Get set for trigger-happy gangs. Wild with vendetta, the guys go on a rampage — slitting throats, pumping bullets, the goons bash up rival gang members like we swat flies, fling daggers and knives, explode bombs… Truly, the men are mean, nasty and short-tempered…
Welcome to ZILA GHAZIABAD, which borrows heavily from Vishal Bhardwaj’s OMKARA, Abhinav Kashyap’s DABANGG and also from the cinema of 1970s and 1980s. Nothing wrong with borrowing/seeking inspiration from the cinema of yore, or movies that have tremendous recall value, but the fact is that the premise of ZILA GHAZIABAD is thinner than wafer, with the movie constantly giving you the feeling of déjà vu. The silver lining is that everything unravels at a feverish pace, with a couple of dramatic moments camouflaging the deficiencies. Also, Arshad Warsi’s wickedness makes the good versus evil fight look credible at times.
ZILA GHAZIABAD is based on the war between two rival groups, led by Paresh Rawal and Ravi Kissen, respectively. Arshad Warsi crosses over from Paresh’s group to Ravi Kissen’s faction, while Vivek Oberoi is forced to take to violence and indulge in bloodshed when Arshad kills his elder brother [Chandrachur Singh].The battle lines are drawn… The administration decides to send a brawny cop, Sanjay Dutt, to put an end to the gang wars and restore peace in Ghaziabad.
Director Anand Kumar plunges into action at the outset itself. Ten minutes into the film and you know what to expect. Come to think of it, you ought to have a strong stomach to absorb the violence in the narrative. What really catches your eye, despite a hackneyed script, are the episodes in the first hour. The narrative may be laced with been-there-seen-that kind of situations, yet a few dramatic moments and the speed at which everything unravels gives you no time to blink an eyelid.
However, it’s in the second hour that restlessness seeps in. While Sanjay Dutt is hardly there in the first half, his character gets prominence in the post-interval portions. The problem with his character is that it’s a replica of Salman Khan’s role in DABANGG. He dances with the cops, has an eccentric side to him, is playful at times but spiteful when need arises, also participates in an item number [with Shriya Saran, a la ‘Munni badnaam huyee’]. Also, there’re references to his past works as an actor [KHAL-NAYAK and SAAJAN], which seems like an exercise to portray the stardom of the actor.
Besides, the writer stretches things too far in the second half. Like, for instance, Vivek Oberoi walks into the cop station to meet Sanju, even though he has a reward of Rs 10 lacs on his head. Even the culmination doesn’t give you the feeling of having watched a mazedaar masala entertainer purely because, besides being conventional and foreseeable, it is stretched by at least 20 minutes.
Having said that, ZILA GHAZIABAD does have a couple of high-on-energy sequences, besides hi-octane action. Also, a few clap-trap situations that the hoi polloi generally enjoys at single screens. The soundtrack is of run of the mill variety, while the cinematography captures the rustic flavor to perfection. Dialogue have an old-world charm; the one-liners are aimed at evoking claps from the aam aadmi.
Although ZILA GHAZIABAD has several notable actors, the show clearly belongs to Arshad Warsi, who enacts a negative role with effortless ease. Actually, Arshad is synonymous with comic roles, so this act in ZILA GHAZIABAD comes as a [pleasant] surprise. Vivek Oberoi seems to be getting repetitive. It looks like a photocopy of the part he has essayed in his earlier gangster films. Sanjay Dutt looks out of shape and also lacks the charm that this character demands.
Paresh Rawal is adequate. Ravi Kissen is loud, but it works. Charmee Kaur has a set of expressions, which she uses all through the movie. Minissha Lamba is hardly there. Divya Dutta is wasted. Ditto for top calibre actors like Zarina Wahab and Ashutosh Rana, who have nothing worthwhile to do. Eijaz Khan is strictly okay. Chandrachur Singh is just fair. Sunil Grover does very well as a vicious person. Geeta Basra and Shriya Saran lend glamour in their respective songs.
On the whole, ZILA GHAZIABAD is purely for the mass belt, the single screen audience mainly.