard for Siksha (Neelam).
Vijay faces another battle on the personal front. His mother Suhasini strongly disapproves of his life of crime, and wishes him to follow Dinanath’s noble footsteps. Vijay grows apart from his mother and seeks a shoulder with Mary; their association blossoms into a relationship and they marry. Mary gives birth to a baby boy. Around this time, Siksha develops an affection for Krishnan; Vijay is initially okay with this, but discovers that Siksha wishes to lead a normal life and must inevitably distance herself from Vijay. As a result of the alienation from his mother, and drifting apart with Siksha, Vijay’s family life with Mary suffers. He gradually becomes uncomfortable with his status as a crime don.
Realizing Vijay’s growing stature on the crime scene, Kancha arranges a meeting. Vijay arrives at Kancha’s beachfront home. Vijay demands a piece of the action at Mandwa. Unaware of Vijay’s identity, Kancha agrees, but with a warning to never try to cross Kancha. Vijay arrives in Mandwa (where Dinkar Rao is now the de facto mayor). Vijay stages a reverse controversy. He applies police pressure on Dinkar Rao until Dinkar Rao signs over the town deeds; Vijay immediately reveals this two-faced deal to the villagers who promptly proceed to lynch Dinkar Rao. Vijay stands over a dying Dinkar Rao and reveals his identity. Kancha arrives on the scene. But Vijay has already turned Kancha’s assistant Laila; it is revealed that Laila is the illegitimate daughter of the prostitute used to frame Dinanath Chauhan, and that Laila has always aspired revenge on Kancha. The cops show up (as planned by Vijay). Laila produces critical evidence (collected over her years as Kancha’s assistant) whereupon the cops swiftly arrest Kancha and take him away as Vijay utters his tagline. Having thus accomplished his purpose, Vijay decides to retire from crime, returns to his mother and asks her to move back with him to a peaceful life in Mandwa.
In the meantime, Kancha pulls some strings and escapes from prison. Laila is gunned to death before she can give evidence. All of vijay’s trusted men are attacked and end up in the hospital. Taking advantage Kancha moves to Mandwa, forcibly takes over the town, abducts Suhasini and Siksha, and has Krishnan shot by a drive-by shooter. Vijay reaches the town and is challenged by Kancha to try and save his entire family. Vijay runs through the flames to attack Kancha and is joined by Krishnan. After a long and violent battle, Kancha is killed and Vijay is mortally wounded. Vijay returns to his mother and recites, with his dying breath, the poem Agneepath. Suhasini is mortified to understand why Vijay initially chose crime, and why things came to such a pass to achieve redemption. The film ends with Vijay, now forgiven and redeemed, gently passing away in his mothers lap.
- National Film Award for Best Actor – Amitabh Bachchan
- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Mithun Chakraborty
- Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award – Rohini Hattangadi
- Filmfare Best Actor Award – Amitabh Bachchan
Agneepath opened to 100% response on first week, but voice changeover of bachchan was not liked by public, and most audience thought there is problem in dubbing or theater Speakers.Amitabh re-dubbed his original voice again and release the new version in second week, it helped at places where new version was released, but most centers was showing older version because print cost at that time was too high and it was not possible to distribute new prints all india, It did HIT business only in mumbai, Flop elsewhere. Agneepath collected around 5 Crore NETT.