Shootout at Lokhandwala has a weird tagline – “Based on True Tumors”! On Friday, I went to see Shrek the Third but found out that it is not yet released in India. I settled with the Lokhandwala Shootout movie and it turned out to a good movie. The movie is based on the Shooting at the Svati Building in Lokhanwala, Andheri (west), Mumbai (INDIA) on the 16th of November, 1991.
Directed by Apporva Lakhia, Shootout at Lokhandwala is another of those movies where the bad guys look good, and glorification of the villains are in bright limelight. The movie was fast paced and will keep you seated throughout the gun fires, blood baths and murderous killings. The only thing that dragged was the song sequences. The songs in themselves are good but I would have really wished they were not there at all. They should have done an Extended or Director’s Uncut or Song Enhanced versions of DVDs. That way, people will still watch the movie and many will buy the DVDs, thus making more money for the film.
On that fateful day of 1991, at one of the Mumbai’s sprawling sub-urban place (Lokhandwala), 5 gangsters were relaxing and counting their extortion money. The gangsters were led by Maya Dolas who had begun to rebel against Dawood Ibahim. Informations of their hide-out reached the then ACP Aftab Ahmed Khan, who brought in a platoon of about 300 odd Mumbai Police force to squash them. What followed is one of the most memorable shootout that every happened in Mumbai. The police fired uncountable rounds of bullets and the Maya led gangsters retaliated too. Eventually, all the 5 gangsters were killed and few policemen were hurt.
Vivek Oberoi in the role of Maya Dolas was frighteningly awesome. I don’t really felt any importance given to the other 4 members of the gang. They seem to have been randomly picked to fill in the spots. Of course, Tushar Kapoor (who played the role of Dilip Buva) was there with the next important role after Vivek, thanks to his sister Ektaa Kapoor (the K lady of the idiot box). He tried his best, I guess, but his acting sucks like a monkey who just found some zoo visitors to entertain with its banana tricks. Why don’t he moved in to his sister’s serial, he can do much better job there and we don’t have to really bear him in movies (at least for us who detest the TV serials). Tushar had never been good in any roles not only in his first negative role in this movie. His only slightly commendable role is playing the dumb guy in Golmaal: Fun Unlimited.
The remaining 3 don’t really remind you of anything unless you’ve been glued and try to remember each and every scenes. Yes, yes, the ghost-seeing thingy of Rc (Shabbir Ahluwalia) after he shot a family by mistake. The shooting incident of Fattu (Rohit Roy), the day he earned the named Fattu when he finally was able to do a bang-bang-kill-kill. And the others, I don’t remember them to link to any typical characteristics.
Seasoned Cop and counter terrorists specialist, Aftab Ahmed Khan (Sanjay Dutt) chased and encounter Khalistani extremists, handpicked cops Inspector Kaviraj Patil (Sunil Shetty) and Constable Javed Shaikh (Arbaaz Khan) to fight against the girth of many terrorists in Mumbai during his hay days. Khan and his team took care of the Maya gang when the gangsters made extortions a buzzword in the early 90′s. The movies shows Khan and his trusted Anti Terrorists Squad (ATS) doing many daring encounters; so much involved in their activities that they jeopardise their personal and private life.
Btw, the real Aftab Ahmed Khan appeared in a cameo in the movie, playing the role of S. Ramamurthy, his former boss and the then Police Commissioner.
Abishek Bachchan also has a cameo where he got killed in a brave encounter with a gangster.
The film’s score and soundtrack is composed by Pakistani band – Strings and Indian bands – Indian Ocean and Euphoria, popular songwriter Biddu Appaiah and popular playback singers, Shibani Kashyap and Mika Mehndi.
Everybody knows that Amitabh Bachchan is an extremely good actor. But why is he wasting his acting skills by doing lifting up of movies these days? Why isn’t he concentrating on another Black or something where he plays the real role. Oh Yeah! I heard Cheeni Kum is a good one. I might have enough time to see Cheeni Kum (I’m in a frenzy preparation for my long vacation to my home town starting 30th May and is likely to last the whole of June).
BEYOND THE MOVIE
Tarannum: If I can recall correctly, the Bar Dancer Tarannum played by Aarti Chhabria is the same Bar Dancer who was in possession of some controversial amount of money amounting to over crores and owner of real estates at Lokhandwala worth crores. She was in the media limelight recently for the same.
Ratnaprabha Dholas: Maya’s mother moved the Sessions’s Court recently to stay the release of the movie, alleging that the film distorted the truth of her son’s life. She is against the story that she encouraged her son to become a gangster. She also said the story of Maya killing his father at the age of nine to be false.
The shootout: The shootout began when the gangsters were in a ground floor flat on that fateful day of November 16, 1991. 4 policemen were injured. The last gangster was shot on the terrace of the building.
Flat A-202, Svati Building, Lokhandwala: The Flat remained vacant for about 5 years after the shootout in 1991. It was sold to Anil Ahuja (a filmmaker) who was not aware of the incident initially. However, he came to know of the story but before he dropped the idea, he stumble upon a framed image of Sai Baba and he decided to buy it anyways. He had to produced Certificates of Good Character from the police to convince the other residents that he is a good person. Finally, all went well and he is doing brisk business, took over the adjacent flat too. The neighbors like him too.
Svati Building is famous: Of late, Svati building in Lokhandwala has turned into a tourist attraction for shoppers and visitors alike. Svati building comprises mostly of small one-room kitchen flats. Despite the hustle-bustle and high-rise buildings in Lokhandwala, Svati building is one such which is yet to get a facelift. However, tourists are loving the present avatar of the building which is still very similar to how it was in 1991.