Sanjay Dutt comeback after four years in prison

Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt looks on during the recording of the song 'Ganesh Aarti' for upcoming Hindi film 'Bhoomi' in Mumbai on Aug 21, 2017.
Indian Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt looks on during the recording of the song 'Ganesh Aarti' for upcoming Hindi film 'Bhoomi' in Mumbai on Aug 21, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI (AFP) - Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt returned to Indian cinema screens on Friday in his first film since serving four years in prison for possessing weapons supplied by gangsters behind the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

The 58-year-old plays a father who seeks revenge for the gang-rape of his daughter in Hindi-language action thriller Bhoomi.

Dutt walked free from jail last year. He last appeared in a film in 2014 and promoters trailed Friday's release with a poster on social media declaring: "The Beast is Back."

Dutt shot to fame in the mid-1980s in a string of action movies in which he performed his own stunts, earning him the nickname "Deadly Dutt".

He is best known for playing a mobster with a heart of gold in the popular Munna Bhai series.

Reviewers appeared lukewarm about Bhoomi but praised Dutt's performance.

"Watch Bhoomi for Dutt. He's from that era of larger-than-life heroes who get you to whistle even when he is killing people," said a review in the Times of India.

Dutt was convicted in 2006 of holding guns supplied by mafia bosses who orchestrated the 1993 bombings that killed 257 people.

The attacks were believed to have been staged by Muslim underworld figures in retaliation for religious riots in which mainly Muslims died, following the razing of an ancient mosque in north India.

Dutt insisted the two guns were meant to protect his family in the tense atmosphere in Mumbai following the mosque's destruction.