One such near-to-home movie is Aatish: Feel the Fire (1994) which is unerringly frame by frame, dialogue by dialogue version (unofficial) of A Better Tomorrow (1986), a Hong Kong gangster film directed by the legendary John Woo.

A Better Tomorrow: Sung Ho (Ti Lung) is a prominent underworld leader who is into printing and distributing fake US currency. Mark (Chow Yun-Fat) is his best friend and partner and an equally important member of the crime world.

Ho’s younger brother Kit (Leslie Cheung) is training to be a police officer and is unaware of his brother’s professional life. Their father knows this secret and asks Ho to leave the life of crime after executing one last job in Taiwan. Mark is not able to accompany Ho hence the big boss asks Shing (Waise Lee) to go along with Ho. The Taiwanese deceive Ho resulting in a shootout wounding him. Ho let’s Shing escape while he surrenders. In a turn of events, Ho's father is killed by a gang member. Before dying he asks Kit to forgive his elder brother.

An infuriated Mark kills the entire Taiwanese gang and in the process gets shot in his leg, losing his knee which disables him for life. Ho is free after serving three years. Once out he wants to start afresh. Ho discovers that Mark is leading a pathetic life, unlike what Mark has written to him while in prison. He is simply a car cleaner to Shing, who has become the new big boss. Kit is now a police officer. Ho attempts to patch up with Kit who beats him up and rejects him for his past. Mark persuades Ho to take revenge on Shing and manage to steal the software and moulds used for producing fake money. It is also revealed that Shing had betrayed Ho in Taiwan.

Towards the end, there is a big shootout and Mark is killed while trying to save Kit, who realizes that Ho has taken the right path. Shing is killed by Ho.

A Better Tomorrow showcased the use of Photoshop like hi-tech software and also a mobile phone, back in 1986.


Aatish: Feel the Fire is directed by Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay Dutt plays Baba, the elder brother, Aditya Pancholi is Nawab, his best friend and partner, Shakti Kapoor is 'The Shing'.
Sanjay Gupta has managed to weave together a gripping and quality film. Even though Sanjay Dutt plays the central role it is Aditya Pancholi who has emerged as the winner all the way through, completely overshadowing the likes of Ajit, Kader Khan, Gulshan Grover, and Shakti Kapoor, just like in the original Chow Yun-Fat as Mark towers above Ti Lung.

Many critics, both Indian and foreigner have compared Pancholi’s performance to that of none other than the great Al Pacino.
The soundtrack is melodious and makes for a good listening.
But then, it fails only on one front, no prizes for guessing!


PS: This write-up is for information and fun purpose only.
Tahir Qureshi/ JPN

Pirates of Movie World

It’s always good to look for new pastures. Hence, Bollywood filmmakers just not follow Hollywood; sometimes they peep into the neighbourhood as well.

One such near-to-home movie is Aatish: Feel the Fire (1994) which is unerringly frame by frame, dialogue by dialogue version (unofficial) of A Better Tomorrow (1986), a Hong Kong gangster film directed by the legendary John Woo.

A Better Tomorrow: Sung Ho (Ti Lung) is a prominent underworld leader who is into printing and distributing fake US currency. Mark (Chow Yun-Fat) is his best friend and partner and an equally important member of the crime world.

Ho’s younger brother Kit (Leslie Cheung) is training to be a police officer and is unaware of his brother’s professional life. Their father knows this secret and asks Ho to leave the life of crime after executing one last job in Taiwan. Mark is not able to accompany Ho hence the big boss asks Shing (Waise Lee) to go along with Ho. The Taiwanese deceive Ho resulting in a shootout wounding him. Ho let’s Shing escape while he surrenders. In a turn of events, Ho's father is killed by a gang member. Before dying he asks Kit to forgive his elder brother.

An infuriated Mark kills the entire Taiwanese gang and in the process gets shot in his leg, losing his knee which disables him for life. Ho is free after serving three years. Once out he wants to start afresh. Ho discovers that Mark is leading a pathetic life, unlike what Mark has written to him while in prison. He is simply a car cleaner to Shing, who has become the new big boss. Kit is now a police officer. Ho attempts to patch up with Kit who beats him up and rejects him for his past. Mark persuades Ho to take revenge on Shing and manage to steal the software and moulds used for producing fake money. It is also revealed that Shing had betrayed Ho in Taiwan.

Towards the end, there is a big shootout and Mark is killed while trying to save Kit, who realizes that Ho has taken the right path. Shing is killed by Ho.

A Better Tomorrow showcased the use of Photoshop like hi-tech software and also a mobile phone, back in 1986.

Aatish: Feel the Fire is directed by Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay Dutt plays Baba, the elder brother, Aditya Pancholi is Nawab, his best friend and partner, Shakti Kapoor is 'The Shing'.

Sanjay Gupta has managed to weave together a gripping and quality film. Even though Sanjay Dutt plays the central role it is Aditya Pancholi who has emerged as the winner all the way through, completely overshadowing the likes of Ajit, Kader Khan, Gulshan Grover, and Shakti Kapoor, just like in the original Chow Yun-Fat as Mark towers above Ti Lung.

Many critics, both Indian and foreigner have compared Pancholi’s performance to that of none other than the great Al Pacino.

The soundtrack is melodious and makes for a good listening.

But then, it fails only on one front, no prizes for guessing!

PS: This write-up is for information and fun purpose only.

  • Tahir Qureshi/ JPN

Caption: Chow Yun-Fat, Waise Lee, and Sung Ho in a still from A Better Tomorrow

Tagwords: Aatish: Feel the Fire, A Better Tomorrow, Hong Kong gangster film, John Woo, Sanjay Gupta, Sanjay Dutt, Aditya Panscholi