Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag
Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:55 IST
By Santa Banta News Network
Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Mohan Lal, Ajay Devgan, Susmita Sen, Nisha Kothari, Prashant Raj, Rajpal Yadav, Chakravarty, Suchitra Sen and Rasika Joshi
Guest appearance: Sachin, Urmila Matondkar and Abhishek Bachchan
Music: Ganesh Hegde, Amar Mohile, Prasanna Shekhar, Nitin Raikwad
Lyrics: Shabbir Ahmed, Saajid, Farhad, Sareem Momin, Nitin Raikwad
Director-producer: Ram Gopal Varma
Rating: *

The much-hyped "Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag" has finally hit theatres and film buffs must have rushed to catch the first-day-first-show. Curiosity might make the movie run to housefuls for some time. But definitely, the "Sholay" magic is missing in "Aag" and cine-goers will spot it sooner or later.

Ramu kept saying that the film is not a remake of the original "Sholay", but one look at the final product is enough to prove the veracity. "Aag" is the acclaimed director's vague endeavor to give "Sholay" dialogues a comic twist and package the same scenes against a different backdrop.

A scene where Big B plays a mouth organ brings back "Sholay" memories. Again, the tune of "Yeh dosti hum nahi chodenge" is also a rip-off. Some new lines are noteworthy but they fail to create the effect.

Shockingly, most of the scenes in the film are beyond reachable reality. The film starts with Hero (played by Ajay Devgan) and Raaj (Prashant Raj) coming to Mumbai from Nasik looking for work, which they manage to get with the help of Rambha Bhai (Rajpal Yadav).

But it's only when they are caught by police inspector Narsimha (Mohan Lal) that they realize that they were involved in some illegal work. The cop then takes their help to trap the mastermind of the racket. At the same time, he is duty-bound to put them behind bars.

After spending a year in jail, the two are back to their old ways, like Jai and Veeru in "Sholay".

In a nutshell, although the director claims to have created something different, he has just served up the old recipe in a new dish with fresh garnish.

In some scenes the director has missed on some basic things that he shouldn't have, given his experience. Although the story is based in Mumbai, it fails to highlight the city properly. Just the names of the characters have been given a Marathi flavour. Amitabh Bachchan's character has been named Babban, with a 'Singh' to tail along.

Gabbar's famous "Holi kab hai? Kab hai holi?" has been replaced with "Diwali kab hai? Kab hai diwali?". Had the Holi scene been picturised well, there would have been no problem. But Ramu must know that March in India is not ready to bear clouds, or else Sippy would have caught it on reel before.

Amitji has played quite a few negative roles before and he has done justice to the character of Babban. The only glitch is that at times his dialogue delivery has reflections of his character in "Agnipath". Ajay Devgan neither looks like an action hero, nor is he comic enough, when compared to Dharmendra's Veeru. Prashant Raj is a natural, though.

Nisha Kothari has injected an overdose of drama to the character of Ghungru, and her shrieky voice is irritating. Her repetition of the line "too much hai" only proves too much for the audience, too. Despite looking weak in some scenes, Susmita Sen's cool demeanor gels well with her screen name Durga Devi.

Mohan Lal is average as Narsimha, his eyes exuding more panic than confidence. Rajpal Yadav is excellent as Rambha Bhai but unfortunately, his screen life is too short. It's nice watching Sachin in the role of Big B's brother.

RGV's attempt to give a sexy get-up to his actresses flops yet again. Urmila, in the song "Mehbooba", looks sleazy, not sexy. The case is more or less the same with Nisha.

Not that there is nothing worth watching in "Aag", though. Some additional scenes are really well-shot. And the music in the film, just like Ramu's other films, is a cut above the rest. But overall, the film remains an awkward drama and not a bit more.

Alas! Ram Gopal Varma has not only wasted his time on "Aag" but also his money and energy. Watch the film with an open mind, without drawing comparisons with "Sholay" (which is quite impossible though). If you do, chances are you would come down with a terrible headache, to add to the heartbreak. - Rajnee Gupta.
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