'Zanjeer' - At Last, A Big B Remake That Gets It Right
Film: "Zanjeer"; Cast: Ram Charan Teja, Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt, Prakash Raj, Mahie Gill and Atul Kulkarni; Director: Apoorva Lakhia; Rating: ****
Let's not get carried away. Every time a remake comes along, we get gooey-eyed and nostalgic about the original. The "Zanjeer" remake gets it right. Dead right.
Unlike Ram Gopal Varma's remake of "Sholay", which was purely misguided, and Karan Malhotra's "Agneepath", which was unnecessarily brutal, "Zanjeer" is just what a remake should be. It's respectful to the original material which, let me hasten to add, was no masterpiece, and suspiciously similar to a 1967 film called "Death Rides A Horse".
In fact, a similar film "Yaadon Ki Baraat", written by Salim-Javed and released during the same year 1973 as "Zanjeer", was far superior.
Providentially, Lakhia's "Zanjeer" is neither slavishly reverent to the original material nor does it take off into weird wild and wacky tangents -- like the Rohit Shetty's recent remake of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Golmaal".
Rather, the new "Zanjeer" opens up the original plot, weeds out the humbug and preserves the core of the revenge saga of an angry cop whose ire grows progressively higher as the plot moves through a series of cleverly conceived conflicts that accentuate his alienation from his khaki-coloured line of duty.
No one can do to the sullen cop's role what Mr. Bachchan did. But yes, even in his new avatar, Inspector Vijay Khanna seethes, simmers and boils over with an indignant rage. Everything about the festering rotten 'system' makes him annoyed and churlish.
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