Shootout At Lokhandwala : Movie Review

*ing: Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Tusshar Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Neha Dhupia, Aarti Chabria, Rohit Roy, Shabbir Ahluwalia and Aditya Lakhia.

Storyline: Apoorva Lakhia has a fascination for making stylistic films. His latest flick Shootout At Lokhandwala is a gritty recreation of the real-life shooting encounter between cops and gangsters in Mumbai in 1991.

The film has a very raw and rugged look. At times it gets surreally dark and very violent. And after a while all the bloodshed and gore begin to get to you.

The film is not just about the shootout incident on the fateful summer day in Lokhandwala in 1991. It goes deep into the lives and minds of gangsters Maya Dolas, his sidekick Dilip Buwa and their three colleagues. It also focuses on the way cops function to nab the dreaded criminals, putting their own lives on the line.

One good thing about ‘Shootout’ is that it doesn’t take sides. It attempts to objectively present the facts of the incident, along with the events leading to it, from both the perspectives of cops and gangsters.

On the side of the cops, the central figure is ACP Aftab Ahmed Khan ( Sanjay Dutt ), the officer-in-charge of the entire operation to flush out the gangsters from a Lokhandwala flat. Supporting Khan in this mission are two brave cops: Kaviraj Patil ( Sunil Shetty ) and Javed Shaikh ( Arbaaz Khan ).

On the side of the gangsters, the central figure is Maya Dolas ( Vivek Oberoi ), a fearless, trigger-happy gangster who rose in the underworld through the sheer dint of his grit. Maya’s sidekick Dilip Buwa ( Tusshar Kapoor ) is dreadful but also humane.

The movie’s story, allegedly based on “true rumours”, establishes that the shootout in Lokhandwala wasn’t a random, isolated incident but was the culmination of a build-up of a series of incidents. The movie also shows how tough the job of cops is when they have to leash the trigger-happy gangsters within the powers given to them by law.

Sanjay Dutt is competent in playing the role of ACP A A Khan. Amitabh Bachchan, playing a lawyer, gets shadowed in the film’s huge cast ensemble but still leaves an impact in the last few reels. Sunil Shetty manages not to ham. Arbaaz Khan is strictly okay while Abhishek Bachchan has a very miniscule role.

On the flip side, Vivek Oberoi is convincing enough playing the role that is in parts similar to his debut performance as Chandu in ‘Company’. However, Vivek’s Maya is sinister, ruthless, fearless and tempestuous.

Tusshar Kapoor is convincing, while other actors like Rohit Roy , Shabbir Ahluwalia and Aditya Lakhia stay on the sidelines.

Director Apoorva Lakhia pays attention to the details but misses out on certain points. The cops are shown without bulletproof jackets while encountering the gunmen. The gangsters’ phone lines aren’t jammed till the dying moments of the long encounter. Also the movie has some unnecessary songs that slacken the story’s pace.

The female actors have very little scope in this film but Amrita Singh stands out with her intense performance. Dia Mirza hardly sounds and acts like a journalist. Neha Dhupia is just about okay. Aarti Chabria gets a moment to show her acting (besides her dancing) in the second half.

‘Shootout At Lokhandwala’ has too much violence, bloodshed and gore. It is clear that the film’s makers want the movie to hit hard at the audience. Lakhia joins the pieces of the film’s story through a series of flashbacks. There are some emotional moments to lend a raw sentimentality to the flick.

All in all, ‘Shootout’ is not bad for watching once.