Next on the cards.....

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Fast Food Nation

Deadwood: No Law Can Make It Respectable

Fantastic 4:Rise of the Silver Surfer


Shootout at Lokhandwala

Here's a movie that could have been one of the best cop-gangster classics made in Hindi cinema (not made by Ram Gopal Varma, of course) in recent times.

Does it succeed in being so ? well... you should see it for yourself or those of you who have, can tell me about it.

The movie is loosely based on the infamous shootout that happened at Lokhandwala where A A Khan surrounded a gang holed up in an apartment, where 6 deaths occurred, where the shootout lasted 6 hours and more than 1000 rounds were fired, all in a quiet residential locality. The story is focused on the meteoric rise of Maya, a hoodlum in the Dawood Ibrahim faction who rose to power along with his gang of the sadistic Dhua (Tusshar Kapoor, trying once again to act), Phattu and others.

Maya is played by Viviek Oberoi who once again, a long time after Company shows he can do the dirt and grimy roles to perfection. Amitabh Bachchan puts in an appearance as Dhingra, the lawyer trying to defend Shamsher Khan (Sunjay Dutt, brilliantly portraying A A Khan), Inspector Kaviraj Patil (Suniel Shetty) and Constable Javed Shiekh (Arbaz Khan). The sttory is the tale told by the three to their lawyer who at the beginning is sceptical of their version of events.

Shamsher Khan heads the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and unfolds a tale of rise of the criminal Maya, his ruthless methods ( a gory scene of terror lifted form American History X, which gives Edward Norton some competition), the fight of the ATS against the rising underworld, the alliances with the media represented by Meeta (Dia Mirza), a TV journalist who is allowed to tag along and record the scenes that unfold so that fear is struck into the hearts of the terrorist and criminals.

The movie is very nice and has no boring moment from starting to end. there is a wasted track starring Abhishek Bachchan which you wonder at the need for. Possibly since the director Apoorva Lakhia is a friend of the Bachchans (and directed the Big B in the lift of Man on Fire into Ek Ejnabee).

The song Ganpat is nice hummable. Aarti Chabria as Dhua's love interest bar dancer looks nice and very sophisticated to be a bar dancer, but then some eye candy was required in this pure macho, adrenalin pumping movie.

The collaboration between Sanjay Gupta and Sunjay Dutt's Whitefeather Films and Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Films results in one of the better films in recent times, except for the disaster called Tusshar Kapoor

The tagline of the movie says-Based on true rumours and cleverly does not mention the name Dolas nor Dawood Ibrahim nor does it give a clear picture of whether the cops were ordered to bump Maya off by Dawood himself. Considering that one of the technical advisers of the movie is the legendary Khan himself, one can only respect the earnestness of the film makers in sticking to their story and script.

A movie truly worth watching, not because it is a great movie, but because it could have been one !


Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Here's what could have been done to make this movie a good one.
The entire first half and most of the 2nd half could have been edited out. About 15 minutes of the 2nd half could have been retained and Amitabh with the title song.

The movie would then have been a super duper film for sure. The so called magic of Bunty aur Babli by Shaad just doesn't seem to come through with this small town taken abroad story. Bobby Deol is just plain jinxed with whatever hairstyle he chooses. He just cannot escape his girly look. Lara Dutta shows she can wear as short a skirt as possible, spew French and do a little bit of melodrama. The only three who shine are Abhishek Bachchan, Piyush Mishra and Amitabh Bachchan (in what is touted as a guest appearance but there's no 'guest-like' feel to the appearances), but sadly even they could not do much for this film which was like a chewing gum which has been chewed, stored in a freezer and is being chewed again.

The music by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy is very much hummable especially the title track which keeps those moments alive notwithstanding Amitabh's portrayal in a Jhonny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean attire.

Frankly, I was surprised the Yash Raj banner agreed to release this movie. Did they really think this would be another Bunty aur Babli, did they think putting together Father and Son would make the movie watchable ? Well...answer to those I will never know, but I learnt one thing. Whenever you think nothing can amaze you further just wait for a Big Banner Blooper like this and you will be amazed beyond imagination !

If you are getting a free DVD, think twice before accepting it.

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