Starring Ajay Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Mohan Joshi, Pankaj Dheer, Mukesh Tiwari Special Appearance: Amrita Arora
Producer : N R Pachisia Direction : Roheit Shetty
Story/Screenplay : Suparn Verma Music: Himesh Reshamiya
ReViewed by Akshay Shah
ZAMEEN was a movie which was awaited for many reasons. Firstly it stars the ever popular Ajay Devgan whose going from strength to strength as far as boxoffice and critical acclaim is concerned(PARWANA doesn't count as it was a stale film)...secondly because this was Abhishek Bachchans first full fledged movie as a action hero in a angry young man mould...and lasly because the film touches on the recent 1999 Khandahar plane hijack incident....so does ZAMEEN live upto expectations? HELL YES! Infact it goes beyond expectations and turns out to be one of the years best films!!!!!
The film revolves around Colonel Ranvir Ranawat (Ajay Devgan) who captures the dreaded terrorist leader of the Al-Tahir group Baba Zaheer (Mukesh Tiwari).
On the other side of the border the members of the Al-Tahir are hatching a plot in which to free Baba Zaheer... Reports reach Colonel Ranveer that four terrorists have crossed the border onto indian soil on the verge of a dangerous terrorist attack.
On the other hand is ACP Jaideep (Abhishek Bachchan)-a mumbai cop with a dark past. Jaideep comes across some breakthrough clues in which he finds a huge supply of weapons and artillery stolen from the army. On being informed of this news Ranveer comes to Mumbai to investigate and meets up with Jaideep...as it turns out Ranveer holds the key to Jaideeps dark past.
The mission is now revealed:On June 18th the terrorists plan to hijack a Air India plane going to Nepal. The plain holds 95 passengers and 11 crew members. The terrorists succeed in their plan and the plane is taken to P.O.K. Their sole demand is the release of their leader Baba Zaheer....the terrorists now hold an entire nation under threat....
How Ranveer and Jaideep come together despite their past difference and save the nation forms the crux of the story.
On paper the story may sound ordinary and like many other Indo-Pak patriotic films of late....but it is infact much superior.
Writer Suparn Verma gives his finest work to date. A number of films have tackled the issue of terrorism, Indo-Pak relations and military in recent times, but Verma writes a story that is entertaining, captivating and maintains a touch of realism throughout. Only other film i have witnessed in recent times keep that level throughout was John Matthew Matthans SARFAROSH.
Vermas screenplay is also splendid. Right from the first frame the mood of the film is set and Verma takes the viewers on a roller coaster ride. The initial sequences which introduce the characters and the chronological order in which the events take place are brilliantly set out and build up perfectly to the actual hijack at interval point.
The film does have a love story between Abhishek-Bipasha but that is kept to a minimum and their scenes together come across as welcomed relief.
As a director Rohit Shetty is a welcome addition! He is definetly above the ranks of Rohan Sippy, Apoorva Lakhia, and many other directors of late. He is comparable to the likes of Farhan Akhtar, John Matthew Matthan, Vipul Shah and Raakesh Om Prakash Mehra as a talent of force to be reckoned with!!
He directs the film with flair and intensity and maintains a breakneck pace throughout. The film flows at an almost unbelievably smooth pace and not ONCE does the viewer feel bored. Technically the Shetty also knows his job. The manner in which the love story and the action sequences have been blemished into the films story shows that Rohit Shetty has a good grasp of film making and definetly knows his job well. I pesonally found the film more entertaining and hard hitting than Raj Kumaar Santoshis PUKAAR which it reminded me a lot of throughout, although it doesn't match upto John Matthew Matthans SARFAROSH.
Shetty knows how to make the best use of his entire team and this clearly shows on the bigscreen be it the action scenes, performances, music, or dialogues
A few scenes which linger in the viewers mind include:-
* The initial arrest of Mukesh Tiwari
* Abhishek Bachchan in a high density chase in broard daylight on a busy highway
* The scene where Abhishek and Ajay meet for the first time and the flashback that follows
* The chase between Abhishek/Ajay and the four terrorists which leave one dead..
And many more!
I also give Shetty credit for not including any forced comic sequences or cheap thrillers which would usually hinder the films pace. There is a lot of consistency in Shettys work which even experienced directors of this day and age have a hard time doing. Sadly, he does add a item number which comes at a bad time.
All up Rohit Shetty deserves a HUGE applaud for tackling a serious and sensitive theme like the Khandahar Plane Hijack for his first film and directing it in a manner which doesn't take the audience for granted...yet it easy for the common man to decipher. Welcome to Bollywood Mr Shetty.
On the acting front ZAMEEN also surprises the viewer.
Abhishek Bachchan in his most awaited role to date as a action hero doesn't let the viewer down. He plays the die-hard cop with a dark past to utmost perfection and his ability to emote with his eyes is effective. Abhishek perfectly plays his character to a hilt and this by far is his best performance to date. The boy is suited to action and comes up with a winning performance. Just witness the scene where he breaks down in front of Bipasha Basu....or the scene where he recites her the classic love song KABHI KABHI which is a absolute gem of a scene. The scenes he shares with Ajay Devgan prove to be the best. Hopefully Bachchan Junior finally has the hit he deserves.
Ajay Devgan yet AGAIN gives a award winning performance. There is no stopping Mr Devgan and without a doubt Ajay Devgan is one of the most talented men on the acting front today. Here as a army officer Devgan gives a truly awe inspiring performance which hits all the right notes. His effective dialogue delivery...his piercing eyes.....his slender figure and all his other trademark features are here! I personally rate this performance higher than his other release GANGAJAAL. Devgan here plays a role which will be loved by the critics and masses alike. Just witness the scene where Ajay Devgan and Mukesh Tiwari have a verbal showdown which turns physical...stirring stuff!
Bipasha Basu doesn't have much of a role, but she comes across as natural throughout. Her initial romantic scenes are well done and she looks HOT HOT HOT throughout. Her chemistry with Abhishek Bachchan is also ace and i hope to see more of that in the future.
From the supporting cast Pankaj Dheer is top notch. Mohan Joshi, Kamal Chopra, Manish Khanna, and Sanjay Misra all do their jobs accordingly. Mukesh Tiwari as Baba Zaheer adds another feather in his cap after his award winning performance in GANGAAJAL(co-oncidentially another Ajay Devgan film). As the cold hearted terrorist Tiwari brings flesh to the character of Baba Zaheer. Its finally good to see Tiwari get some decent roles which he can sink his talent into.
Jaaved Sidiquis dialogues deserve a special mention also as they are a MAJOR ASSET to the movie. If it weren't for the patriotic dialogues ZAMEEN would have lost half its appeal.
The dialogues are natural throughout and have a huge patriotic flavour them. Similar dialogues have been witnessed in films like GADAR, PUKAAR and THE HERO-but ZAMEENs dialogues hit you sharper than a razor. Just witness the words of war exchanged between Devgan and Tiwari.
Technically the film is also one of the BEST films i have seen in recent times. If you though action films like JAAL-THE TRAP, THE HERO, and QAYAMAT were all brilliant...ZAMEEN better them all.
Aseem Bajajs cinematography is fantastic throughout. The snazzy camera angles, the slo-mos and the hand held camera scenes in the war scenes enhance the impact. The film is slick as gel.
Jai Singhs action sequences are the best i have seen this year. They may not be as big as say Tinu Vermas in THE HERO-but they are tight knitted, well directed and have a lasting impact on the viewer. This is the kind of action which completely involves the viewer as it keeps them on the edge of their seat. The numerous chase scenes, the gun fight scenes, the fist fights, the explosions, and the police interrogation scenes all have a authentic touch to them and will leave the viewer spellbound...and believe me there is a LOT of action in this movie. Editing by Bunty Nagi is also top notch.
The film also introduces a lot of new technology which has not been seen on the bigscreen before like hidden cameras, inter-linked lap top computers and many others.
Himesh Reshamiyas music is also zesty and fits in well with the movie. The TERE SANG and TERE NAAL are well picturised and merge in well into the film. The title track is the pick of the lot and has enormous impact be it in the start or at the end. The DILLI KI SARDI item number reminds one of KAALE KAALE BAAL from ZIDDI. Although it is snazzily picturised and Amrita Arora looks H O T its timed badly.
A lot of films in recent times have tried to handle the issues of cross border terrorism(SARFAROSH), hijacking(QAYAMAT, YEH DIL AASHIQUANA) and the military(PUKAAR) but ZAMEEN betters all these film as the proceedings in the film seem like they are straight off the headlines and have a touch to realism to them which make the viewer think while having them completely entertained throughout making ZAMEEN a movie experinece of sorts. ZAMEEN does have a few flaws, but i felt they could be overlooked since the movie does so well in most departments.
All up ZAMEEN is a movie that will have you completely bowled over and for fans of Ajay Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan or the action genre it demands repeated viewings on the bigscreen and a must buy on DVD
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