Another remake - Apoorva Lakhia's Zanjeer is said to be a tribute to the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 1973 film. The film has been riding high on promotion circuit.
Critics, however, are not satisfied with the movie that marks the Bollywood debut of south Indian star Ram Charan Teja.
SPOILERS AHEADWith a plot ready-in-hand, Apoorva Lakhia simply had to build up on it for his remake of Zanjeer. The filmmaker, however, seems to have failed badly. Mayank Shekhar (W14) writes "It takes balls of steel as strong as heavy zanjeers (shackles) are made of to take the mickey out of a killer, calm movie that most people rightly believe redefined the course of Bombay films in the 70th year of the 100 years so far."
In a revenge-drama, as the makers claim, the emotions are not established well. If a drama fails to make the audience cry and laugh with its characters, it fails to serve the purpose.
At one point, Mala (Priyanka) is angry with villain Teja (Prakash Raj) and tells Vijay (Ram Charan Teja), "Just finish him. He shouldn't have the last laugh." And the only reason you can fathom is that Teja passed a comment on the lady a few moments before this dialogue! There is rage and anger in the film, but it is certainly not the original Zanjeer which had clearly established emotions.
Taran Adarsh writes for Bollywood Hungama, "The women in the film don't really work. Priyanka, a fine actress otherwise, is just about okay. And Mahie Gill aka Mona Darling is inadvertently comical."
An interesting sequence in the film is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek homage in a remake - we see the new Teja-Mona pair watching actor Ajit and Bindu in the original Zanjeer on a DVD and Prakash Raj tells Mahie Gill how he is similar to Ajit.
As for the actors' performances, Prakash Raj and Atul Kulkarni take the cake.
Meena Iyer writes for Times of India: "Sanjay Dutt is competent and lovable. Priyanka looks smashing but is overzealous in the American Born Desi Gujarati Girl act. Mahie Gill as the gangster's girl Mona is raunchy."
Prakash Raj is especially funny with his comic characterization of Ajit.
Taran Adarsh writes, "Prakash Raj is electrifying as the villain. He is venomous to the hilt."
Mayank Shekhar (W14) writes, "This man is Teja, which was Ajit's role in the original. Now people who've watched Ajit on screen will know that he was a pretty convincing actor. Prakash Raj plays up his part as if he was basically telling us an "Ajit joke". I would have loved to laugh, could hear giggles at unintended moments from the backseats."
Sanjay Dutt steps splendidly into Pran's part. His sequences, though is limited by the actor's physical unavailability.
Meena Iyer writes, "Ram Charan, as the brooding policeman, excels in action. His dark eyes with long lashes adeptly convey anger."
Another good sequence in Zanjeer is a verbal duel between Prakash Raj and Atul Kulkarni.
Despite some entertaining sequences and laudable acting, the film fails to leave an impact.
Mayank Shekhar's one-liner appropriately sums it up, "Nobody cares. Salim-Javed, the actual screenwriters, might. They had appropriately asked for a compensation of Rs 6 crore for murdering their script."