Apoorva Lakhia’s redundant remake of Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer seems to have been commissioned with the sole purpose of launching Telugu actor Ram Charan’s career in Hindi cinema. There’s little reason otherwise to retool the ordinary 1973 cop drama, which has been accorded the status of a classic only because it transformed Amitabh Bachchan from a struggling actor into a star.

Ram Charan, a hunk of epilated flesh with scant acting skills, steps into Bachchan’s boots as the police officer who is plagued by dreams of the murder of his parents at the hands of a man with a horse tattooed on his wrist. Ram Charan’s Vijay is not so much an angry young man as a grumpy young man who is forever in trouble with his bosses because he prefers to slap first and ask questions later. Vijay goes about smashing an oil mafia run by campy gangster Teja (Prakash Raj) with some help from Pathan don Sher Khan, played by an exhausted-looking Sanjay Dutt who struggles to move, let alone fit into Pran’s very large shoes. The Jaya Bachchan role is performed by Priyanka Chopra as an overgrown adolescent who witnesses an oil scam-related crime and moves into Vijay’s home and bedroom when Teja starts gunning for her.

Ram Charan’s Vijay is not so much an angry young man as a grumpy young man
Ram Charan’s Vijay is not so much an angry young man as a grumpy young man

At least Gill fares better than Atul Kulkarni, who reprises the investigative journalist role he played in Page 3. Kulkarni’s Jaydev is modelled on Mumbai journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, who was shot dead in 2011, and whose killing was linked to an investigation he was conducting into an oil mafia in Maharashtra. It’s almost touching that Lakhia and co-writer Suresh Nair want to draw attention to Dey’s shocking murder, but cynicism, rather than homage, is the order of the day in this yawn-inducing 137-minute movie, which assembles the usual dose of slow-motion fight sequences, songs and flat comic sequences between the first frame and the last.

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