Apoorva Lakhia’s Zanjeer. This is one hell of an unintentionally hilarious film. Sample this.
1. Every time Ram Charan’s take on the iconic character of Vijay Khanna goes out to beat some goons, they orchestrate a BG of ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’. Satyagraha much?
2. Vijay gets nightmares of horsemen and people with ‘scary looking’ knives reminding him constantly of a dreaded incident earlier in his life. Some Bhaag Milkha Bhaag? Also, it turns out the ‘dreaded incident’ never involved any horsemen.
3. Priyanka Chopra’s Mala is a police witness in a murder who is given a lot of money to go out and shop when her life is in danger. Also, when does get out of the house, she suddenly discovers an accent, considering she is coming from USA. Not only that, Vijay, who told her to shop, apparently freaks out at her roaming around free.
4. NRI girls from America come to India to dance on cheap innuendo laden songs at their friends weddings in India.
5. Being a rightful citizen, if you see an illegal activity, you start capturing it on your phone camera, albeit that risks your life tremendously.
6. When a police officer is suspended from his duties due to an inquiry, the decision is proclaimed to everyone in front of the media clicking pictures.
7. A ‘highly threatening’ oil mafia, Prakash Raj’s Teja, has barely any control over his tongue or his business, calmly residing in his mansion and shouting empty threats.
8. Seemingly, as a journalist, it is wise to tell your sworn enemy the exact cover story you are doing on him exposing his fast and giving him the opportunity to kill you.
9. A kid cannot recognize his dead father even after seeing his morgue as the corniest dialogues are delivered to convince a witness to overstay in the country, almost to the point where her dad forgets worrying about her.
10. The crackdown of the oil mafia is like a child’s play where in there is no real explanation of how it works or how it is busted. Apparently, beating up a couple of the villain’s associates and walking with them into the office of the Police commissioner is enough.
…and I can go on and on.
What is wrong with this world?
This slushy hogwash of a film has not one inspired moment in its runtime of 140 minutes or so. A guilt ridden drama, the film fails to escalate any issue it boasts of. The core conflict is lost in the screenplay with much convenience and brought back at one’s own ease whenever needed, giving way to shamefully placed ‘romantic’ or ‘comic’ tracks. Characters such as Sher Khan (Sanjay Dutt) experience the same incoherence. An acerbic imitation, Zanjeer is unadulterated horse manure for most parts which pokes fun of itself by showing iconic scenes from the original also. To top it all, Lakhia and his writer Suresh Nair, load the film with crassest of craptastic ugly lines such as “Mona Darling, apna moonh sirf ek cheez ke liye kholna please”, or Woh mera dost hai. Aur waise bhi Hindustan mein sher aur dost, dono ki kami hai”, or ” How about a happy ending? Kyuki iske baad main sirf tumhari ending ki guarantee le sakta hoon, happy hone ki nahi”. People break into a song for no real reason and illegal car dealers turn good without much explanation, after a comedic action sequence. Lakhia’s Zanjeer is genuinely deprived of anything to feel good about. What a shameful imitation of the original!
It appalls me to discover that this horrendous felony is committed by Prakash Mehra’s own sons who have produced the new film, along with Flying Turtle Films and Rampage Motion Pictures. Technically, Zanjeer reeks of waxy sensibilities that have become a rarity in modern Indian cinema. Cacophonic background scores, unnecessarily zooming cameras, sleazy songs and what not. Welcome back to the ugly 80s, under the pretext of entertaining 70s. Thwarting and crippling the film further are its actors. Ram Charan’s Vijay lacks the balls of Bachchan and Chopra’s cutesy gibberish can only engage you so much. Dutt’s Sher Khan is trite beaten to dislike by the jarring re-doing of a legendary song sequence towards the second half. Prakash Raj is ruining his own talent reserves in such puerile roles and he does not leave a mark on Ajit’s Teja. Mahie Gill, the immensely gorgeous and talented actress, must have been paid tons to sign on the dotted line for an inconsequentially played down Mona Darling, who is slyly brought down to a clumsy mistress. And Atul Kulkarni, it is really okay to not do a movie than to do one like this.
Apoorva Lakhia was never a great director and with Zanjeer, he sinks to deep abhorrence. There is nothing memorable about his venture and this placid film will leave you benumbed. If the masses go for this one too, it will be a shame on our industry!
Rating – 1/5