Shootout at Lokhandwala – A Horror Show

Watching Shootout at Lokhandwala is cruel punishment for Bollywood fans.

By golly, we haven’t seen such a juvenile, amateurish gangster movie – either Bollywood or Hollywood – in 45 years.

Shootout at Lokhandwala’s director Apoorva Lakhia has accomplished a feat that we thought was impossible. Lakhia has made a movie worse than his previous disaster Ek Ajnabee (a crude copy of the 2004 Denzel Washington-Dakota Fanning movie Man on Fire). Bravo, Lakhia! Way to go.

Featuring the ex-junkie and real-life criminal Sanjay Dutt, a bunch of B-grade Bollywood flops like Viveik Oberoi and Suniel Shetty and C-grade misfits such as Tusshar Kapoor and Neha Dhupia, Shootout at Lokhandwala is a film that’s crude in conception, clumsy in execution and crass in action.

Shootout at Lokhandwala was released on May 25, 2007 just as Sanjay Dutt is about to be sentenced for illegal possession of deadly weapons.

Much is wrong with Shootout at Lokhandwala.

The gangsters Maya (Viveik Oberoi), Bhua (Tusshar Kapoor) et al are not fear-inspiring, the songs not bewitching, the action scenes not thrilling and in their angst the cops just not convincing. As a result, the narrative is seldom gripping.

For the hapless viewer caught in the crossfire of the various bubbleheads involved in the making of Shootout at Lokhandwala, the overall effect of this repellent farce is plain agonizing.

Inspired by an actual shootout at the Lokhandwala building complex in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1991, Shootout at Lokhandwala is narrated in flashback by three policemen Shamsher Khan (Sanjay Dutt), Kaviraj Patil (Suniel Shetty) and Javed Sheikh (Arbaaz Khan) during an inquiry following the killing of six gangsters in the fiery shootout.

Shootout at Lokhandwala traces the rise and fall of gangster Maya (an underling of the big don Dawood Ibrahim) and his cronies in Bombay.

But none of the key players come alive in the movie.

Of this gaggle of mediocre actors, Sanjay Dutt inflicts the least misery on the audience.

Viveik Oberoi is grossly inadequate as Maya, the smirking henchman of Dawood Ibrahim. The young lad is pathetically unequal to the rigors of playing the role of a dreaded Mumbai gangster.

When Viveik is not overacting (which he is most of the time in Shootout at Lokhandwala), he’s looking plain silly. It’s hard to imagine Viveik Oberoi surviving another flop (remember that nightmare called Naksha?).

Suneil Shetty is forgettable.

Confined to bang, bang, bang, bang, the action scenes in this gangster movie lack finesse or any artistic merit. Many decades after Hollywood made such classic gangster films as Godfather and Scarface, Bollywood is still churning out rookie gangster movies.

Son of yesteryear hero “Jumping Jack” Jeetendra, Tusshar Kapoor is completely bereft of any acting talent. If you thought Jeetendra proved the theory of evolution with all his prancing on screen in the 1980s, you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve seen his brat Tusshar go through the motions of acting.

With his bulging eyes and skinny features, Tusshar Kapoor looks positively clownish, especially in the gymn scene where he threatens police officer Suneil Shetty, who’s twice his size.

As Maya’s mother, Amrita Singh makes a decent impact despite a fairly small role.

Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek Bachchan have small roles in the movie, as a prosecutor and policeman respectively.

Nehu Dhupia and Diya Mirza have insignificant parts. All the better. Nehu Dhupia has the least acting abilities of any actress, west of the Bay of Bengal and east of the Arabian Sea.

Music, or what passes for it, in Shootout at Lokhandwala is a joke. The Ganpat song/dance sequence of the gangsters dancing was a hoot. None of the songs have any charm.

Shootout at Lokhandwala put us into a fury of frustration that Bollywood continues to throw such rotten movies at its fans.

All lows and no highs, Shootout at Lokhandwala is a strong contender for winning the “horror show of the summer” award.

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