saw him first in his Telugu superhit Magadheera, a back-to-the-future revenge piece which I loved: he was doing in Telugu what all superstars around the country do in all languages. He was jokey, danced as well as his leading lady, and landed a mean punch.
All of which Ram Charan tries to bring to the table here, but he is more fumble than finesse. Bollywood is a different terrain, and you can see him shifting constantly for a better fit, but except for some action sequences, it doesnít happen. What can he do if he has to act opposite a dumb blonde version of a Bollywood ditz, the NRI Mala who is in India to attend a Facebook friendís wedding ( yes, thatís right), and who wants to run back to her Daddy, and not give gawaahi in the murder she witnesses? Priyanka Chopra is even more of a misfit here, with not one shred of her usual intelligence showing through in her over-the-top-squeaky-girliness. Why?Poor Prakash Raj. He really seems to be the go-to villain these days, but we've been seeing him doing the same thing too many times over. His Teja lives in a gargoyle of a palace somewhere in Mumbai, with a swimming pool, loyal henchmen, and curvaceous moll Mona Darling (Gill) who may be the
silliest prop in the film.
The nakli dawaai of the older film is replaced by nakli petrol: the oil mafia, which skims over the top, and sells in the open market, and which is being investigated by sharp investigative reporter Atul Kulkarni, accompanied by a hanger-on of a female colleague. That kind of treatment was very much of a product of its time. It makes no sense now. Going by this Zanjeer, Mumbai still has only one cop who is capable of weeding out the baddies (his sidekicks are cartoons), only one journo who wants to break stories, only one really bad guy, and that one fellow who turns from bad-to-good in the blink of an eye (Sanjay Dutt is Sher Khan, all togged out in techni-coloured Pathani suits and scarred cheeks,