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Agneepath - 1990

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Agneepath, the 1990 Bollywood action crime movie directed by Mukul Anand and written jointly by Santosh Saroj and Kader Khan, ignites the silver screen with its explosive blend of raw emotions, gripping storytelling, and powerhouse performances. At its core, the film revolves around the relentless quest for justice by its protagonist, Vijay, portrayed by the legendary Amitabh Bachchan, and features a stellar supporting cast including Mithun Chakraborty, Madhavi, Neelam Kothari, Danny Denzongpa, Rohini Hattangadi, and Archana Puran Singh.

Set against the backdrop of the unforgiving streets of Mumbai, Agneepath delves into the murky world of crime and corruption. Vijay, a man driven by a burning desire to avenge the death of his father and the injustices inflicted upon his family, becomes entangled in the treacherous web of the Mumbai underworld. As he navigates through the shadowy alleys of power, Vijay forms unexpected alliances, confronts formidable adversaries, and battles his inner demons.

Amitabh Bachchan's portrayal of Vijay is nothing short of mesmerising, commanding the screen with his towering presence and intensity. His performance emits a potent mix of vulnerability, rage, and determination, captivating audiences at every turn.

Under the visionary direction of Mukul Anand, Agneepath immerses viewers in a world where morality blurs and the line between good and evil becomes blurred. The film seamlessly weaves together elements of action, crime, and drama, punctuated by unforgettable dialogue and soul-stirring musical compositions.


Table of Contents


Movie Name


Directed by

Mukul S. Anand

Screenplay by

Santosh Saroj and Kader Khan

Story by

Santosh Saroj

Produced by

Yash Johar


Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Madhavi, Neelam Kothari, Danny Denzongpa, Rohini Hattangadi, and Archana Puran Singh


Pravin Bhatt

Edited by

Waman B. Bhosle and Gurudutt Shirali

Music by

Laxmikant Pyarelal

Production Company

Dharma Productions

Distributed by

Dharma Productions

Release Date

16 February 1990


3 Hours 1 Minute








Dinanath Chavan, a beloved local schoolteacher, strongly objects to the plans of Kancha Cheena, a criminal don, and his crew to establish a base for heroin smuggling. Dinanath is killed by the misled villagers after being disgraced by Kancha and the local landlord, Dinkar Rao, in a staged scandal. 

His family is also forcibly kicked out, which benefits Cheena. With a burning desire to clear his father's name and a vow of vengeance for his father's murder and his mother Suhasini Chavan's attempted rape that went unpunished, Vijju/Vijay Deenanath Chauhan takes on the duties of taking care of his mother and sister Siksha, which by some strange turn of events leads him to go down into the dark Mumbai Underworld. Gangsters Hasmukh, Usman Bhai, and Anna Shetty take him in and treat him as one of their own. Vijay rises through the ranks and becomes well-known as an underworld lord as he gets older.

Police commissioner M.S. Gaitonde, who is critical of him but has a soft spot for him, warns Vijay Deenanath Chauhan that his former bosses may try to kill him if he doesn't help them with their drug-smuggling operations. Gaitonde shows worry, but Vijay dismisses it, saying that he is well aware of the intended attempt and plans to let it go ahead without any preventative attack or resistance. His bosses attacked Vijay's car and fired several shots at him. 

He is found dying until a Tamilian selling coconuts named Krishnan Iyer, M.A., finds him. He saves his life by taking him to the hospital, becomes his friend, and finally gets a job as Siksha's bodyguard. Nurse Mary Matthew takes care of Vijay while he is in the hospital. According to Commissioner Gaitonde, Vijay essentially gambled by allowing the assassination attempt to happen in order to raise himself to god status in the eyes of his followers and send his rivals running for shelter. While resting in the hospital, Krishnan sneaks Vijay out of bed to prevent his bosses from attempting yet another assassination.

Vijay takes out the assassins one at a time. He starts off by murdering Hasmukh and Usman Bhai, who were arrested after turning themselves in to the police to avoid Vijay's rage. Because of Vijay's criminal activities, his mother strongly opposes and lives apart from him with Siksha. When Vijay arrives one evening for a dinner function, his mother scolds him for tarnishing his father's reputation and sends him out. 

Hurt and upset, Vijay finds comfort in Mary's arms and initiates a relationship with her. After Vijay kills Anna Shetty's associates, Anna kidnaps Siksha and holds her captive in a slum. Krishnan makes an unsuccessful attempt to save Siksha, and the two of them get into a fight. When Vijay learns of this, he rushes to kill Anna out of wrath. Vijay kills him with a sword after severely beating up Anna.

Krishnan and Siksha's close encounter leads to a developing connection between them, and they fall in love with one another. Vijay is enraged and aggressively opposes, but he is denied once more when his mother disowns him and calls Krishnan her good son she had. Terribly upset by this slight, Vijay seeks refuge in Mary, marries her, and swears to do everything properly to win his mother's approval.

Vijay strikes a contract with Kancha Cheena to acquire access to his old village, and then he uses a series of techniques to prevent Cheena's unlawful business and take legal control of the village. Gora (Bob Christo), who is sent by Kanchas to assassinate Commissioner Gaitonde, is killed by Vijay. 

Similar to the manner in which his father was murdered, he has Dinkar Rao hanged by the village's undermined and poor residents. As Vijay reveals to Cheena that he is the son of Dinanath Chavan, he lands Cheena in prison by arranging for Cheena's mistress Laila to testify against Kancha. Laila reveals herself as Shanti, and she has been working with Vijay all along.

Vijay returns the village to his mother and regains her favour, but Cheena guarantees that he is set free by having the witnesses murdered and Vijay's family taken captive. 

This is Vijay's breaking point, and he is compelled to revert to his criminal ways and go through the Agneepath (Path of Fire) in order to save them. Before being killed by Vijay, who tosses Cheena into the raging fire and burns him alive, there is an intense and deadly struggle during which Cheena blasts every building and destroys the entire village. 

Vijay, however, passes away as a result of Kancha's several gunshot wounds. Vijay tries to defend the path he took and the crimes he committed as he passes away in his mother's arms at the location of his family's former home.

Vijay tries to justify the life he chose and the deeds he committed as he lies dying in his mother's arms at the exact location of his family's old home. He claims that he walked the Agneepath to get justice for his family and that he is not a criminal. His mother, along with Krishnan, Siksha, and Mary, cries sorrowfully over his body, ultimately forgiving him and acknowledging that he was never a criminal.


Agneepath hit theatres with great anticipation on February 16, 1990, as eager audiences awaited the release of this highly anticipated film. However, despite the initial excitement surrounding its arrival, there were underlying concerns and apprehensions regarding the movie's potential performance at the box office.


Agneepath-1990-Reviews-Image.tring.jpgDuring its release, the 1990 Bollywood action crime movie Agneepath received mixed reviews. Rediff.com's review suggested that the film's grim, violent, aggressive, and dark portrayal of the underbelly of Bombay's underworld may have worked against it. 

Film Trade Analyst Komal Nahta also pointed out the issue of Amitabh Bachchan's voice, stating that his dialogue delivery in a different voice, reminiscent of Marlon Brando in The Godfather, might not be accepted by the audience. The mixing of the audio was criticised as well, making certain dialogues unclear. He criticised the film for lacking gripping drama and a well-set script. He also mentioned that even the murder scenes lacked excitement. These aspects contributed to the mixed reception of Agneepath upon its initial release.

However, perceptions of the film gradually evolved over the years. In an interview, Karan Johar shared how younger, city-based audiences began to view Agneepath as a cool film. The dynamism of the movie, despite its amplified sentimentality, strong language, and violence, was appreciated by some.

Overall, Agneepath faced criticism for its portrayal of the underworld, Bachchan's unconventional voice, and perceived shortcomings in the script and execution. However, over time, the film gained a new generation of fans who embraced its unique qualities and dynamic storytelling. Despite the initial mixed reviews, Agneepath's impact and appeal have endured, solidifying its place as a cult classic in the realm of Bollywood cinema.



Character Analysis


The protagonist of the film, Vijay, is a child traumatized by the brutal murder of his righteousness-fueled father. This fuels his eventual entry into Mumbai's underworld as he seeks to avenge the injustices done to his family. Amitabh Bachchan gives a stellar performance, bringing depth and intensity to Vijay's character.

Vijay's father, Master Deenanath Chauhan, is a man of principles and a highly respected school teacher in their village, Mandwa. His sense of justice and uprightness lead to his untimely demise at the hands of a powerful gangster, thus setting the premise for the intense revenge saga that follows.

Danny Denzongpa brings to life the ruthless antagonist, Kancha Cheena, a vicious drug lord who kills Vijay's father for possession of Mandwa village. Kancha is the main driving force behind Vijay's involvement in the underworld, making him the centre of the revenge plot.

Mithun Chakraborty fits perfectly into the shoes of Krishnan Iyer M.A, a lovable, light-hearted South Indian man who falls for Vijay's sister. Despite initially being meant for comic-relief, his character deepens and stands by Vijay during challenging times.

Neelam Kothari portrays Siksha Chauhan, Vijay's younger sister. Despite being oblivious to her brother's dark world, she plays a pivotal role in humanising Vijay's character and becomes a key character when she falls in love with Krishnan Iyer M.A.






Kisko Tha Pata

SP Balasubramanyam and Alka Yagnik


I Am Krishnan Iyer M. A.

SP Balasubramanyam


Ali Baba Mil Gaye Chalis Choron Se

Runa Laila and Aadesh Shrivastava


Ganpati Apne Gaon Chale

Sudesh Bhosle, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and Anupama Deshpande

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes of the 1990 Bollywood action crime movie Agneepath, the filmmakers drew inspiration from real-life figures to infuse authenticity into the narrative. The film took inspiration from the lives of Mumbai underworld don Varadarajan Mudaliar and gangster Manya Surve, adding a layer of realism to the story.

Amitabh Bachchan, who portrayed the protagonist Vijay, meticulously studied Manya Surve's mannerisms and voice to shape his character. He emulated Surve's distinctive traits, incorporating them into his performance, which added depth and authenticity to Vijay's portrayal. Bachchan's dedication to capturing the essence of Surve's personality contributed to the immersive experience of the film.

The incorporation of real-life elements into Agneepath allowed the filmmakers to depict the gritty reality of Mumbai's underworld with greater accuracy. The film delved into the dark and violent world of organised crime, showcasing the struggles, conflicts, and power dynamics that existed within the criminal fraternity. By drawing inspiration from actual figures, the filmmakers aimed to present a more nuanced and realistic portrayal of the underworld.

Box Office Collection

Despite being the fourth highest-grossing film of 1990, Agneepath faced disappointment at the box office due to its collections falling significantly below its high budget. The film, which made ₹10.25 Crore, struggled to achieve financial success equal to its production costs. Despite its critical acclaim and a strong fan base over the years, the film's box office performance deemed it unsuccessful in terms of meeting its revenue expectations.



Date of Ceremony




National Film Award


Best Actor

Amitabh Bachchan


Filmfare Award


Best Supporting Actor

Mithun Chakraborty


Filmfare Award


Best Supporting Actress

Rohini Hattangadi


Interesting Facts

Agneepath has left a lasting impact on the landscape of Bollywood cinema. Despite facing challenges at the box office during its initial release, the film has garnered a dedicated fan base and achieved cult status over the years. Agneepath's dark and gritty portrayal of the Mumbai underworld, Amitabh Bachchan's powerhouse performance as Vijay, and its memorable dialogues have made it a significant milestone in Indian cinema.

In the book of Bollywood cinema, Agneepath remains an important chapter, reminding us of the indomitable spirit that drives individuals to seek justice, no matter the obstacles they face. Its legacy is a testament to the talent and dedication of the cast and crew, solidifying its place as a timeless classic in the hearts of cinema lovers.

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