Zanjeer Review – Trash Begets Trash

Don’t believe the clowns who tell you the old Zanjeer (1973) is an iconic or classic film.

I watched a matinee show of the old Zanjeer (Amitabh Bachchan, Pran, Jaya Bhaduri, Ajit) on a hot summer day in its 1978 re-run.

And to the great anguish of my dear and near ones, my recovery was a prolonged affair.

Only classless, fartsniffing louts like Indians would exalt such foul trash as iconic.

Since the new Zanjeer (directed by Apoorva Lakhia) is based on the 1973 bilge, there’s no chance in hell of this film being anything other than junk.

The badly written story is the trite tale of a sincere police officer Vijay Khanna (Ram Charan Teja) braving great odds to bring a vicious don Teja (Prakash Raj) to justice.

This asinine theme has been beaten to death in a gazillion Bollywood and regional Indian films.

Yet the talent-starved Hindi film industry falls back upon the stale motif of the daring police officer smashing bad guys into pulp and destroying the corrupt system with bare fists!

It’s depressing that a talented actor like Prakash Raj, who plays the oil mafia chief Teja, degrades himself frequently by participating in such offal for the sake of a few coins.

Here’s one example of Teja’s tawdry dialog – Mona Darling, apna mooh sirf ek cheez ke liye kholna (Mona Darling, open your mouth only for cock-sucking).

I’m not kidding!!

Sanjay Dutt acts like a savage who has gorged on one too many opium poppy flowers.

Watching him stagger through the film, I wondered if this bloated real-life criminal and current jail-bird was still addicted to narcotics.

Mahie Gill, at 37, is a dependable ally to millions of desperate Indian hands under the covers. She plays Teja’s moll Mona in a short but appealing role.

Age cannot wither this beautiful babe’s seductive skills.

Music and most dance numbers (except the Mahie Gill number) are unspeakable horrors.

Last Stages of Rabies

If you’re curious as to what happens during the final stages of rabies, Priyanka Chopra provides a realistic preview in Zanjeer:

Ram Charan Teja

To borrow the memorable words of P.G.Wodehouse (The Butler Did It), Zanjeer’s hero Ram Charan Teja looks like “Mephistopheles troubled with ulcers.”

This talentless noob (son of Telugu “mega-star” and India’s Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi) has no screen presence and zero acting skills.

To make this hopeless misfit Mumbai’s Assistant Commissioner of Police Vijay Khanna taking on the dreaded gangsters is the acme of Bollywood miscasting.

Apparently, Ram Charan Teja’s Telugu film Maghadeera was a big hit in his native state of Andhra Pradesh stroking his Bollywood ambitions.

I pray that Ram Charan Teja hotfoots it back to Andhra Pradesh where culture and evolution are still work in progress.

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra is her usual morbid self, acting and behaving like rabies has taken complete hold of her brain.

She plays the “simple NRI girl” Mala with all the aplomb of the chimp riding a bicycle in Mera Naam Joker.

Her “Pinky” dance number at the outset and subsequent antics with the hero at his home and the police station left me numb with horror that this whacko still gets roles.

Are there no vets in Mumbai, a city of over 20 million, who can treat this whacko?

Massively Underwhelming

In a sane, just world, the people involved with the new Zanjeer would be hauled away for crimes against humanity and subject to a Nuremberg like trial.

But in Incredible India these are the kind of garbage that draws in the crowds.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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