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Review: Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag
1975. Sholay. Need I say more? One word that redefined Indian cinema has found no parallel till date neither Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge nor Hum Aapke Hain Kaun or Gadar; all three being pan-Indian all time blockbusters.

THE FIRST thoughts as you walk into the theater to watch Sholay are the now classic dialogues.


Kitnay aadmi thay


Ab tera kya hoga Kaalia


Ab goli khaa


Ye haath humka de de thakur


All these dialogues were mouthed by one character Gabbar Singh; etched into the audiences’ memory as the finest villain in probably, world cinema.


As per RGV only the biggest hero on the earth had the persona to break into the image of Gabbar – Amitabh Bachchan.


So the first question that arises is; has Bachchan succeeded?


Well, not really, just like Shah Rukh was miserable as Don; Big B can’t wipe out Amjad Khan’s act; but while the former was the failing of an actor, here, Babban (Gabbar’s Y2K avtaar) falls flat because of a flip-flop script.


That’s precisely the fault with RGV’S take on Sholay – script. Either you should cook a new story or remain true to he original screenplay (granted RGV couldn’t owing to legal hassles).


The movie of the millennium is thus reduced to a mockery.


The film tells the story of two young guys who want to make it big in amchi Mumbai – Heeroo (Ajay Devgun) and Raj (Prashant Raj).


They want to go straight but Rambha bhai introduces them to an underworld don Shambhu Bhai. Inspector Narsimha (Mohanlal) captures Shambhu Bhai with their help; but arrests the duo.


Cut to a year later (365 taplis later, as the scroll on the screen reads); Narsimha has lost his fingers (so no shawl) and wants Heeroo and Raj to capture Babban (Amitabh Bachchan).


How the duo go about it forms the narrative.


There are sub-plots galore; love story of Heeroo and Gungroo (Neha Kothari); mushy track of Sushmita Sen and Prashant Raj and Babban avenging the death of his younger brother, Amar (a dash of originality, was it the name?) taking revenge on Narsimha.


However, the weak script doesn’t give leeway for any sort of entertainment.


Technically, except for the cinematography; the film doesn’t break any new grounds.


Performance wise almost all the performances are marred by weak characterizations. There is a pale shadow of Mausi; Gangu mummy – needless to say she falls flat. There are very many such characters from Sholay all of whom are half baked.


As for Amitabh Bachchan; the opening credits very proudly claim to introduce Amitabh Bachchan; well if it was a fresh film Bachchan is menace personified as Babban but the strong character of Gabbar Singh is too strong compared to a flimsy Babban. His fans can take heart from the fact that his is the best and the most convincing act in the flick. Yeah, he does get whistles and claps here and there; but I doubt the iconic status for Babban. 


After seeing the film; I have become a fan of Ram Gopal Verma; not for his creative genius, but for the fact that he had the guts to remake Sholay – which as Salim Khan (one of the writers) rightly said was best left untouched.




Rating: 2 on 10 

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