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 !


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