Sanjay Gupta happy with response to 'Zinda' ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, (IANS) Director Sanjay Gupta is relieved that his latest film "Zinda" - a psychological thriller - has been received well at the box office and has got encouraging reviews.

According to the director "Zinda", starring Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham, could be the darkest and most violent film ever made in Hindi.

"But the response has been pretty much overwhelming," he said.

"Sanjay Dutt's performance has brought him back where he deserves to be. As for John people are for the first time sitting up and saying: 'This guy can really act'.

"With the other release 'Family' being a no-show at the box office, and 'Rang De Basanti' being postponed, I have a clear two weeks on my hand to let the film grow."

Gupta is currently touring several cities accompanied by Sanjay and John.

"Frankly we can't believe the kind of response we have got in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and now Chandigarh," Gupta told IANS from Chandigarh.

"Considering there is no conventional 'naach-gana' (song-dance) in my film, no hero doing lovey-dovey things to the heroine, I am amazed. The film is booked till Tuesday at every centre. It is probably going to be the biggest release since 'Garam Masala'."

The triumph in Gupta's voice is palpable.

"Critics have always accused me of being ahead of the times. About 'Zinda' one trade expert told me I have made a film that is 10 years ahead. But if making a film of today means making a 'No Entry', I'd rather not be with the times."

Gupta moves to Ahmedabad next to promote his dark and sinister film. He can't seem to get over the audience response.

"'Family' has the cream of the crop... 'Zinda' was supposed to be the odd one out. But we seem to have marched ahead."