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 Shootout At Lokhandwala
Director :
Music :
Lyrics :
Starring :
 Apoorva Lakhia
 Anand Raj Anand, Mika Singh, Biddu
 Dev Kohli, Dr. Palash Sen, Mika Singh, Sanjay Gupta
 Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Abhishek Bachchan, Sunil Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Tusshar Kapoor, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Rohit Roy, Aditya Lakhia

By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend

View SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA Premiere - Picture GalleryAfter a long time, a movie has created such frenzy that the viewers are waiting to enter the theatre even before the doors are opened. And I’m not talking about a handful of viewers. I’m talking a 90 per cent crowd. It’s very, very rare that a crowd as big as this is seen on a Friday afternoon in any multiplex for any release. At least it has not happened in the last one year. There’s palpable excitement in the air.

That’s round one won for the makers of SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA.

As the lights are dimmed and the movie begins, there is pin-drop silence. Everyone is glued to the screen as what unfolds for the next two hours keeps the viewer frozen to his seat in numb disbelief. Everyone has heard about the famous ‘shootout at Lokhandwala’. Everyone knows bits and pieces about what could have or did transpire during the gun battle that followed between gangster Maya Dolas and his boys, and A A Khan and his special squad. But no one knew the truth. This is what has the theatres packed. They have come in search of the truth. But producer Sanjay Gupta has been shrewd; he informs the viewers in advance that this story is based on “true rumours”.

Shootout At LokhandwalaRound two again goes to the makers.

It’s always tough to make a movie on any real life incident. Getting to the details can be an arduous task, but director Apoorva Lakhia sticks to his guns (no pun intended). There’s intricate care taken about every bit of detailing from clothes, to lighting, to camera angles, to sound, to action scenes. The script is airtight, the background score is riveting, which holds the scenes together. Shown in flash back, the film hits target from reel one. And as the story unfolds, you can’t but marvel at the ability of the makers who have stuck as close to reality as possible.

View SHOOTOUT… in TV Serial 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.

View SHOOTOUT… in TV Serial 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 fiancé 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!

Ratings: 5/5

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More about Shootout At Lokhandwala
- Picture Gallery: SHOOTOUT Music Launch
- Music Reviews
- Picture Gallery: SHOOTOUT… in TV Serial 'Kyunki…
- Picture Gallery: SHOOTOUT Premiere
- Official Website