What’s Good: A few sequences; Arshad Warsi’s acting.
What’s Bad: Almost everything else.
Loo break: As many as you like.
Watch or Not?: Zila Ghaziabad is a forceful mix of gang-wars, hinterland action and a sprinkle of a nasty Dabangg-esque cop too and disappoints miserably.
The first half of the film shows how the righteous teacher Satbir (Vivek Oberoi) replaces the chalk in his hand with a gun. The local Chairman (Paresh Rawal) has a soft corner for Satbir, as does his daughter, Charmy Kaur, since Satbir often helps him in situations where brains are involved. The muscle power for the Chairman comes from a rabid goon Fauji (Arshad Warsi) who probably has gun shells where his brains should have been. The Chairman’s growing proximity to Satbir leaves his good-for-nothing brother-in-law (Sunil Grover) jealous and he plans an attack on Fauji’s home, making it look like Satbir was responsible for it.
It’s not long before swords are drawn and sides are set. Satbir has the protection of the Chairman while Fauji joins the gang of Rashid (Ravi Kissen). After Satbir’s brother (Chandrachur Singh) gets killed in the battle, there’s no looking back for either of them. When their rivalry becomes unbearable for Ghaziabad, maverick cop Pritam Singh (Sanjay Dutt) is called in. Known for his use of force, this time Pritam wants to use his cunning to get them killed without straining his hands.
There is a lot of blood spilt and bullets fired before the movie finally gets to its conclusion.
Zila Ghaziabad Review: Script Analysis
Zila starts off like Othello/Omkara with a nasty character trying to sow the seeds of distrust so that he can have his foot in the door. After that, it’s all downhill. With all the characters trying to outwit each other, the film just reeks of bad writing. Vinay Sharma’s characters live in the same city, yet they seem to take every other person out of their way except their main nemesis. The movie then drags endlessly and the intrusion of a police is just another added trick to lengthen it. It’s also strange as to why they have to show Pritam as a my-punches-do-the-talking cop while his strategy involves staring at a chessboard and vainly listening to his old film songs in his office. The love angles with Minissha Lamba and Charmy Kaur are parts that jump out like annoying jacks-in-boxes. The dozens of inspired scenes means that even our cop here gets a Dabangg-cop-song-and-dance entry with even the dance steps similarly choreographed.
Unsurprisingly, the most entertaining scene is the walkthrough with the chai-wala in the police station and it doesn’t involve any of the lead stars.
Zila Ghaziabad Review: Star Performances
Zila is like a madhouse with varying amounts of craziness. The top honour goes to Arshad Warsi for his portrayal of Fauji – the mad dog who should have been put down shortly after he barked first. He’s happy to shoot anyone and everyone; the only flaw to his character being the forced romantic angle written in. Poor Vivek Oberoi, either he’s trying to be the righteous teacher or the masterji-turned-gangster. Either way, the straitjacket shackles him with a bad performance. The most annoying part is when they take close-ups of his face twitching in slo-mo. Bad idea.
Paresh Rawal is good as the Chairman. Charmy Kaur looks incredibly daft and has exactly two expressions. Ravi Kissen is quite good as Rashid. Chandrachur Singh is probably the fattest subhedar you’ll get to see on screen. Sanjay Dutt is mashup of other on-screen ex-cops and gets under your skin after a few scenes. Sunil Grover is excellent as the wily villain.
Zila Ghaziabad Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
With a tumbled script like this, it’s no surprise that Anand Kumar doesn’t make a memorable movie out of it. If that isn’t enough, you have scenes looking like they’ve been shot from a webcab with shady yellow lighting. The songs are so badly placed. Sample this, shortly after the heroine’s father dies, she’s singing and breaking the bed with Vivek Oberoi. The background score is just a lot of sholkas remixed with noise. Bunty Nagi’s editing is unsatisfactory. The cinematography is alright.
Watch out for the shifting bald patch/es on Sanjay Dutt’s head for more entertainment.
Zila Ghaziabad Review: The Last Word
Zila Ghaziabad is a gang-war story done in a confused Dabangg style that will bore the daylights out of you.
Zila Ghaziabad Trailer
Zila Ghaziabad released on 22nd February, 2013.
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