Zanjeer: Third degree mental torture

Published: 08th September 2013 11:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2013 12:58 PM   |  A+A-


Okay, just so you know, I didn’t think this film was going to be Scorsese level. It is directed by the man who came up with Dus Kahaniyan and Mission Istanbul. Worse, it stars Ram Charan Teja, the son of Chiranjeevi. But I was hoping I won’t have to struggle to stay awake through a 138-minute action movie. Everything about this, from Chiranjeevi’s appearance in a hoarding to the politicians yelling “See-Yem, Murdabad” is like a Telugu movie. The graphics are even worse. The only thing we did not see is Ram Charan Teja stopping a train with his hands. I think I may have made more sense of a Telugu movie than whatever this was.

First, we see one woman crawling around a red-lit room, rubbing things on herself and feeling up chains, as she sings something that sounds like a rip-off of Adele’s Skyfall. If I remember correctly, the entire lyrics of the song were, “Zanjeer hai...zanjeeeeeeeeeer hai...” And then, Vijay Khanna (Ram Charan Teja) has a nightmare involving a knife, a tattoo, a hooded man, and a horse. I never found out where the horse came from. He has this nightmare several times in the film.

But everything happens several times. When he meets Sher Khan (Sanjay Dutt), he fights. When he meets Sher Khan again, he fights again. Of course, every time he meets anybody who seems to be a bad guy – the bad guys always grind their teeth and stand up threateningly, don’t you know – he beats them up. He sets several places on fire while taking on the oil mafia. He becomes enemies and then best friends with a lot of people, including Sher Khan and a journalist called Jaidev (Atul Kulkarni). Till the end, I wasn’t sure whether the journalist was a good guy or bad guy.

Whenever the director takes a break from fights, he throws in a lame item number. Priyanka Chopra makes her entry as “Pinky”, with a dance that is even more embarrassing than the entire video of Exotic. Then, it turns out she’s come to India from New York to attend the wedding of a Facebook friend whom she has known for three months. The friend tells her sadly that she can’t be on their honeymoon. Pinky (or Mala, which is her real name) says don’t worry, she knows the whole of India because she has watched so many movies. While trying to find a toilet, she witnesses a murder, and the rest is mystery – somehow, she ends up falling in love with Vijay, a few minutes after he says, “I find you disgusting”. Somehow, he ends up falling in love with her, after she jumps around like an escaped lunatic for two days.

An even bigger mystery is why Prakash Raj said yes to a role, which requires him to say “meow!”, make stumped faces and molest Mahie Gill every time he is on camera.

The Verdict: In the end-credits song, Priyanka Chopra says, “Oooh, is that a gun? Can I hold it please?” I know what I would do with it.


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