They say, "If it's not broke, don't fix it!" Yes, that's exactly the label that should plastered in big, bold letters on remakes which try to make a cult film contemporary under the guise of giving a tribute. While some, if handled by creative geniuses, ends up becoming successes again, like Agneepath, most end up falling short and biting the dust. Apoorva Lakhia's Zanjeer, remake of its namesake made by Prakash Mehra lands in the latter category.
A brutally honest cop Vijay Khanna (Ram Charan) lands himself in Mumbai after being transferred from Andhra Pradesh for the nth time. He is given the case to seal the nexus of oil mafia Teja (Prakash Raj) who gets highlighted after a murder by his gang. The witness of the murder is Mala (Priyanka Chopra) who initially refuses to cooperate but eventually budges and helps Vijay out only to land herself on the radar of Teja.
In order to save her life while putting an end to Teja's nefarious and illegal activities, Vijay makes her take refuge in his house. He also encounters (Sher Khan) who is into buying and selling of illegal cars. Seeing Vijay's honesty and determination, Sher Khan turns over a new leaf and mends his ways to transform into a person who now only goes by the book. He has made Vijay a friend for life and will do anything to help him out.
How the two uproot Teja's illegal empire is what follows through the rest of the plot.
Apoorva Lakhia who has a superhit like Shootout At Lokhandwala to his credit goes all out to wipe off any credibility in his work with this feeble attempt. Right from the start of the film where you have a skimpily clad greasy unknown model crooning to the title track during the credits to the entry scene of Vijay Khanna, you know the film is a letdown even before it comes to culmination.
The story of the remake is pretty much alike its predecessor barring the exception of the setting. The spurious liquor backdrop of the olden times turns itself into oil smuggling in this one. Even characters become contemporary for example a simple "chakku-churi" girl Mala gets a modern makeover and finds herself as a Gujarati NRI. Even the slick and stylish appearance of Teja gets converted into a buffoon-y, indulgent and psychotic Teja. The changes aren't completely for the good for while Prakash Raj manages to hold fort, Priyanka Chopra as the loud, blonde babe turns out to be excruciatingly annoying.
Son of South superstar Chiranjeevi and a superstar in his own right down South Ram Charan takes up a humungous task of stepping into the shoes of iconic superstar Amitabh Bachchan for his debut film itself. To essay a character which earned Amitabh Bachchan the title of 'angry young man', is no cake walk and Ram completely gets burdened by the weight. Not only does his dubbed voice gets identified easily, his perpetual angry face doesn't add to his character.
The only few moments you do enjoy in the film are that of Sanjay Dutt purely for the experience the superstar holds, however, that too takes a hit when he gets made to do funny dance and fight sequences that work against his gait.
To sum it up, the new-age Zanjeer doesn't hold half as much promise as the cult classic did and literally falls flat on its face. Watch the old one once again and forget about this.