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Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, Lara Dutta, Celina Jaitley

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 18:30 IST

Time for more inspired blood-spill. After Kaante and Musafir, desi Tarantino wannabe Sanjay Gupta serves it Kimchi flavoured. For, Gupta’s new film Zinda is based on Park Chanwook’s superhit Korean thriller Oldboy.

If Zinda is broodingly dark, ultra-sadistically brutal, Gupta can thank Chanwook’s original material for as much. Violence as a box-office tool is nothing new to Bollywood, but Zinda goes the whole hog in satiating the appetite if blood is your cup of tea. In fact certain shots of gore (including one involving a character’s teeth being extracted with a claw hammer without anaesthesia) have been retained frame-for-frame in this Hindi remake. Certainly not stuff for the faint-hearted.

That last bit also raises the vital question: Will an unflinching gore trip such as Zinda find takers in India (it’s a box office where even Gupta’s guru Tarantino has failed to make a dent)? Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t. And if it does, the gruesome could indeed see a quiet entry into the Indian psyche with Gupta’s filched bloodfest.

Zinda  is supposed to be new-age entertainment - cutting edge, no-hold-barred images that literally butcher your senses.



retains most of


thriller and stunt bits, the basic plot has been changed. Understandably so- the Korean original was all about incest, a theme that may not be wholeheartedly acceptable to most


mainstream viewers. At the centre of Gupta’s murky tale is Balajit Roy (Sanjay Dutt), who lives in Bangkok with his wife Nisha(Celina Jaitley).

Without wasting much time, Gupta’s narrative comes straight to the point: Balajit is kidnapped without notice, and confined in a dingy room that just has a TV set. He isn’t told why he has been kidnapped, or by whom. Years go by, and as Bala’s fury mounts, his only link with passage of time in the outside world is television.

Then, one day- 14 years later- Balajit is released, as abruptly as he was kidnapped. The real story actually begins here, as Balajit sets out to avenge the act that has wrecked his life. As his nameless, unidentified tormentor gradually reveals himself to Bala, in store for our hero lies a bigger possible tragedy that could pale his 14-year plight.


is supposed to be new-age entertainment - cutting edge, no-hold-barred images that literally butcher your senses. Gupta balances the gruesome

tension with a languid pace. If anything comes as a hurdle, it’s precisely the genre he has chosen topeddle atthe


box office.

The film belongs to Sanjay Dutt. The star has always portrayed rage effectively — here he adds vulnerability to cold fury. Bala is easily one of Dutt’s best acts ever. In fact, the rest of the cast just fades before the deadly Dutt.

Okay for a guys’ day out. Or, go for it if you’re looking for screen-aided catharsis of bottled-up fury.

First Published: Jan 14, 2006 08:00 IST