‘Agneepath’ the Remake: Hrithik’s abs and Sanjay’s tats

I’m not the biggest fan of Indian movies. That is, I’m not a fan of the new Bollywood. I love old Indian films, and growing up with my brother, who was an Amitabh fanatic, I watched almost all of Amitabh’s movies at least twice. ‘Agneepath’ was certainly no exception. I must have been 9 or 10 when I first watched it and I remember being in a daze for a while after it ended. I don’t believe old classics can be re-made and revamped with fresh packaging and new faces, and I certainly did not think that Karan Johar could manage to pull off a re-make of Agneepath but, boy, was I wrong.

Movies consist of actors who, although it doesn’t happen too much recently in Bollywood, ACT. But in the new Agneepath, it has happened. The actors steal the show. Hrithik Roshan takes on the role of Amitabh’s Vijay Deenanath Chauhan, while Sanjay Dutt plays the villainous Kancha. I’m quite a fan of Hrithik’s versatility as an actor but I was really sceptical about him being in this film. I mean, who could POSSIBLY replace Amitabh Bachan? Sure, that bit of ‘Amitabh oomph’ was still lacking in the new Vijay Chauhan, which I mostly attribute to Hrithik not having Amitabh’s low growl of a voice. And, of course, the epic dialogue of Amitabh’s self-introduction as “Poora naam: Vijay Deenanath Chauhan” just couldn’t be re-done despite Hrithik’s best efforts. Nonetheless, I’ve got to admit, the new Vijay Chauhan is SENSATIONAL. And I don’t say this lightly at all. There was not a single scene or instance within a scene in which Hrithik over-acted, as most of today’s actors often do. I have literally been left speechless.

I’ve also been left scared out of my wits and close to losing control of my bladder multiple times. This is due to Sanjay’s chilling portrayal of Kancha. Now, Kancha is a sadistic drug lord who’ll do just about anything to take control of Mumbai. Sounds like a simple enough antagonistic role which has been portrayed many times over in various action movies, right? But Sanjay Dutt OWNED it! His appearance gave me the creeps. He’s got no eyebrows, and a plethora of tattoos around his shoulder and his back. He’s also bald in the film and the fact that he’s worked out and bulked up certainly added to the menace of his character. Sanjay baba has still got it, without a doubt, and although all these alterations to his appearance certainly helped, I don’t think there was any other actor who could have pulled off this role as well as he has. Needless to say, I was thoroughly freaked out and rooting for the other side every time Kancha showed up on screen.

One point which I can’t resist making about this movie is that everyone is SERIOUSLY fit in it. And I don’t mean fit in the Pakistani slang ‘fit hai, yaar’ sense, I mean fit in the way it refers to physical fitness. The climactic last scene in which Vijay Chauhan at last avenges his father’s unfair death by killing Kancha blew my mind not only because it kept me on the edge of my seat, but because Hrithik was finally shirtless in it. One look at his crazy triceps and clearly cut abs (8-pack!) had me forgetting the plot of the past 2.5 hours instantly and entirely. Here, I’ve also got to mention Katrina Kaif’s item song ‘Chikni Chameli’. Yes, yes, how can she not look irresistible in her kohl-lined eyes and her gyrating hips, but as I watched the song I couldn’t help but notice what a fantastic ab workout her dance sequence makes. Ridiculous, I know, but these details are just as important as those regarding cinematography and direction which, by the way, were outstanding. Karan Johar, you have managed to surprise me at last.

I won’t mention Priyanka Chopra’s character here because, really, there is nothing to mention. She seemed more like a filler in the movie to use as a vehicle for an unnecessary song-and-dance sequence, and to add some vibrancy with the color of her outfits in the otherwise dark and somber atmosphere of the movie. If you want to watch the movie for her, don’t.

‘Agneepath’ has been a cult classic since it first came out in 1990. It’s sad though that so many of my friends have never watched it and look perplexed when I look at them in shock for not having seen some of Amitabh’s best work. A great advantage of the re-make can hopefully rectify this. For all those people who didn’t grow up watching old Bollywood like I did, this is a movie to get them back on its wagon, this is the ‘Agneepath’ of the new millennium.

For those who loved the original, give the new one a chance like I did. You won’t be disappointed. At the very least, you certainly won’t be bored.

P.s: Don’t watch the movie if you’re faint of heart, there’s lots of stabbing and shooting and killing and dying
P.p.s: watch the trailer here

‘Aisha’ – A Fashion-Savvy Watch

I went to watch ‘Aisha’ the same day it released in the UAE. Now I am not much of a movie buff when it comes to Bollywood, but after watching the trailer for this movie, I just could not resist! I’m not crazy about Sonam Kapoor, nor did I go for the fact that ‘Aisha’ is supposed to be an adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’. (Austen is Austen, how much better could a Bollywood version of it be better than the original? I mean, come on!) I went for the fashion, the amazing wardrobe, the gorgeous styling, and to see whether a Bollywood movie could actually pull off Dior!

Let’s just talk about the movie here, without going to the styling yet, which is hard to do since the clothes were SUCH a huge part of every single scene. It’s not Stratford-upon-Avon stuff but it was a light watch without any garish dancing-around-trees song sequences or any melodramatic and exaggerated dialogue. Sonam Kapoor was alright, it was an average sort of role that did not require any tremendous display of actings kills and she was so-so; it was the supporting cast that stole the show, the three friends, Abhay Deol, and even the super-hot Lisa Haydon acted better than what their character required.

Back to the clothes.

Formalwear that oozes casual, who wouldn't want to go to work in these?

Abhay’s wardrobe in the entire movie screamed Wall Street, just look at that slick skinny tie!  From Valentino to Hugo Boss, he stayed suited up the whole time, and my, what a sight for sore eyes he was! Each and every piece was cut to perfection, and suited his lean frame incredibly well. Sigh.  Now let’s get to what Sonam’s wearing.  The first thing you notice is how the bright blue of the linen shorts contrasts with the white, and this is a great way to add a splash of colour to a typically dull formal-white-shirt-and-trousers combo. Is that a pink snakeskin belt I see? The comb hairband looks neat and can cure any bad hair day, and what’s NOT to love about that Chanel bag!

I just can't get enough of Abhay in a suit, and lookie there, I own that very same headband!

How amazing does that suit look? Wow. The dull beige of the suit should clash with the darker beige of the tie, but they both complement each other surprisingly well, and those dimples could melt a glacier. Sonam’s wearing a vintage Chanel suit here, which according to Pernia Qureshi (the stylist of the movie), was rather difficult to obtain; hanging blissfully off her shoulder is, once again, a classic Chanel bag. On her head is an adorable black-bow headband, one of which I own as well; not many people can do headbands but Sonam is one of the lucky few and throughout the movie, her headbands look uber chic. The monochrome Chanel suit actually looks a lot like a modern Marc Jacobs creation, but nonetheless, I went green with envy went Sonam strutted across the screen in this. Chanel + vintage + headband = MY DREAM COME TRUE!

This looks like a still out of Gossip Girl!

Black and white, always a winning combination! Is it just me or is Sonam Kapoor dressed up a lot like Leighton Meester’s on-screen persona, Blair Waldorf? Even so, I think Sonam does justice to the look: the dress is just the right length and the shoulder detail of black ruffles is bang on trend, the black beret is quite Parisienne, and the big black shades and are the perfect accessory. The black Lady Dior bag is a collector’s item, on top of my list along with the Birkin bag, and I honestly wish I had Anil Kapoor as a dad to produce my film JUST so I could have this bag! The only problem I have with Sonam’s outfit are the black pumps, a pair of black Loubs would have looked soooo much better, but nonetheless, the overall look is still top-notch. Her friend on the side is also pretty trendy: she’s wearing a Manish Arora Mickey Mouse warrior top and those fierce shoulders remind me of Balmain’s 2009 fall collection. It’s been paired here with short shorts and knee high boots, and looks like something I’d see in a couture show. Nice!

This is SO Blair

Okay I included this picture of Sonam JUST to prove a point. In interviews, she’s denied that the styling of Blair Waldorf had anything to do with her look in Aisha, and I find that reallyyyyyy hard to believe. Here, she’s dressed in what looks like a gunmetal March Jacobs dress, paired with a white bow waist belt (which I own in purple, thank you very much), heart-shaped sunnies and a bright pink chain bag. Does anyone recall Blair and Serena’s photoshoot at the very beginning of the show for Eleanor Waldorf’s collection? I think it was in Season 1 (Episode 4) and the two girls decided to model the outfits together. This pose is SO similar to one of Blair’s that I was taken aback that it wasn’t actually her, but Sonam Kapoor, so kudos to Sonam for perfecting the look so well.

All in all, this was a Bollywood movie that stands apart from all others, simply because this is one of the very first of its kinds: an Indian movie that actually takes the importance of good styling into account! It features clothes not just from established fashion houses such as Chanel and Dior but also relatively new ones like Acme and Marc Jacobs; lace, ruffles, pearls, suits, sarees, the movie has it all! Of course, I loved it a lil bit more just because so many of the clothes are of the sort that are in my own closet downstairs, hehe. A little heads up to the rest of the over-the-top producers in Bollywood: watch and learn from ‘Aisha’, and use more of your production budget when it comes to wardrobe! I definitely got my money’s worth from it: the couture, the headbands, the designer bags and of course, Abhay’s cute-as-buttons dimples.

P.S: This movie is a statement for the amazing style make-over Sonam Kapoor has had over the years. When she started off with ‘Saawariya’, she was a nobody who dressed in Anarkalis and lehenga-cholis. A couple of years later, she discovered personal stylist and TA-DA! She is now a fashion force to be reckoned with; just goes to show you that clothes do make the person.