Zanjeer (1973): Movie Review


Zanjeer (1973)

Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Pran, Ajit, Om Prakash

Music by Kalyanji Anandji

Lyrics by Gulshan Bawra

Produced and directed by Prakash Mehra

Zanjeer is yet another action film with the angry young man, none other than Amitabh Bachchan, as the protagonist. The plot revolves around Vijay Khanna, an orphan who had to witness the gruesome murder of his parents at the hands of a ruffian. He is adopted by a police officer, and later grows up to become an inspector himself. Plagued by the ghosts of his past, Vijay develops a volatile personality, ready to burst into anger at even the slightest of provocation. He tolerates no injustice.  Enter Mala, a small time knife sharpener and Vijay’s love interest. The two decide to spend their lives together and Vijay ends up resigning his post as a police inspector, for the sake of a peaceful life. However, the story takes an interesting turn when Vijay identifies the killer of his family. Together with his loyal friend, Sher Khan, Vijay decides to get even with this person and teach him a lesson, once and for all.

Amitabh Bachchan became an overnight star after Zanjeer. It is said that he had opted out of films after a number of flops. But, when things didn’t work out with Dharmendra, Dev Anand and Raaj Kumar (who were then all considered for the lead role), the script eventually landed in Mr. Bachchan’s hands, and the tables were turned in his favor. He received overwhelming success with his intense performance in Zanjeer. Pran has also given one of his best performances in the movie. He altered his style to a charismatic Pathan, one who is admired and feared at the same time. His adaptation to the speaking manners of a typical Pathan is marvellous. Both Amitabh Bachchan and Pran were without a doubt, the shining stars of the film!

Although the songs of Zanjeer are suboptimal, one that is still remembered today is “yaari hai imaan mera yaar meri zindagi”, sung by Manna Dey. The dialogue and screenplay by Salim-Javed made the film an all time favorite!

The strong points of the movie thus, are its sensational dialogues, Amitabh Bachchan’s breakthrough performance and Pran’s captivating presence on screen.

Rating – **** and a 1/2
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