Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal, Ajay Devgan, Prashant Raj, Sushmita Sen and Nisha Kothari
Direction: Ram Gopal Varma
Indya Rating 1.5/5
Ram Gopal Varma’s version of Sholay (he may deny it but 10 minutes into the movie and you know where this is heading) begins with Inspector Narsimha (Mohanlal) giving a short philosophical description of humans, terming one kind as the dreaded Babban (Amitabh Bachchan).
Cut to Mumbai – Heero (Ajay Devgan) and Jai (Prashant Raj) step out of a train and go straight to one Rambha Bhai in search of a job. He does get them one but the duo doesn’t know that they are working under a gangster Shambhoo. They get entangled and are arrested. Inspector Narshimha informs them of what they have got into and tells them the only option they have is to help the police out. This is followed by a number of predictable sequences – the subsequent arrest of the two and how Narshimha gets them to work for him in his endeavour to get hold of Babban, who has created havoc in Kaliganj. In the process, Heero falls for the tomboy rickshaw driver Ghungroo (Nisha Kothari) and Raj loses his heart to Narsimha’s bahu (Durga Devi), who is a widow. How Heero and Raj eventually manage to succeed in their mission forms the crux of Aag. The basic flaw with Aag lies in the fact that it constantly gives you a feeling of ‘I Know what’s going to happen next’.
Performance wise, Amitabh Bachchan stands head and shoulders above the rest. His entry scene sitting inside a den and playing around with insects is greeted by huge cheers. The menacing looks and punchy dialogue delivery works except for a few scenes like the one in which he asks his men Diwali kab hain and the entire audience breaks into laughter spontaneously. His character may pale in comparison to Gabbar Singh but he deserves plaudits because he has given the role his all. But unfortunately, that’s also one of the drawbacks of the film as the rest just seem to be making up the numbers. Mohanlal struggles with his dialogue delivery and the mallu accent is a big hindrance. He makes up for it a bit with his expressions, which speak a lot but overall he is far from impressive.
The best scenes in the movie are between the two superstars – one where Babban pokes fun at Narsimha’s pitiable state and the other when he chops off his fingers. Ajay Devgan does what is expected from a professional but his character seems like an extension of the one in Golmaal for most part. He is atrocious in that suicide-attempting scene and it seems more like a mock attempt at something that is part of Bollywood folklore.
Nisha Kothari looks good but her screeching irritates big time. Prashant Raj needs to take some serious acting lessons. Sushmita Sen has been given little acting scope. She brings her character alive in that one scene where she treats a badly injured Raj. Among the supporting cast, Sushant Singh as Babban’s henchman Tambe puts in a commendable effort. Rajpal Yadav as Rambha Bhai is wasted.
Ram Gopal Varma’s (mis)direction adds to the woes of the film. He has given far too much screen space to Amitabh and ignored some of the main characters in the process. There is no chemistry between Ghungroo-Heero and the Durga Devi-Raj track too lacks depth despite the mouth organ music from the original repeated here too.
The background score is one of the high points of the film and helps in keeping you hooked when actually you know what’s going to follow. The Mehbooba number featuring Urmila and Abhishek Bachchan (in a special appearance) has been brilliantly picturised. This might well go on be another smashing hit number of the father-son combo.
There is basically no original script as the whole plot has been directly lifted from the 1975 Ramesh Sippy classic with the only changes being the places and the names. And sadly that is just not good enough.
VERDICT: This is definitely no SHOW-LAY
Article publish on: http://news.indya.com/newsDetails.aspx?xfile=2007/August/News_20070831_264