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Why Vijay Deenanath Chauhan has a bit of Scarface in him – Anniversary special


One of Amitabh Bachchan's finer performances turned the 1990 revenge drama Agneepath, inspired by Al Pacino's Scarface, into a cult film.

Mayur Lookhar

Vijay Deenanath Chauhan (Amitabh Bachchan) was a boy from the slums who rose to become a don and avenge his father. Mukul Anand's Agneepath (1990) was said to be ahead of its time, but was it truly original?

In 1983, filmmaker Brian De Palma released Scarface, starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. Interestingly, like Agneepath, it wasn't received well initially, but Pacino's portrayal of Cuban gangster Tony Montana slowly won people over.

As Agneepath completes 27 years, we found a few similarities between the Hindi film and Scarface.

1. The voice

The first thing that strikes audiences about Vijay Deenanath Chauhan is how his voice is similar to that of Tony Montana in Scarface. Like Tony, Vijay is interrogated by the police, and the fearless self-introduction is Montanaesque.

 

2. The mole

Sharat Saxena played Terralin, who has despised Vijay from the time the latter was a child. During his first meeting with Vijay, Kancha Cheena (Danny Denzongpa) asks his men to throw Terralin from the helicopter, an act that helps him gain Vijay's trust. In Scarface, Montana goes to meet Alejandro Sosa on his remote island where Sosa directs his men to hang Omar Suarez, a spy and Montana's adversary, from the helicopter.

3. The mother's snub

Money can buy guns and glory but not mum's respect. The scene where Vijay goes home after many years to meet his sister and mother for dinner but is snubbed by Mama is heavily inspired by Montana's bitter reunion with his family.

4. The Bullet

Both Tony and Vijay escape attempts on their lives by betraying partners but vow to return the favour. Both get out of the hospital bed with injured arms in a cast, to hunt down their attackers. The only difference is Tony's blue suit as opposed to Vijay's white one. That and Tony killing the bad guy in his den, while Vijay prefers a police lock-up.

 

5. The restaurant

No place for dons or killers in civil society. Vijay loses his cool after fellow diners at a plush restaurant object to his presence. He blasts the elite diners and walks out after damaging some furniture. The diners weren't as cruel in Scarface, but the ugly spat between Tony and Elvira attracts a lot of attention.

There were other similarities, such as Tony and Vijay's sisters falling in love with their right hand men. While Tony disapproves of Manny's and his sister's relationship, eventually killing Manny, Vijay is initially offended but eventually accepts Siksha and Krishnan Iyer's relationship. What all this points to is the fact that maybe a little inspiration from Scarface helped make Agneepath a classic.