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Zinda Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, January 12, 2006 • Hindi ]
Zinda Review
White Feather Films
Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, Celina Jaitley, Mahesh Manjrekar, Lara Dutta
Sanjay Gupta
Sanjay Gupta
Vishal-Shekar, Strings, Nikhil Chinappa, DJ Nawed, Kinky Roland

A good story set up that loses itself in the maze of gore and convenience. But memorable for two very strong performances from John Abraham and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles, and an extremely stylish treatment from Director Sanjay Gupta.

Vengeance is mine! And Sanjay  Gupta sinks his teeth into the brutal side of gore with a vengeance! Zinda, in content and storyline,  is like a pulp fiction novel in celluloid, but in finishing and technical quality of product has had the budget and finesse of a superdeluxe hardbound. From its absolutely fabulous sound design to the excellent cinematography  with that breathtaking chase sequence in which Sanjay Dutt dashes after his fleeing quarry through Chinatown, you cannot fault Zinda technically. It is definitely going to be one of the most stylish films of the year, and we've only just begun. A good performance from John Abraham was long overdue after Jism, and in Zinda he comes to the fore with a strong, riveting performance as the  psychotic, revenge-crazed killer with a suave exterior, more than holding his own against the screenplay-assisted Sanjay Dutt who, without doubt, is the not just the film's but Sanjay Gupta's hero too.

But let's get back to the place where pulp fiction meets Zinda right at the beginning, where Sanjay Dutt (Bala, short for Balajit), a software expert who is celebrating his first wedding anniversary with lovely wife Nisha (Celina Jaitley in a tiny role but this is about vengeance, remember?). Strangely, he's in the company of his friend Joy (Mahesh Manjrekar in yet another forgettable role after Jawani Diwani). Even more strangely, his good friend has the hots for Bala's lovely wife, and makes no bones about it! Hmmm but that entire sequence is to establish that Bala and his wife have just moved to Bangkok and are in the process of setting up house and settling in.

And at that point, Bala's world turns upside down.  We suddenly find him caged in a small cell, pleading with his unknown captors to tell him why he is being held, and who is holding him, but to no avail. Every day , twice a day, a tray of food only fried wonton, by the way is shoved into his cell. Every day he resolves to toughen himself, to prepare himself for the day he believes he will inevitably win his freedom. The months become years and Bala resolves that he will neither break nor bend; instead, he is determined that he will find the identity of his captor, who, by the way, has got his wife killed and implicated Bala for the murder.  So Bala resolves to  some day exact a terrible revenge for the years of confinement. Actually, not just two or three years, but 14 -- for each of which Bala has carved out a line on the back of his hand, and during each of those years, has also taught himself the martial arts. By copying the b-grade martial arts movies, how else?

And suddenly, 14 years after he was first thrown into the cell, suddenly, one day, Bala is released. He has no idea who his captor was, or why he his freedom had been snatched away for 14 years. Now, consumed by the desire for vengeance, he sets out without a single clue about the identity of his captor.

And Zinda is set to take off. So far, pretty gripping stuff, well shot, stylishly narrated, and powerfully performed by Sanjay Dutt as the smoldering Bala.

Unfortunately, from here on, the story and its treatment becomes not just very filmy but also rather unbelievable at places. Consider this: Bala, just released, is absolutely clueless about where he was held prisoner, by whom, and why.  And obviously, to get to his captor, he needs to find the place where he was held. How do you suppose he does that? By asking a lovely Indian taxi driver woman (his future love interest in the story Lara Dutta) to drive him  to every big and small restaurant i

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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