Stylized Criminals: Agneepath

Crime and criminals have always been a matter of interest to the common man. The number of novels, movies, comics and now video games that have been made on crime and criminals is huge. Like every country have their own religions and culture, they have their own criminals too. If Italy and the whole world had the Mafioso and 'The Godfather', India had 'Agneepath'.

'Agneepath' is the name of a popular poem by Harivanshrai Bachchan. The poem is one of those 'get up and revolt' poems which ignite a kind of fire within the reader. Agneepath can be loosely translated into a person walking on a path of fire, as shown by the main characters of the film during the climax.

The main character of the movie was Vijay Chauhan, or as he came to be known famously, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. Son of a school teacher in a small village, his life is ripped apart by a coterie of smugglers, landgrabbers and basically no-do-gooders who have their evil eye on the small village 'Mandwa'. His father is accused of immoral acts and lynched, with his entire family being turned out of the village.

Vijay takes to a world of crime and quickly rises up on the ladder of crime and confrontations. Eventually, he punishes the evil for their wrongdoing, gets his mother and sister accepted by the villagers once again and dies a pretty honorable death as compared to other crime characters of modern Bollywood crime capers.

Vijay Dinanath Chauhan can be one of the best roles to be played by Amitabh Bachchan. Another experienced actor, Mithun Chakraborty too played one of the best entertaining supporting characters in Bollywood history.

There have been countless memorable scenes in the movie. Most of them were scenes which created the aura, anger and helplessness that was Vijay Dinanath Chauhan. Some personal favorites are the ones when Vijay's sister is kidnapped by a rival gangster, when the evil doers discuss a young Vijay who burns their petrol pump and finally the entire time when Vijay gets Mandwa back to his mother.

One of the all time favorites scenes is the 'My name is Vijay Chauhan, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, my full name. I have an appintment (sic) with death today.'

The movie may seem tame and simple and even a bit unrealistic to even the common man in India today. But one has to remember that the movie was made during a time when the worst crime a person could commit was either smuggling, land-grabbing or if worst comes to worst, prostitution. World domination was just a fantasy kept to novels and superhero comics at that time.

The movie can be safely said to be one of the very first movies that stylized crime and criminals. First of all, this was one of the first times when a common man could actually see a real gun, then called as a 'ghoda or katta' in mainstream cinema.

One trivia about the movie is that the movie was a colossal flop at the box office when it was first released. The movie producers decided that it was due to the dubbing of Amitabh's voice, and they quickly redubbed the movie. The movie then went ahead to be a decent hit, while today, it is considered to be a cult for many.

Agneepath Poem: Vruksh ho bade bhale,
ho ghane ho bhale,
Ek Patra chhah bhi mang mat, mang mat, mang mat,
Agnipath, Agnipath Agnipath;
Tu na thamega kabhi tu na mudega kabhi tu na rukega kabhi,
Kar shapath, Kar shapath, Kar shapath,
Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath.
Ye Mahan Drushya hain,
Chal raha Manushya hain,
Ashru, Sweth, Rakta se Latpat Latpat Latpat..
Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath.

(There may be huge, warm and shady trees all around)
(Don't even as the shade of a single leaf)
(Walk on the Path of Fire, Walk on the Path of Fire)
(You will not stop, You will not turn, You will not halt)
(Take this oath, take this oath, take this oath)
(The Oath of Fire, the Oath of Fire, the Oath of Fire)
(This is a great happening)
(Man Walks)
(Tears, Sweat and Blood)
(They swathe Him, they swathe Him)
(Walk on the Path of Fire, Walk on the Path of Fire)

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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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