Zanjeer, directed by Prakash Mehra, is a milestone in Indian cinema, released in 1973. Starring Amitabh Bachchan as Inspector Vijay Khanna and Jaya Bhaduri as Mala in the lead roles, this film marked the birth of the “angry young man” persona that went on to define Bachchan’s career.
Looking back, 50 years later, Zanjeer still holds its significance and charm. The movie’s storyline revolves around Inspector Vijay Khanna, a no-nonsense police officer out to take revenge on the criminals who had murdered his family. Vijay’s character breaks the stereotypes of the conventional, romantic hero and presents a raw, intense character focused on justice.
Jaya Bhaduri’s portrayal of Mala, a street-savvy woman who has a love-hate relationship with Vijay, adds depth to the film. Their growing bond and eventual love for each other is depicted subtly, without taking away from the movie’s primary theme.
The supporting cast includes Pran as Sher Khan, Ajit as Teja, and Bindu as Mona, who also deliver noteworthy performances. The music composition by Kalyanji-Anandji fits the tone of the film and features memorable tracks like “Yaari Hai Imaan Mera” and “Deewane Hai Deewano Ko.”
Revisiting Zanjeer after 50 years, one can’t help but appreciate its groundbreaking impact on Bollywood. Prakash Mehra’s direction, the script by Salim-Javed, and the phenomenal performance by the lead cast, especially Amitabh Bachchan, make it an iconic film that has stood the test of time. The themes of righteousness, justice, and revenge remain relevant and continue to resonate with audiences even today.
By Akshat Sharma