Mittwoch, 18. September 2013

Zila Ghaziabad (2013) - Review in English

About the story: In the district Ghaziabad, the ruthless Fauji (Arshad Warsi) and his gang members use to do dirty jobs for Chairman Brahmpal Chaudhary (Paresh Rawal). But even the honest teacher Satbir (Vivek Oberoi) is a close associate to Chaudhary. One day, Fauji's home is raided, and it seems that it was Satbir's crime. As Chaudhary is convinced about Satbir's innocence, Fauji joins Chaudhary's political rival Rashid Ali (Ravi Kishan). Full of hate, Fauji murders Satbir's elder brother Karamvir (Chandrachur Singh) before Satbir's eyes. Satbir swears revenge and stops being the justice-loving teacher. Soon gang wars (furthered by political rivalries) are all over Ghaziabad, and the police urgently asks for Thakur Pritam Singh (Sanjay Dutt) to be transfered to them; known for his maverick methods, Pritam Singh seems to be the only one to be able to stop the chaos...

The story had potential. Without any doubt. It was based on real-life events from the nineties, and the late Thakur Pritam Singh, also known as the Badshah of Bulandshahr, is a hero in his district even today. Too bad that the makers didn't make more of it. And that's not just because director Anand Kumar, alas, couldn't resist the temptation to spice the fight sequences with endless slow-motion scenes and unbelievable tricks and effects which deprived the story of its power. It's also because the story just doesn't grip you. Watching gang wars where you're on no one's side, and policemen who in the end aren't better than the goons and the corrupt politicians, you start wishing nothing else but just: kill them all, and please without any further men gliding through the air in unnerving slow-motion.

The actors cannot save the day either. Even though Arshad Warsi plays his first real baddie with gusto, Vivek Oberoi sways to and fro between nice and angry, Paresh Rawal, Ravi Kishan, Sunil Grover, Ashutosh Rana, Minissha Lamba and Zarina Wahab form a solid cast, and Sanjay Dutt performs the unorthodox cop quite okay – nothing really makes you want to watch the film again. Even the two item songs (one is obviously not enough anymore) starring Geeta Basra and Shreya Sharan don't help.

Those who want to acquire the movie because of Sanjay – be warned: Even though he's in the middle of every poster and cover, it takes about 50 minutes until he's named at all ("Pritam Singh comes – run for your lives, he's mad, he'll kill us" – yawn...), and it takes more than an hour until he actually appears in the story. Okay, his fans may like the jokes about Thakur Pritam Singh being a fan of Madhuri Dixit and loving songs from Saajan and Thanedaar but becoming angry when young fans of Khalnayak wear the same mullet as Sanjay Dutt... but honestly, if you don't intend to own every single film with Sanjay Dutt on DVD you can just save your money. Zila Ghaziabad is not necessary.

By the way: The inhabitants of Ghaziabad who first allegedly were excited about a movie on their Robin Hood Singh being made, are said to be not very happy with the result as the film portrays Ghaziabad as a district of violence and blood and thunder inhabited only by corrupt and anarchic people. And you just can't blame them. When the title song at the movie's beginning belongs to Fauji, the most blood-thirsty of all who presents himself as a fearless "hero" who loves to shoot people, you know that something's wrong with Zila Ghaziabad before the first ten minutes are over. Pity.

Produced by Vinod Bachchan; Directed by Anand Kumar
142 Min.; DVD: Eagle, English Subtitles (including songs)
© Diwali
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