The Bollywood fever that has gripped Dubai refuses to let up, as the latest celebrities slotted to burn a path into our city are none other than the cast and crew of one of 2012’s most anticipated films, “Agneepath”.
Trail blazing into the emirate for meet and greet, the lead cast of Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Dutt, Priyanka Chopra and producer Karan Johar are all expected to be here on January 19 for an action packed 24 hours that will certainly satisfy many a fan.
Alas, fans will be disappointed to hear that item girl, Katrina Kaif will not be attending.
Whether it’s Roshan’s attempt to slip into the space once occupied by the legendary Amitabh Bachchan, or it’s Dutt at his menacing best as he enacts the villainous Kaancha Cheena or it’s even the item song performed by Kaif that has the world dancing to the beats of “Chikni Chameli”, “Agneepath’s” buzz has even seen critics and trade pundits in a tizzy.
“There are a lot of expectations riding on the release of “Agneepath”, what with it being a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan classic - for which he even won India’s National Award – and the fact that this could very well turn into the first blockbuster of 2012,” said Rashid Saeed, Managing Director of Essar Events, which is organising the event in Dubai.
“Bringing this promotional event to the city was our way to pay tribute to such a classic film, and at the same time, allow fans to revel in the New Year celebrations for a little longer, which they could take all the way to the Indian Republic Day, which is celebrated on January 26,” he added.
Saeed revealed that the stars will set off on a promotional blitzkrieg of their film whilst in Dubai, which will include a press event, followed by Hi-Tea, which will be an exclusive event for sponsors and VIP guests that will on invitation only, followed by a public meet and greet with fans at one of the city’s biggest malls.
“We are still finalising the last minute details, and all shall be announced in the coming days, including venues and timings,” he said.
While Chopra has become a veteran of the city, with her most recent visit being last month’s promotional meet and greet for “Don 2” during the Dubai International Film Festival.
Roshan’s last turn public in Dubai was during a media visit for his 2010 release, “Guzaarish”; albeit, the actor was in the city to celebrate the recent New Year’s Eve with close friend, Shah Rukh Khan.
“However, it is Dutt’s visit here that is creating a real buzz considering this is his first official press and fan meet in the city,” explained Saeed. “We wanted to ensure that we offer something exclusive for our Bollywood audience here.”
“Agneepath”, which literally means a “Path of Fire” is the remake of 1990 film that was also produced by Dharma Productions. While the film itself was panned by critics back then, head honcho Johar believed the movie was made before its time and wanted to approach it again with a fresh outlook and roped in his former assistant, Karan Malhotra, to direct his father, the late Yash Johar’s film.
The story opens in the small village Mandwa, where a young Vijay Dinanath Chauhan lives with his principled father and mother.
However, the young boy’s life shatters when the evil drug lord, Kancha Cheena (Dutt) murders his father. Before leaving for Mumbai with his pregnant mother, the boy vows revenge.
In Mumbai, young Vijay (growing up into Roshan) is taught the ways of the world by local thug, Rauf Lala (Rishi Kapoor), while he also befriends and romances Kaali (Chopra).
Fifteen years later, his life comes full circle and Vijay returns to Mandwa to extract his revenge from Kancha and also gives the filmmakers the opportunity to throw in Kaif to gyrate to “Chikni Chameli”.
For those wondering, some changes have been made to the story from the original, with the character played by Mithun Chakraborty as the coconut seller in the 1990 version being totally done away with in the remake; while actress Madhavi played a nurse in the first version, while Chopra plays a prostitute.
It is unclear as yet who will essay Neelam’s role, who played Bachchan’s sister in the original, or if the character is even reprised.
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