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Zanjeer Reviews: Ram Charan Teja Bashed For Emotionless Face

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Updated: Saturday, September 7, 2013, 14:26 [IST]

Telugu Megastar Chiranjeevi debuted in Bollywood with Pratibandh. Besides winning lot of accolades from film critics for him, the movie was big hit at the Box Office. Its success bought him a few other big offers like Aaj Ka Goonda Raj and The Gentleman. Now, his son Ram Charan Teja has debuted in Hindi with Zanjeer, which has been creating positive buzz ever since director Apoorva Lakhia announced it. But unlike his dad, the young Telugu actor fails to recreate his father's magic on screen and impress the critics. That is due to his comparison with Amitabh Bachchan.

Zanjeer is an ordinary action drama, which does not boast about any great story or theme. However, it was a classic in B-Town because of Amitabh Bachchan's role. When Big B's career was on the verge of sinking, this film hit the screens and became big hit at the Box Office. That's not all the movie coined the tag - 'Angry Young Man' for Bachchan. Since then several films were made on a brooding cop, but movie aficionados and enthusiasts revered Zanjeer as an iconic film and feel none of them is equal to it.

When Apoorva Lakhia cast Ram Charan Teja for Amitabh's role in Zanjeer remake, his announcement had set many tongues wagging in B-Town. The worry/question of everyone was that whether the Mega Power Star would be able to do justice to this iconic role. With the film hit screens this Friday, most of the film critics feel that Cherry has perfect physique for the role and has also done dare-devil stunts for it. But what has not gone well with many is his facial expressions. Everyone is of the opinion that he has maintained single emotion on his face throughout the movie.

We bring you the film critics' opinions about Ram Charan's acting in Zanjeer remake. Continue to see them in the slideshow.

Raja Sen - Rediff

And then there's Ram Charan, a cop so tough he wears only two inscrutable expressions. He struts around trying to look hardcore, but clearly there is a reason why it takes someone like Salman Khan to make a stupid actioner work. This new boy has zero screen presence, possibly worsened by the Hindi dubbing, and taking on one of Bachchan's Vijays is particularly suicidal. When the film mercifully ends, some remixed song has the gall to play Bachchan's voice saying that "yeh police station hai" line, which seems particularly cruel to young, unimpressive Ram.

Rajeev Masand, CNN-IBN

Ram Charan, in fact, a successful and popular star in Telugu films, comes off as stiff as a wax statue in his Bollywood debut, with barely any emotion, forget brooding anger. His biceps pop out of his uniform, but he barely flexes his facial muscles. Ram Charan never gets under the skin of Vijay Khanna, making it hard to look beyond his kohl-lined eyes and his neatly styled hair.

Martin D'Souza - Glamsham

Amitabh Bachchan shook off the ashes of his flops with this film to create the 'angry young man' persona. The new lad, Ram Charan tries very, very, very hard. He will first have to loosen up to set himself free from the chains that are restricting his movements.

Shubha Shetty-Saha - Mid Day

Ram Charan has a great body and walks around like a cat with hangers for shoulders. But alas, that obviously is not enough. Only if he had watched the 'Zanjeer' DVD again and again and even tried to emulate the body language of the original Inspector Vijay (with a reed-thin body), things could have been far different.

Mihir Fadnavis - First Post

Ram Charan, a superstar in the South, achieves the impossible feat of being even more wooden than John Abraham. The guy's facial muscles are so tightly attached, his eyelids would close if he scratched his cheek.

Saurabh Dwivedi - India Today

It is common knowledge by now that the film's hero Ram Charan Teja is a superstar down south. So it's only understandable (and since the Indian audience expects no better from a 'star') that he act less, and focus more on showing off his biceps, shouting (since someone apparently told them that screaming is the same as being angry), and dancing. Suffice it to say, in no way does Ram Charan Teja do justice to the role of angry cop Vijay Khanna.

Sneha May Francis - Emirates 24/7

Telugu star-kid Ram Charan bursts on the screen as the macho cop, flaunting his ribbed abs and muscles with immense flamboyance. The staple aviators, gruff voice and broody expressions complete the look. But, it remains constant, never allowing us to experience Ram's versatility. That aside, his Hindi diction, chiseled body and action drills are top-notch, but just not enough to match Bachchan's iconic screen image. Expecting a debutant to fit into Bachchan's shoes is way too ambitious, and any slip-up is easily forgiven.

Meena Iyer – Times Of India

Ram Charan, as the brooding policeman, excels in action. His dark eyes with long lashes adeptly convey anger.

Aparna Mudi – Zee News India

To compare Ram to Amitabh Bachchan might be a little unfair to the young actor, but one cannot forget what Vijay of the 1973 classic stands for. It is not for the lack of trying, but Ram Charan Teja seems to have just remembered to sulk for the most part of the 'angry young man' he is supposed to portray. If Amitabh Bachchan defined his 70's image of an action hero with 'Zanjeer' in 1973, Teja in his debut Hindi film has failed in that aspect. His depiction of ACP Vijay Khanna is wooden, even though he tries to be broody and dramatic.

Karan Anshuman - Mumbai Mirror

Ther acting is dismal. Priyanka Chopra hams her way through her scenes in complete denial and Ram Charan puts all his intensity into his scowl, leaving no room for other expressions or, indeed, acting.

Nandini Ramnath - Live Mint

Ram Charan, a hunk of epilated flesh with scant acting skills, steps into Bachchan's boots as the police officer who is plagued by dreams of the murder of his parents at the hands of a man with a horse tattooed on his wrist. Ram Charan's Vijay is not so much an angry young man as a grumpy young man who is forever in trouble with his bosses because he prefers to slap first and ask questions later.

Sonia Chopra - Sify

The Vijay of this film is not a patch on the original. There's a difference between being the restless 'Angry Young Man' and a fight-happy ACP who could do with anger-management classes. As for Ram Charan, you wish his striking eyes held more expressions than the consistent vacant one. Having proved his mettle in several films in the South, one wonders what went wrong here.

Faisal Saif – Santa Banta

If i speak about performances, Ram Charan Teja is really misfit as ACP, Especially after we have seen all the Singham's and Rowdy's and Rathore's. Ram Charan might be a brilliant actor back home in Andhra, But here he stand very weak chances of making big.

Tushar Joshi - DNA India

Ram Charan is earnest in his approach and oozes the right amount of confidence especially when he's standing next to senior actors.

Mohar Basu - Koimoi

Ram Charan Teja with his robotic expressions does well in flaunting his penchant at robust action. He doesn't romance too well and that's fine. In times when gravity defying stunt based films are dominating, Teja can smoothly fit into the likes of Dabanggs and more.

Shubhra Gupta - Financial Express

Ram Charan, who plays the new Vijay, has the physique for it. He's tall and hunky and buffed (though that puffed-up hair is straight out of a styling salon) and has the most delicious come-hither heavy lashed eyes. I saw him first in his Telugu superhit Magadheera, a back-to-the-future revenge piece which I loved: he was doing in Telugu what all superstars around the country do in all languages. He was jokey, danced as well as his leading lady, and landed a mean punch. All of which Ram Charan tries to bring to the table here, but he is more fumble than finesse. Bollywood is a different terrain, and you can see him shifting constantly for a better fit, but except for some action sequences, it doesn't happen.

Topics: zanjeer, ram charan teja, amitabh bachchan, apoorva lakhia
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Story first published:  Saturday, September 7, 2013, 13:18 [IST]
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