Zinda Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film
Dec 22, 2005 By Chand Kishore Patro

Apart from dark black suits, gelled hair, the portrayal of genuine machismo and different male personas, all of Sanjay Gupta's recent movies have another common denominator - the prominent presence of Sanjay Dutt - the quintessential action hero. Zinda - the latest flick from the brilliant director-producer confirms this.

With blockbusters like Kaante and then Musafir, he has carved a niche as a unique moviemaker. The different male personas that the director successfully chooses for his movies portray myriad moods and situations that are essentially male centric. Though luscious heroines make their presence felt in his movies, they are more about guys - tough, whacky, kinky, suave and murderous. And who can do better justice to the characters other than Sanjay Dutt. His effortless macho acting and natural rugged looks suit the genre perfectly.

Zinda - a dark film shot with desaturated grey texture with stark and minimalist color palette, is all about a staple ingredient - revenge. What sets the movie apart is not the seeking of revenge for the injustice done but to know the why of the injustice inflicted on the protagonist in the first place.

Balajeet Roy (Sanjay Dutt) a successful software professional, has everything going for him - a soaring career, petite wife (Celina Jaitely), a mischievous friend (Mahesh Manjrekar), a huge seaside bungalow in Bangkok and the opportunity to make it big in a decent way. Then somebody removes him away from all these in a flash. Bala finds himself confined in a cell in a dungeon, never knowing his fault. The only real connection he has with the outside world is the crocodile skin shoe wearing feet of one of his captors that he can see when he is fed with the same Thai snacks day after day. And this continues for 14 years. But the captor wants him to live - sane and sound. So Bala is confused and is determined to find out both, the reason for his captivity and his captor. This whets curiosity of the viewers as well to know, and therein lies the brilliance of the moviemaker. How Bala tracks down his captor to know the reasons forms the rest of the story.

Lara Dutta plays the role of a taxi driver (Jenny Singh) who aids in Bala's mission. John Abraham is perfect in the role of a psychotic villain. There is not much to write about the performances of Celina Jaitely and Lara Dutta who do not get a chance to strut their stuff. Mahesh Manjrekar is ineffective despite his designer moustache and beard, as his part is also clipped. Sanjay Dutt excels in his performance. The movie doesn't have any gyrating song and dance sequence. The background songs are good.

Tinu Verma's action along with Sanjay Gupta's direction ensures that the movie is worth a watch.

Chand Kishore Patro