Monday, June 04, 2007

Shootout at Lokhandwala

I saw 'Shootout at Lokhandwala' last night. Although technically I didn't 'see' a lot of it. There was so much blood and gore, I had to keep covering my eyes.

You might think, gosh, how many films are they going to make on Police vs Bombay Underworld. Yet, each has its own distinct character and style. So while 'Shootout' covers much the same ground you can't call it boring.

The violence in 'Shootout' put me off but I think it is integral to the film. The whole point was to convey the fact that for gangsters like Maya and Buwa killing was a cool sport. They didn't even operate under the 'code of honour' (if you can call it that!) of the D company. So what if Builder X is paying bhai, hamara man kiya to hum usse bhi paise lenge.

Of course 'Shootout' is extremely filmi compared to the docu-reality style of a 'Black Friday'. But Black Friday was based on a book, about an event whose memory is seared in the public consciousness.

'Shootout', on the other hand is based on an incident which caused a sensation in its time but which has been forgotten by all except perhaps the residents of Swati building, where the siege took place. Hence the director and writer have taken liberties with the truth.

The film does higlight a couple of points:
# In the closing credits, there is a line which says during the period the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) was active, crime in Mumbai went down 70%. Yet the ATS was disbanded shortly before the 1993 serial blasts.

The reason, perhaps, was the recklessness with which the ATS had begun to operate. The shootout in a residential building being a case in point.

While I do agree that the police had no option but 'eent ka jawaab eent, paththar ka paththar' in the long run the encounter route is not sustainable. It makes a jaanwar out of the police and in the hands of those who aren't exactly ethical, it makes the officer a pawn.

Even in this shootout, it is hinted that Dawood tipped off the police about Maya & co's location. The idea being to eliminate a thorn in his side.

# It's not clear why ATS ie anti TERRORIST squad was running after the underworld. Maya and co were causing terror but only to extract money which they could lavish on bargirls. Not to run covert operations against the country!

# The ATS killing off some Sikh militants in the beginning of the film is a chilling reminder of how - just 15 years ago - we had a different kind of terrorist problem. Luckily, that's been tackled but you never can tell from where and how passions will be inflamed . It could be for a homeland, for a quota, or even just 'mere feelings hurt ho gaya hain'.

So, should you watch the film? Probably not. Unless you like 'blood ki Holi' type cinema. The acting has been soundly criticised - especially Tusshar Kapoor in the role of a 'ruthless killer'.

His mom is the producer of the film, bhai. If Maya Dolas ki ma usey gangster bana sakti thi to Tusshar ki mummy bhi koi kam hain kya?


  1. I believe that the Film is worth a watch if not for Tushar but surely for Sanjay Dutt, for a change he is not a gangster, also Vivek has done a brilliant job as Maya..........
    Songs are not needed in the film.......

  2. The blood and gory tales of underworld captured with animated side effects in such movies make the stomach churn ! Maybe thats reality but a reality that many are not comfortable with !

  3. Hmmm.............may be I should watch this movie. About Tus(s)har kapoor, pata nahin agar voh us family se nahi hota to kya hota bechare ka?? One interesting fact abt. Maya Dolas, his mother claims that he is an alumnus of IITB, but his name could not be found in IITB records. It's pretty amazing if it's true. IITB passout-turned-gangster!

  4. Very Intresting Write-up...... Vivek has done Great Job. So, does Sanjay Datt. The 'K' is missing from the Ektha kapoor Produced Movie...!! The movie still could hav been better if the Songs and Unnecessory Blood bath were Removed..!!

  5. Totally agree with last line of this blog ... ;-)
    Anyway a very good movie with superb acting of Vivek.

  6. Very intersting movie and scene wonderful and brillant inning by vivek.........

  7. Does terrorism necessarily imply operations-against-the-country or do you make the point because ATS was specifically set up with the idea of countering insurgency?


  8. Sanjay 'Sarvodaya dvd library' Gupta, hehe :D
    Long live independent cinema, uh, not the bolly-rot types, and no, I'm not talking bout 'Shootout at whatever' either : )

  9. the presentation of the film is too good. I feel, its not correct to think who was correct and who was wrong, or what happened was correct or wrong. The thing needs to be discussed, when maya is created, why it was not stopped, cause we ( police, common people, bhai's ) supported it, willingly or unwillingly. If you feel what has happened to those guys were incorrect, how many people we should give the chance to survive, cause before that they had actually killed many peoples before. Just see how they have killed people, just for fun, or for showing there strengths.

  10. I am OK with these movies projecting reality provided this has a positive effect on the society. Will "Shootout...." help curb violence? Will it make the current situation any better? Will it produce a change of heart in at least a handful of gangsters in Mumbai? I do not think so.

    I recently wrote a blog entry about violence in movies -

    I do not know how many people agree with what I am trying to say, but most movies today (even the critically acclaimed ones) project violence just for the sake of violence!

  11. hello

    i like that movie

  12. well nishi

    its not the job of moviemakers to educate people... or make your life better for that matter...
    when anybody goes to a movie its for the entertainment value... not to learn one more lesson for his/her life...
    different kind of people... different kind of entertainment... simple as that

    if you are not okay with blood and gore stuff then simbly don't watch such movies...

  13. Saw the movie last friday, agree its a lotta gore and some scenes are too graphic for even the seasoned filmi watcher. Acting was good across and the song ganpat rap was great. In the end do they show that they all regret their way of life..? The final scene was great, dutt vs vivek settling scores..worth a watch!

  14. Hated the movie ..after seeing gangster movies like company,sathya & black friday this came out to be tooo filmy ..

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. I'd like to give a different spin to this whole debate. I know there isnt much to be compared, but i thnk action movie writers/directors in India can learn from the West wrt series' such as Prison Break and 24.

    In these series', the action is pulsating, there r surprises in every nook n corner and the actors, albeit unknown, are superb.

  17. Shoot out @ Lokhandwala is really a "Blood Holi" Movie depicting the cruel shoot out's by our bollywood actors in a filmy style.

    Not a must watch but the trailor factory will serve the whole purpose of this shoot out film in Bollywood Ish-style..

  18. I watched the film over the weekend and felt that the director had a good concept but the film was technically very bad. Besides other flaws I really couldn't understand why did the police shoot Wadhwani's son in the film and there was no talk about that. Also the songs were bad, Tushar Kapoor was really boring. Over all I felt it was a below average film.

  19. It's the most bullshit movie ever. Seriously think about watching it only if someone wants to pay yu for it and you have nothing better to do with your time.

  20. well, it is gruesome and gory, but it is worth a watch. Vivek was brilliant as well as Sanju. A well made movie.

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