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?