Zinda (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sanjay Gupta
Produced by Sanjay Gupta
Screenplay by Sanjay Gupta
Suresh Nair
Based on Oldboy (partly)
by Park Chan-wook[1]
Old Boy
by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi
Starring Sanjay Dutt
John Abraham
Lara Dutta
Celina Jaitly
Music by Vishal-Shekhar
Nikhil Chinapa
Dj Nawed
Kinky Ronald
Cinematography Sanjay F. Gupta
Edited by Bunty Nagi
Release dates
January 12, 2006
Country India
Language Hindi

Zinda (translation: Alive) is a 2006 Bollywood film, starring Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, and Lara Dutta. Zinda was directed by Sanjay Gupta and written by Gupta and Suresh Nair. Vishal-Shekhar composed the film's thematic music, with background music composed by Sanjoy Chowdhury. Pakistani band Strings sung one of the film songs which became quite popular. It was released in India on January 12, 2006.

Zinda has been identified as an unauthorised remake of the South Korean film Oldboy.[1][2] Show East, the producers of Oldboy, who had already sold the remake rights to Dreamworks in 2004, initially expressed legal concerns but no legal action was taken as the studio had shut down.[3][4][5]


The film is about a man named Balajeet "Bala" Roy (Sanjay Dutt), who is a software engineer lives a blissful life with his beautiful wife, Nisha Roy (Celina Jaitly). Nisha is expecting their first child together. Bala is suddenly captured for an unknown reason and kept alive in a cell without knowing who his captives are and the reason behind it. While in captivity, he practices martial arts which he learns from watching T.V., with the intention of using it against the people who captured him. When he is released, 14 years later, he sets out for revenge. As the film moves on, he is helped by a taxi driver Jenny (Lara Dutta) to track his kidnapper. Bala tracks down the restaurant that had served his food, during his entire captivity and follows a delivery moped to his captors. Discovering he was held in a private prison where people can pay to have others incarcerated, Bala tortures the owner Wong Foo (Rajendranath Zutshi) for answers by plucking out his teeth with a clawhammer; he then finds out he was imprisoned for "talking too much", and fights his way out of the building. Injured Bala is helped out by a hooded man who takes him to a taxi. The hooded man turns out to be Rohit Chopra (John Abraham). Soon Wong Foo kidnaps Jenny and tortures her. He threatens Bala to remove his teeth with his clawhammer by himself, but is interrupted by Rohit. Bala grows intimate with Jenny and has sex with her. Bala is informed that his daughter is alive. During tracking, Bala's friend Joy (Mahesh Manjrekar) is killed and learns his kidnapper which is none other than Rohit. In his flashback, Rohit reveals his reason of kidnapping Bala that during their childhood, Bala's lustful eyes falls on Rohit's elder sister Reema Chopra. After she slaps Bala for gifting a panty, Bala spreads a false rumour that Rohit's sister is a whore. And he fools little Rohit by sticking a message on his back. She becomes a laughing stock for all school. She commits suicide by burning herself. This left Rohit broken and deciding to seek revenge. Back to the present it is also revealed that his daughter is safe and she is now a 14 year old girl just as his deceased sister's age. Rohit helped Nisha during her pregnancy and delivery timescale. When her daughter was 1 year old Rohit killed Nisha. Rohit helped and cared his daughter for 14 years. But Rohit sells his daughter to a brothel and bids her. Rohit is beaten up by Bala & he pleads him to tell where is his daughter. Rohit leaves Bala's hand & falls from the balcony and dies. Bala kills all of the goons and Wong Foo with a sword. At the end his daughter is safe and found sitting near a lake. Rohit just wanted to show the damage of Bala's actions implemented on his sister.



Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics, although the performance of John Abraham & Sanjay Dutt was well appreciated.

Bollywood Mantra praised the film saying, "Zinda is a film that appears to be darkest movie ever by Sanjay Gupta. A hard hitting flick shot in Bangkok, it tells you a story never told before on Indian screen. And to make Sanjay Gupta's imagination come alive, who else but Sanjay Dutt is roped in to play the lead role. One of the most challenging roles ever by the deadly Dutt, it is sure to haunt you long after the screening is over".[6]

Narbir Gosal of PlanetBollywood.com gave the film a rating of 7.5/10 praising the performance of Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham whilst criticizing the fact that a lot of the dialogue and story was copied from Oldboy.

Futuremovies.com gave the film 6/10 and said, "Technically and style-wise Zinda is flawless" and praised the performance of Dutt and Abraham saying "it is probably the pinnacle of his career (Dutt's)".[7]

Subhash K Jha gave it 2.5/5 and stated that "the film belongs to Sanjay Dutt.... If the adventure-action genre in Hindi cinema needed a wake-up call, this is it".[8]

Nikhil Kumar of Apunkachoice.com gave the film 0.5/5 stars saying "Sanjay Gupta's movie Zinda works primarily because of its gripping, although unoriginal, story and a noteworthy acting performance by its frontman Sanjay Dutt".[9]


The songs were composed by duo Vishal-Shekhar and released by T-Series.[10]

Similarities to Oldboy[edit]

At a November 2005 press conference, Show East stated expressed concern that the film was similar to its film, Oldboy, and it was investigating the similarities, noting that at the time, they did not have the final version of Zinda available to compare it with. They stated that if they found there was "strong similarity between the two [films]", they would be contacting their lawyers."[5]

The Hindu reviewer Sudhish Kamath and Planet Bollywood reviewer Narbir Gosal both note in their reviews of Zinda that they found the two films to be very similar in terms of plot, as well as in the depiction of specific scenes.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ a b "Vengeance is a Dish Best Served Korean: 'Oldboy' vs. 'Zinda'". 
  2. ^ Dudrah, Rajinder and Desai, Jigna. 2008. The Bollywood Reader: The Essential Bollywood. Oxford University Press. pp. 6.
  3. ^ "Spielberg Still Has Oldboy Plans Despite Korean Suit". 
  4. ^ "Zinda Review". 
  5. ^ a b 표절의혹 '올드보이', 제작사 법적대응 고려 [Plagiarism Doubts, 'OldBoy' Production Company Considers Legal Confrontation] (in Korean). Star News. November 16, 2005. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Zinda Movie Review |". Bollywoodmantra.com. Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  7. ^ "Zinda Film Review (Movie) Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, Lara Dutta, Celina Jaitly, Mahesh Manjrekar". Futuremovies.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  8. ^ "Zinda : Movie Review". Rediff movies. Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  9. ^ "Zinda Movie Review - English Movie". Apunkachoice.com. Retrieved 2012-02-06. 
  10. ^ http://ww.smashits.com/zinda/songs-5565.html
  11. ^ Kamath, Sudhish (January 20, 2006). "Copycat filmmaker lacks creativity". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ Gosal, Narbir. "Film Review - Zindu". Planet Bollywood, INDOlink. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Video showing similarity between the two films". 

External links[edit]