Starring: Ramcharan Teja, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Prakash Raj, Mahie Gill, Atul Kulkarni
Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Remakes are high risks as they carry the burden of being compared to the original and the expectations run high. But when you come to know that a director of Apoorva Lakhia's caliber who has given us apology of films like Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost and Mission Istanbul is attempting a remake of Prakash Mehra's classic Zanjeer, it would be foolhardy to expect anything. The film does not surprise you either and it is far worse than you might have expected it to be.
It would be a sin to compare this lazy attempt to the original. Even as a standalone film, it fails miserably. Apoorva Lakhia remains confused between adding his own non-existent style in remaking an original. As a result, what you get is a patchy final product which makes you feel like watching the rushes of the original without any perspective or motive.
Another major undoing is that the sequences which are still remembered from the original like the famous scene where Amitabh Bachchan kicks the chair out of Pran's way and mouths some fierce dialogues, makes no impact whatsoever in the remake due to incapable handling and bad performances.
A few years back, Mahesh Manjrekar borrowed heavily from the 1973 classic for his film Kurukshetra and even that movie was more worthy of being called a remake than this one. Apoorva Lakhia as director doesn't even try at coherent narration and hopes for the film to sail on the brand name that Zanjeer is. He fails miserably to generate any interest in the proceedings and blindly and mechanically uses all the tricks in the books of modern day masala flicks without even a spot of imagination.
The original Zanjeer became a success for a reason. The 60's and the early 70's was the era ruled by romantic films and a film like Zanjeer at that time became a welcome change for the moviegoers. Zanjeer of today's time feels tired and oft repeated. Fearless cops versus corrupt system dramas come by a dozen now and out of which six or seven also have Prakash Raj as the villain.
Another most important reason for that film to work was the supreme writing by the legendary writers Salim-Javed. Writers Apoorva Lakhia and Suresh Nair are not even in the same neighborhood as the veterans, let alone try and fill their chair. The writers in order to bring something new to the table make a complete mess of the original and the additions which are made are completely hopeless and hackneyed. The dialogues are the worst part of the flick. These are possibly the worst dialogues of the decade giving KRK's Deshdrohi a stiff fight.
Ramcharan has some pretty big shoes to fill and he fails miserably. Zanjeer gave the tag of 'angry young man' to Bachchan but it gives Ramcharan only the license to act with one angry expression on his face. Harman Baweja managed to at least get two or three films in his kitty despite being a look alike of Hrithik Roshan. But it remains to be seen how high are the chances of Ramcharan's success in Bollywoood with looks which are a weird cocktail of Harman Baweja and Danny Dangzongpa and almost no acting skills to boast of.
Zanjeer is a kind of film which can boast of some really terrific actors giving their career worst performances. Priyanka Chopra is possibly the most irritating thing in the film with her over the top plastic bubbly attitude and wannabe accent. Mahie Gill follows closely next. She turns the legendary Mona's character into a sexually frustrated caricature which can prove devastating for her career and should work as a wake-up call for her.
Prakash Raj had ample chance to do something different with his role this time and match the genius performance of Teja by Ajit, but he too lets the chance to go waste. He gives another one of his lazy oft repeated performances this time coupled with loud and garish costumes. Sanjay Dutt sleeps walk through the proceeding and makes no impact whatsoever.
The music is as disappointing and as annoying as the film, but their biggest sin lies in the fact that they replaced the evergreen 'Yaari Hai Imaan Mera' song with a monstrosity of a song which even a deaf would cover his ears from.
Apoorva Lakhia never had it in him to helm a classic like this but it still takes a special kind of talent and laziness to make a film this bad. The only redeeming factor of the film is the fact that it may make the teenagers who are unaware of the old classic want to watch the original. As far as this one is considered, it is best to stay away from this sacrilege.