Zanjeer (1973 film)
|Directed by||Prakash Mehra|
|Produced by||Prakash Mehra
Prakash Mehra Productions
|Edited by||R. Mahadik|
|Distributed by||Prakash Mehra Productions
Baba Digital Media
|Box office||₹60 million (US$890,000)|
Zanjeer (English: Chains) is a 1973 Indian action film directed and produced by Prakash Mehra, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Pran, Ajit and Bindu. The movie changed the trend from romantic films to action films and pioneered Amitabh's new image of a brooding but explosive person who fights back when cornered. He was now known as "The Angry Young Man." The film started a new wave in Hindi Cinema. At a time, when India was suffering from corruption, low economic growth etc., and the common man was left with frustration and anger over the system, Hindi Cinema turned violent and aggressive. Reflecting the anger of the masses, Amitabh Bachchan became the new hero, who had the courage to fight against the wrong and maintaining moral values at the same time. This film also ended the struggling period for Amitabh and turned him into a rising star. Zanjeer, thus remains an important film in the history of Indian Cinema and is regarded as a classic today. The film became a "super-hit", collecting ₹ 60 million at the box office.
The film opens on Diwali with the murder of young Vijay Khanna's parents, committed by a man of unknown identity with a white horse on his charm bracelet, "zanjeer". Because of this traumatic event, Vijay has recurring nightmares of a white stallion. Even as a child Vijay stays socially awkward and stays away from the other kids, showing the audience that he believes himself to be alone. Fast forward 20 years, and Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) is now an inspector, an honest police officer in a town where few are just. He receives complaints about a local man, Sher Khan (Pathan) (Pran), who is running gambling dens. When he calls Khan in for questioning, Khan's superiority complex chafes against Khanna's police authority, as he scolds the officer, telling him he only orders him around due to the uniform he wears. Vijay takes him up on his challenge, and meets him in street clothes to fight him. At fight's end, Sher Khan not only closes his gambling dens, but has gained respect for Vijay. He becomes an auto mechanic, and reforms his ways.
Various dealings of the underworld continue unabated throughout the town, all tracing back to gang leader Teja (Ajit Khan). A mysterious caller continually phones Inspector Khanna to inform him exactly when a crime is about to take place, but hangs up before Khanna can extract any more information out of him. When a traffic accident perpetrated by gang members leaves several children dead, a witness, a street performer named Mala (Jaya Bhaduri), is bribed by Teja's men to keep quiet. When she is questioned by Vijay, he becomes enraged at her denying she knows anything, and, to sway her differently, takes her into the morgue to view the mangled bodies of the children. She has a change of heart, and comes clean, asking that the bribe be donated to an orphanage. She identifies the man behind the traffic accident.
Once it is known that Mala has broken her word, Teja's men come after her. She is chased through the night, narrowly escaping across the train tracks, and coming to Inspector Khanna's house, desperate for shelter. He lets her in, allows her to stay, and the two discover that they are both orphans, and discuss the fears associated with living alone. Khanna kindly takes her to his brother and sister-in-law, and, under the sister-in-law's tutelage, Mala begins to learn how to keep house, as well as English, and other refinements.
Eventually, Vijay is framed for bribery, stripped of his title and position as inspector, and jailed for 6 months on false charges, trapped by Teja. When he is released from jail, he plans to take revenge. Mala, by this time, has developed from a frightened stranger seeking his help to a romantic interest for him. She begs him, to seal their relationship, that he must stop being so vengeful. He agrees, but soon must come to terms with such a promise when he meets, in a Christian cemetery, the informant who had called him in the past when he was an inspector. The man, De Silva (Om Prakash), appears half-insane, holding onto an empty bottle. He says that on Christmas several years before, his three sons drank poisoned moonshine, and died from it. Until the killer is found, he will continue to wander with the bottle. When local criminals mocked him and called him crazy, he vowed to get back at them as he could: by phoning the inspector when a crime was about to happen.
After hearing this news, Vijay becomes depressed, torn between his desire to help the grieving De Silva, and his need to keep his promise to Mala that he would not take any more revenge on the lowlifes of the town. Eventually, along with a concerted effort by Sher Khan to cheer up Vijay, Mala relents, vowing she will not try to control him, and says he must do what is right.
The trail of tainted moonshine leads back to Teja and his men. Upon finally cornering the crook on Diwali, fireworks bursting overhead, Vijay also finds out that the person who murdered his parents, 20 years before, on the same night, is Teja, recognisable by the zanjeer on his wrist. Sher Khan helps him to fight Teja and his men, and take justice into their own hands, until the police arrive. When the hapless police inspector is held at gunpoint by Teja, Vijay manages to drop to retrieve a pistol from the ground, and shoots him dead, his body falling into the swimming pool.
|Amitabh Bachchan||Insp. Vijay Khanna||Protagonist|
|Pran||Sher Khan (Pathan)|
|Om Prakash||De Silva|
|Ajit||Seth Dharam Dayal Teja||Antagonist|
|Iftekhar||Police Commissioner Singh||as Iftikhar|
|Keshto Mukherjee||Gangu||as Kesto Mukherji|
|Randhir||Lala Ashok||Sherkhan's friend - Usurer|
|M. Rajan||Ranjeet||Vijay's father|
|Purnima Das Verma||Sumitra||Vijay's mother|
|Nandita Thakur||Shanti Bhabhi|
|Satyendra Kapoor||Police Inspector||as Satyen Kappoor|
|Ashalata Wabgaonkar||Police Inspector's wife||Vijay's stepmother (as Asha Lata)|
|Gulshan Bawra||Street Singer||Song Deewane Hain|
|Sanjana||Street Dancer||Song Deewane Hain|
|Amrit Pal||Man offered 'Sher Khan'
money to kill
|as Amrit Paul|
|Bhushan Tiwari||Smuggler, Teja's man||as Bhooshan Tiwari|
|Javed Khan||Smuggler, Teja's man||as Khan|
|Ranvir Raj||Smuggler, Teja's man||as Ranbir|
|Krishan Dhawan||Smuggler, Teja's man||as Dhawan|
|Mac Mohan||Man caught in Teja's
|as Mack Mohan|
|D. K. Sapru||Patil||as Sapru|
|Goga Kapoor||Goga||as Goga|
The role of the lead was first offered to many leading men of the time, including Raaj Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra and Dev Anand, which all of them turned down. Eventually, it went to a newcomer Amitabh Bachchan and established his career.
- Director: Prakash Mehra
- Writer: Salim-Javed
- Producer: Prakash Mehra, Babboo Mehra
- Production Company: Prakash Mehra Productions
- Editor: Ramchandra Mahadik (as R.D. Mahadik)
- Art Director: J. J. Bhende
- Cinematographer: N. Satyen
- Stunts: Ravi Khanna, Virendra Kumar
- Costume and Wardrobe: Vasant Mahajan, Shankar Jadhav
- Choreographer: Satyanarayan
- Music Director: Kalyanji Anandji
- Lyricist: Gulshan Bawra
- Playback Singers: Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi
|Bana Ke Kyon Bigada Re||Lata Mangeshkar||3:25|
|Chakku Chhuriyan Tej Kara Lo||Asha Bhosle||3:45|
|Deewane Hai Deewanon Ko||Mohammed Rafi,Lata Mangeshkar||4:35|
|Dil Jalon Ka Dil Jala Ke||Asha Bhosle||3:55|
|Yari Hai Imaan Mera||Manna Dey||6:20|
Awards and nominations
- Filmfare Best Story Award - Salim-Javed
- Filmfare Best Screenplay Award - Salim-Javed 
- Filmfare Best Lyricist Award - Gulshan Bawra for the song "Yari Hai Imaan Mera"
- Filmfare Best Editing Award - R. Mahadik
- Filmfare Nomination for Best Film
- Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor - Amitabh Bachchan
- Filmfare Nomination for Best Supporting Actor - Pran
- Filmfare Nomination for Best Music - Kalyanji Anandji
- Filmfare Nomination for Best Male Playback Singer - Manna Dey for the song "Yari Hai Imaan Mera"
Sequels and remakes
|1974||Nippulanti Manishi||Telugu||N. T. Rama Rao, Kaikala Satyanarayana, Latha||S. D. Lal|
|1974||Sirithu Vazha Vendum||Tamil||M. G. Ramachandran, Latha||S. S. Balan|
|1980||Naayattu||Malayalam||Jayan, Prem Nazir||Sreekumaran Thampi|
|2013||Zanjeer||Hindi||Ram Charan, Priyanka Chopra||Apoorva Lakhia|
A remake, with the same name, released on 6 September 2013. Zanjeer featuring Ram Charan Teja as Vijay, Priyanka Chopra as Mala, Sanjay Dutt as Sher Khan, Prakash Raj as Teja, Mahi Gill as Mona, Ankur Bhatia as Bosco, and Atul Kulkarni. Priyanka Chopra contracted the film for 90 million indian rupee turning her the highest paid Indian actress. The film is also simultaneously shot in Telugu titled Toofan, featuring the same cast except Srihari replaces Sanjay Dutt as Sher Khan, and Tanikella Bharani replaces Atul Kulkarni.
- "Boxofficeindia.com". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Casting chronicle: One's miss is another's hit". India Today. Retrieved 2014-05-05.
- "Best Screenplay Award". Filmfare Award Official Listings, Indiatimes. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- 1st Filmfare Awards 1953
- "Priyanka becomes highest paid Indian Actress". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 17 April 2012.