Zanjeer - Review

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
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Why are remakes made, again? I'd think it's because the makers felt there was some great value addition they thought they could make which the original badly needed. Other than the fact, of course, that they didn't have anything original to make. But, I refuse to believe that the makers of this remake of Zanjeer didn't know they were taking away from an already not-so-great film.

Are they so smug to not realise that a two-expression Ram Charan taking the place of Amitabh Bachchan is many huge steps behind to start of with? Are they so blind to not see the disservice to films from the 70s by having a over-bearingly peppy, supposedly dumb Mala (Priyanka Chopra) replace a simple and sensitive Mala (Jaya Bachchan)?

The original had this nice combination of angst and sensitivity between Vijay and Mala. It wasn't explored too well there too, but here it is completely ignored. This takes away a huge chunk of the meat that the plot had.

I guess the only positive contribution by this Zanjeer is that the woman gets invited to the birthday party! You see, Mala was left out of Sher Khan's birthday party in 1973. Come 2013, she gets to look pretty in white and shake a leg too!

Priyanka Chopra, like I mentioned earlier, plays a very perky Mala. We can't really fault her if the script used her like comic relief. That besides, Ram Charan tries too hard to look intense and Sanjay Dutt looks like he was forced to play Sher Khan. There is a slur in his movements in the fight scenes and in his speech when he speaks.

A couple of other things make things even worse - the dialogue and the music. You don't know what is worse - the iconic original lines that are retained or the new lame lines. A few more moments of disbelief - how could they not know that 'jab tak baithne ki ijaazat...' by anyone but Amitabh Bachchan or 'Sher Khan beimaani ka kaam bhi...' by anyone but Pran is epic fail?

The songs are more or less annoying. My take on item number is no secret. Not only are they aesthetically displeasing and condescending to me as an audience, but the manner in which they break the flow of the story is the most irritating bit of them all. Here you have two songs that can fit that bill.

Zanjeer also has a ridiculous background score. At first when, 'raghupati raghav...' played during a fight sequence, I wondered if the projectionist goofed up and turned on Satyagraha's soundtrack. Unfortunately, not. And the background track repeated almost every time Vijay has a fight sequence. Oh well...

I understand that even if you had nothing better to do, you'd be better off watching the Zanjeer from 1973, this one cannot be completely written off - maybe just because I have seen worse, and await much worse.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads of fist fights, gun fights and murders.
  • Language: A few innuendoes and sexual jokes.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A mild making out scene. And references to sex.
  • Concept: An angry cop takes on a dishonest business tycoon.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 1
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 1.5
  • Character Artists: 1
  • Dialogues: 1
  • Screenplay: 1
  • Music Director: 0.5
  • Lyrics: 0.5

Zanjeer - Trailer

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Comments (9)

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Hi Meetu
I'm back :)
Interesting review.. I haven't watched the movie but I am tempted to comment mainly because you did what I hoped you wouldn't i.e. compare with the original, but you couldn't resist I presume.
Needless to say the original was excellent not only because of execution but because it was the first of its kind. I do however question if your assessment of Ram Charan's 2 expression face as you put it against presumably a multi-expression face of Amitabh is actually justified. Amitabh in the 1973 version also had no more than 3 expressions.. but it retains impact even today because of the nostalgia that surrounds it. Ofcourse given you are a fan of Amitabh Bachhan you may not see it the way I do.

your scores are as confusing as ever.. 0.5 for music director? 2 for story (because it was adapted from what you refer to as iconic?) but 1.5 for dialogues (despite retaining some?)..

While we are on the dialogues point - did you really think Pran's delivery of the beimaani dialogue or any other for that matter was good? the dialogue itself was good and more importantly original, definitely not the delivery.. or so I think!

Clearly you didn't like the film but you seem to also hate it for reasons that don't to me seem logical, and that comes across in the language you use - 'ridiculous', 'epic fail', 'condescending'!!

I'm going to watch this by the way :)



Hey Nirmal, welcome back!

Comparison: It didn't look like the makers wanted to avoid comparison. If you've noticed, in general I don't like comparing one film to another, because it's only fair to treat a movie for what it is. I tried to avoid it, but as you can see have failed quite miserably.

Well, actually I didn't like the original as much. I liked Amitabh Bachchan (surprise, surprise), Pran and Jaya Bachchan.

Amitabh Bachchan: I actually considered if Amitabh Bachchan had more than two expressions. You see, I am extra aware when it comes to cast/crew whose work I generally like. and I'd say yes. His anger itself has many shades in Zanjeer.

Music: Oh, I hated Pinky and the other party song with Mahie Gill.

Story: Like I said, I didn't think Zanjeer (1973) was a great film. Didn't like the story much actually - Om Prakash and Keshtho Mukherjee's tracks for example were pretty annoying.

Dialogue: 2-3 iconic dialogues were used. But the rest of them were pretty awful.

Pran: Yes, I liked his portrayal of Khan. He gave it his best.

Ridiculous, epic-fail, condescending: I called the - - background music ridiculous,
- the idea of having immortalized dialogue delivered by Sanjay Dutt and Ram Charan epic fail (though I think that would be true if anyone else said them too, they are immortalized because of the people who said it) Again here I use immortalized and iconic as these are perceived and not necessarily my take on them. Very generally speaking, that they are immortal and iconic is now an arguable fact and not a matter of opinion.
- and item numbers in general (across films) condescending.

But you got that I right, I almost hated the film. :D


::ignorant American raises his hand::

Uh - what's the original about...? From this picture, it looks like a cop drama starring Some Sullen Guy and Priyanka Chopra (who you know I always like watching, Meetu!).

Yes, I'll consult Wikipedia so I sound a bit less uninformed next time - and from the cover art, the original looks pretty awesome, and I think I'm going to see if there's a DVD available of it. :)


U know m a big fan of ram charan,,,,he has given some best movie in tollywood (chirutha,magadheera,orange) ,, like we havnt seen ever in bollywood...I was not there in theater because the fact that its a zanjeer remake,,,,but i was there bcoz of ram charan,,,,but he dissappoints alot....He just acts like robot....
how can The director make a movie so carelessly when its a remake of a cult film....there are alot of stupid scense in it like - when priyanka's car get hit and she was asking help from the persons who had hit her car....
Non of the acter acted good,,,,prakash raj was so repeatetive,,,,sanjay seems lazy,,,,and mahi gill is not made for such stupid role....The only acter who does a good job was atul agnihotri....
And yes we have 3 item nos by 3 different girls within 45 min of the movie,,,,thats so irritating....
The background music which represent sanjay was too bad....
Only the action scense are executed well,,,,but they cant made the movie good....Ram Charan deserved a better debut in bollywood....


Barring Sanjeev Kumar, Mr. Bachhan is my personal favourite actor of all times. His films till mid-80s being my most favourite period of his films. Despite that I never found Zanjeer as his best film. Yes I had seen it in the 1st week of release, but I was not much impressed - even though it became a cult hit.

Nevertheless, when I learnt of the remake, I really shuddered. Remakes invariably are less attractive compared to the originals and this applies even to Hollywood films. And remaking a cult classic is very treacherous - remember Sholay v/s RGV Ki aag?

So: thanks for your advice, I will be skipping this remake.


Mitu has been kind. Switch channels if it's on cable should be the verdict.


@TimELiebe you can give the original a go. This was one of the films that gave Amitabh Bachchan the 'angry young man' tag. The story isn't great but it's worth a watch for Amitabh Bachchan alone. :D

@Anup oh...oops. About Priyanka Chopra's hit - well, I thought she didn't realise they had hit her intentionally.
And I assume you mean Atul Kulkarni.
I haven't seen any other Ram Charan films, so I don't know about his acting skills. But, he didn't seem to have any in this one.

@Ashok :D Yeah, I know!


@Meetu - thanks! :) I've got the original on my Amazon Wish List - soon as I get some extra spending money, I'll order it.


@TimELiebe it'll be worth the wait and spending money, I hope.

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