The film was inspired by the life of a Mumbai gangster Manya Surve. The title was taken from a poem of the same name called Agneepath which was penned by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Amitabh's father, and which is recited at the beginning of the movie and creates a thematic link that continues through the movie, both literally and metaphorically.
However, the perception of the film changed gradually over the years. Karan Johar recounts in an interview how younger city-based audiences thought it was a cool film. The movie's review in Rediff.com, mentioned that: "Agneepath, despite its amplified sentimentality, strong language and violence works on account of this very dynamism. " 2b1af7f3a8