Smoke Makes You Cry, Aag Makes You Die

The next time someone does tell you to give one example about how Indians are like frogs in a well who don't come outside themselves and pull the leg of anyone else coming up, give them Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag as an example.

So, I found myself sitting on the second row of a theater for the eleven in the night show for the said movie. The last time I did this was with a friend and his family, and even this time I wasn't exactly hardpressed to really really watch the movie or something, there was no net connection at my home and I had to kill some two hours. So, here goes my review of Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.

This thing first started out when Ram Gopal Varma said he wished to make a remake of 'Sholay'. Once that was said, there were rumors that he was actually doing it, that he had finalized the starcast, etc, and then it was said that he had dropped the project, rumors, rumors, rumors.

Finally, after much dilly dallying, the cast was fixed and the movie was made. Amitabh Bachchan, who had played 'Jai' in the original 'Sholay' was roped in to play a character based on 'Gabbar' of the original.Gabbar Singh is still said to be one of the best villains in Indian cinema. Anyway, ahead with the review.

To be frank, RGV has excelled as a director. If his only job was to redirect Sholay, he has surpassed my expectations. But, if he had decided that Aag would steal heat from the actual Sholay, he has literally lost the plot mid-way, right after the interval, to be more precise.

Watching the movie at in retrospective, I'd think that RGV wasn't as much into remaking Sholay as remaking Gabbar as the character. That he succeeded in creating Inspector Narshima as a character of reckon is plain luck. Other than these two and Sushmita Sen, the rest of the cast can be compared to some extras who have been called in to complete the picture. The characters of Heero and the other chap are as half baked as a dish you ordered to come within ten minutes, when actually it takes twenty minutes to even prepare it.

There is no chemistry between all the four major characters. So much so, that you half expect Devgan to leave with his lady love when the other chap is about to be killed. We knew he'd die anyway, remember, this movie has the same plot as 'Sholay'.

I cannot put my finger on what this movie misses - emotions or intelligence. Right from the first scene that has been 'redirected' to the last scene, there was nothing that made the audience want anything else to happen. For instance, during the finale, where Prashant Raj (that's the other chap I was talking about) is being kicked by Babban, Devgan is cajoling his lady love to leave the place. If we go back to the original Sholay, it was evident that Veeru had no other option but to leave while Jai fends off the dacoits. No, this scene is nowhere in comparison to the original. Rewinding back, we reach the suicide scene. The very hilarity of the suicide scene is just lost in RGV ki Aag, even with smart comments like 'Shoot quickly, I want to get back to the television'. And of course, the scene I still go laughing about, where Jai tries to ask Basanti's hand in marriage for Veeru. That, my dear friends, is a riot, while in Aag it is not.

And that's where RGV's problem starts, and ends. His movie is being compared to something considered a cult in India, a movie that has given birth to real life, happy, relationships and marriages. The name itself, is something that will be fodder for Indian comedians for years to come.

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Roy D'Silva

Roy Daniel D'Silva is a content writer who has written content on various topics on the Internet, right from dating to computer technologies.

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