Zanjeer is an action film directed by Apoorva Lakhia, which marks the Bollywood debut of Tollywood actor Ram Charan in the lead role as the cop, along with Priyanka Chopra an NRI on a visit to friends wedding in Mumbai, and a witness to a murder.
Before we go further, if this remake is compared to the original Zanjeer (Amitabh and Jaya), then it would be wise to rate it as 2/5 stars. As there is no one to match the intensity and angry young man looks of Amitabh few decades ago. There should be no comparison with the 1973 film with the iconic Amitabh and Pran as Sher Khan.
Watching the film as the new generation would view it, this one has all the action and fun expected in a Bollywood film. Scene to scene copying of the original one would have made it a serious action film.
Coming back to the story, Assistant Commissioner of Police Vijay Khanna (Ram Charan) is a brutally honest police officer who has been transferred yet again by the system for chasing the corrupt underworld goons.
He is transferred to Mumbai and now is in charge of a case where the key eye witness Mala (Priyanka Chopra) has seen a murder by Teja’s Gang (Prakash Raj) and refuses to co-operate. Teja is the head of an oil mafia operation and doesn’t want Mala alive. Vijay manages to convince Mala to give a statement which makes her perpetrators come after her.
He gives her shelter in his house to protect here and soon realizes that she is slowly becoming an important part of his life. He also encounters Sher Khan (Sanjay Dutt) who is into buying and selling of illegal cars.
Seeing Vijay’s honesty and determination, Sher Khan turns over a new leaf and mends his ways to transform into a person who now only goes by the book. He has made Vijay a friend for life and will do anything to help him out.
Vijay on the other hand is also battling his inner demons where he is searching for his parents killers. He witnessed their cold blooded murder as a child and the nightmares continue to haunt him till date…
The film revolves around Vijay’s struggle against the system, his battle against his inner demons and the his chase after Teja.
What’s nice about this film is that the original concept is retained with the least of tinkering done around. Imagine the eye witness being the Chaku Churia girl, and it wouldn’t have gone down with the present generation. Its nice to see the female protagonist as the cute NRI girl who can be accepted as the spoilt daddy’s girl.
Ram Charan as the aggressive, honest and uptight police officer looks more of a sophisticated executive of a MNC rather than the cop. Anyway, he is a smart young lad who has good prospects in Bollywood.
Another part where the directors fumbles is while establishing the love among the lead pair. It just happens? And the part of an established businessmen being involved in an oil racket of smuggling petrol and diesel illegally appears somewhat outdated. Maybe in the sequel we could have a sold issue in hand, as shown in the end.
And finally, the antagonist is showing Meoowing around. Cant we have serious, cold blooded suave villains in Bollywood? There are some unwanted item numbers thrown in and the action stretches a bit too long.
Ram Charan has a good screen presence, Priyanka Chopra walks thru her role of a spoilt brat cute NRI girl. Sanjay Dutt appears convincing as the Pathan Lala, Atul Kulkarni as the crime reporter is impressive and finally Prakash Raj is best at his comical negative role.
Zanjeer has it all – fun, revenge, action and thrills.
Studio – Reliance Entertainment, Prakash Mehra Productions, Flying Turtle Films
Directed by Apoorva Lakhia
Produced by Reliance Entertainment, Puneet Prakash Mehra, Sumeet Prakash Mehra, Flying Turtle Films
Co – Produced by Rampage Motion Pictures
Music – Anand Raj Anand, Meet Bros Anjjan, Chirantan Bhatt
Screenplay by Suresh Nair, Apoorva Lakhia
Story by Apoorva Lakhia
Music by Meet Bros Anjjan, Chirantan Bhatt, Anand Raj Anand
Cinematography – Gururaj R. Jois
Editing by Chintu Singh
Ram Charan as ACP Vijay Khanna
Priyanka Chopra as Mala
Sanjay Dutt as Sher Khan
Prakash Raj as Teja
Mahie Gill as Mona
Atul Kulkarni as Jaydev