Sanjay Gupta honed the spark and glint of internationally branded musical formats into his style of action potboilers with grand success. The upbeat trend continued in his last releases and now when the baton has shifted to Apoorva Lakhia in SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA, there seems to be array of vivid musical talents clubbed together in a contemporary Bollywood format. After formidable link-up with music duo Vishal-Shekhar (MUSAFIR, KAANTE and ZINDA), SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA (SOAL) cocktails different blends of different styles of musical work from the Indi-pop brigade of EUPHORIA, Mika, Biddu along with their favorite STRINGS. Despite all hullabaloos of celebrated names, the album fails to match their musical standards and ends up as another average grosser.
Anand Raj Anand?s Punjabi musical punch hires its rhythmical fuel and fire from Mika?s ?Ishq Brandy? and crankshafts its thrill ?n? zest into the pulse of raunchy dance bar soundtrack ?Mere Yaar?. The flaming and aggravating musical flares up with extra enthused musical arrangements as it tries its best to match with raunchiness of ?Beedi? (OMKARA). Anand Raj Anand?s impetuous Punjabi lingo gets into the act fiercely while Sunidhi?s impromptu silken rendition sizzles into musical thump. This overtly hyped number will score maximum with its seductively paced choreographic skills and will positively be full-size amusement for frontbenchers. If numbers like ?Beedi? and ?Namak? enthralls and tantalizes your senses then this probably will be another eye-teaser that might pull off surprise.
The multifaceted Sufi rock of Pakistani band STRINGS who scintillated with ?Yeh Hai Meri Kahani? (ZINDA) returns with a feel of ?It?s never been right time to say goodbye? in impressive ?Aakhri Alvida?. The lively feel of subtle guitar strumming followed by a concoction of enthused electric and base guitar strumming, soft piano notes and inspired percussions sets a tempo of action packed thrilling events. This euphorically sentimental soundtrack is enriched with Anwar Maqsood?s emotionally penned lyrics ?Is dard dil mein, dil mein rehne do, Jo khauf hai Ankho mein, Ankhon se behne do, Dukh ki nadi, Chup chap behne do, Jo kehna hai dheere se kehdo, Yeh Aakhri Alvida na ho?? The tonality of this number sounds similar to their superhit track ?Najane Kyon? (album DHAANI) encapsulating the blood-spilling gory events of the film and promises itself to be their second presentable offering in Bollywood. Nikhil Chinappa and DJ Nawed ?club? mix version of this rip-roaring rock number has the desired ingredients of hip-shaking flavors of rocking the floors.
Sanjay Dutt pioneered the art of exhibiting ?bhai? culture in filmdom and now he stands on the other side as his contemporaries (Vivek Oberoi, Tushar Kapoor etc) gets into ?bhai? act in a creepy dance bar soundtrack ?Ganpat?. It?s a messy soundtrack where bunch of dreaded ?bhai? celebrate in intoxication and shows their cruel dominance in all sections of society (films, politics etc). The bawdy lyrics along with sluggish paced music makes itself as cheap imitation of lewd hip-hop numbers that are full of rude and crude filth. Skip it! ?Ganpat Rap? is dramatic version where the horrifying underworld encounters makes slapdash presence through bawdy dialogues, sounds and noises
Round three again goes to the makers.
Sanjay Dutt as ACP Aftab Ahmad Khan, the man in charge of the operation to flush out the gangsters who are holed in a flat in Lokhandwala is first rate. He is deadly as can be. If ever there was a sobriquet that stands out, it?s ?Deadly Dutt?. No pulling punches, just delivering them. When it comes to pumping bullets, he doesn?t bat an eyelid. He holds the police force together with his magnetic persona and devil-may-care attitude. And no, he has no regrets for what he has done, whatever the Human Rights organization may think.
Suniel Shetty and Arbaaz Khan as tough cops, who form the core team with Dutt, again are first rate. As men on a mission, they complement each other. The dialogues between them are witty and their action-packed performance brilliant. They bring to light the woes faced by most Mumbai police. You can?t but salute them for their sense of duty and feel pity for them for the pittance they have to survive on.
Now for Viveik Oberoi. As Maya Dolas, he is outstanding. His body language, dialogue delivery and menacing persona all gel well to create that air of fear. Precisely what is needed for this film to do well. Tusshar Kapoor, too, is brilliant. After two duds in KYA LOVE STORY HAI and GOOD BOY BAD BOY, he shines as Bhuwa, Maya?s aide. Rohit Roy, Shabbir Ahluwalia and Aditya Lakhia who complete the gang provide excellent support to the cast. All actors picked to play gangsters give that extra zing to the role, which in turn lifts the movie to another level. And when the gangsters know their time is up and when they phone their near and dear ones, you can?t help but feel sorry for them. Of course, this might not have happened. But the picturisation of these scenes capturing their human moments is to be complimented. Every actor plays his part.
That?s round four to the makers.
As for the girls Aarti Chhabria, Neha Dhupia and Dia Mirza, there?s not much in it for them, with the exception of Aarti, who has some meat in her role, as the fianc? of Bhuwa. Amrita Singh as Maya?s mother shows a streak of madness in her performance that could have been passed on to the gangster. Amitabh Bachchan for once has been overpowered by Dutt and Oberoi. But his role as a defense lawyer did not offer him much scope to outdo the rest. There?s also the man himself, who was behind the shootout at Lokhandwala, Aftab Ahmad Khan, who plays Commissioner of Police S. Ramamurthy. A nice way to salute the bravery of the tough ATS chief.
Finally, there is never a moment when the audiences interrupt with their witty one-liners as is common in multiplexes today. That?s because the action is so fast paced that they are immersed in the proceedings on screen.
That?s round five, too, to the makers.
All in all, an engrossing fare. SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA leaves you breathless as the credits roll. A thriller to the core.
A final warning: There are lots of gunfire and dead bodies. Not for the faint-hearted!