Sunday, June 17, 2007

Shootout at Lokhandwala - Review

Films with underworld as a subject fall exclusively within the domain of Ram Gopal Verma School of film-making. Starting from Shiva all the way to Satya, Ab Tak Chhappan, Company and the the latest 'D', Ramu and his proteges have held sway in this genre. Shootout At Lokhandwala is an exception and that was a reason enough for me to go ahead and watch it.

The film was under the spotlight because it was based on rumors surrounding a real life incident. With Sanjay Gupta and Ekta Kapoor being at the helm as producers, the publicity of the film was good enough to generate curiosity amongst the cinegoers.

When I did enter the theatre I had a lot of questions in my mind:

- Does Shootout live upto the promise it generates?
- Does this starry effort light up the screen?
- Is it any different from the regular Underworld films that Ramu's factory churns out?

I got my answers by the end of this two hour pacy enterprise which followed the trails of the dare-devil Maya Dolas and his accomplices and a cat and mouse chase between police and the underworld.


Sanjay Dutt's cinematic portrayal of the man behind ATS towers over the rest of the cast. Whenever he came around on the screen there was always a sense of assurance. He carries off the part with elan.

Vivek Oberoi is good too and that again was a refreshing thing to watch. I won't say that it is like a come back for him. You give him the role of a mean and fiery gangster anyday and he will do justice to it but dude, he just can't get his romantic hero act right. After watching him in Company and now in Shootout, my suggestion to him would be to go ahead and give roles with shades of grey a try..he might just get a second lease of life in the industry.

Tusshar Kapoor in the role of a dreaded gangster is a dud. Suniel Shetty and Arbaz Khan are strictly okay.
If you thought that I never mentioned anything about the first family's of Bollywood's contribution in the film it is because they were in guest appearances.

Behind the scene work/Direction:

Apoorva Lakhia has been associated with some Hollywood films as an assistant and despite delivering flops like Mumbai se aaya mera dost and Ek Ajnabee, his understanding of the medium was not in dout. With Shootout, he tries to change his style and delivers in pieces. He chooses a diffrent style of narration but loses hold in some places trying to give appropriate screen space to all stars and accomodating songs.

The whole episode of Abhishek Mhatre's encounter with terrorists and climax are not convincing. Also, the songs that he chooses to add in between could have easily been done away with as they just retard the whole pace of the film rather than adding any value to it. A man of Apoorva's sensibility should know that better.


Music of the film is catchy. Anand Raj Anand does a good job and so do the Pakistani band Strings but this film did not require any of these songs.

Let downs:

- Songs weaved into the film - Good songs but not required
- Climax court scene - It begged to have more punch

Things that work in favour:

- The pace and length of the film
- Good performance by the cast
- No strong competitors at the Box Office which gave it a relatively smoother run
- Banner

Is it any better than a product from Ramu's stable - only BO results can reveal that! Direction wise there is not much to choose between the two but it surely is narrated differently.

My verdict: Not a film that you would mind missing out on. Time pass none-the-less if you can bear with some profanities and brutal tooth breaking scenes...par film mein ye Ganpat kaun tha? ;)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Taker Times is Back

This is a personal blog entry that might not interest people who were not my college mates. It's a part of a monthly newsletter that I used to bring out called 'Taker Times' and comprises of gossip news circulating around.

The reason for putting it here - To force them to visit my blog!

Maulana Chacha in Sholay: "Bhai itna sannata kyun hai bhai?"

To the Dead Peoples' Society,

Lo Jhelo!!

Thankless and Without regards,



For all those who have heard of tales of immortal friendship, shed tears when Rajender Kumar let go off Vaijyanti Mala for the sake of a pervert Raj Kapoor in Sangam, Sang Imli ka boota beri ka ped when Dilip kumar aka Dada Bir and Raj Kumar aka Rajeshwar Singh got together to kill the villainous Chuniya mama in Saudagar, you will love this piece.

We carried out a survey recently and asked people to judge the ideal couple who share a unique bond of friendship. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the friendship of our very own Saurabh Bajpai (Baaj) and Saidul paaji(Hasan from Saidul Hasan Siddiqui).

Thier bond goes back several years. They came from the same city - Kanpur, were admitted to the same college - IIT Kanpur, in the same branch - MME, they joined the same company after graduation - INFY, they both left it at around the same time to again be together ina nother company - GSSL. Subsequently, baaj joined TECHSPAN and needless to say, Saidul followed suit and joined TECHSPAN at the same location within a month's time. Bajpai then got an offer from a company based in Singapore and lo!! Saidul too got an offer from Singapore within a month of Bajpai getting an offer. Some call it coincidence but I call it destiny. Friendship does find a way. I was so inspired by their bond that I decided to morph them as Jai and Veeru of Sholay fame as a tribute and mark of respect for this special relationship that they share. Please view the attached image to understand how deeply I am moved by this.

I have also written a parody to celebrate their freindship which also symbolises communal harmony:

"Mere do anmol ratan
Ek padhe namaaz aur doosra gaaye bhajan
Baaj- Hasan..Baaj-Hasan"
Nangu granted special US VISA

Nangu is a happy man these days. Not only has he been spared from any major bout of illness for the past 12 months, news coming to us also suggest that he has been granted special US VISA to be with his family in the west coast in US.

When contacted, Nangu did not verify the news and tried to deviate from the topic by saying that his role in anti reservation stir forced Arjun Singh to plead the US Government to take him away from India. As a result of which TT was forced to carry out a sting operation on Nangu. It was revealed in the operation that Nangu misses his extended family in US. Some portion of the recording contained censored comments sow e are releasing the edited version of it:

Reporter: Haanji aap is saal India mein hi ho?
Nangu: Ha ha ha ha..haan mera mulk mera desh mera ye watan

Reporter: Humne to kuch aur suna hai.
Nangu:Hum to badnaam hain..kuch sun liya hoga

Reporter: Nahi suna hai aap Amreeka jaa rahe hain..ghar pariwaar ke logon ke beech
Nangu: Haan wo jayenge kuch din ke liye..fir wahan ki hawa acchi lagi to reh lenge..hum global citizen banNe mein vishwaas rakhte hain.

Reporter: To kya wo Arjun Singh wali baat
Nangu: He he ho ho..tum bhi kya c**** wali baat karte ho yaar..Arjun Singh ki kaun sunta hai. Chalo ab bottle kholo..tumne waada kiya tha ki mujhe pilaoge tabhi main aaya.

Reporter: Haanji sir lijiye..aapke liye khaas subeh subeh ped se utarwaayi hai. Pijiye.
Gupta ji is the next Iron Man

Hon' His Highness Holy Spirit Guptaji joined US Steel and started to change the destiny of USA. Within two months of his joining the company, all neighbouring wooden houses have been replaced with Steel houses. People's perception has changed in the region. While they used to earlier refer to him as that 'Brown guy from Srilanka', now they have started calling him the 'Iron Man with a heart of Gold'. Guptaji also has a number of female admirers and the latest fad in town is to engrave the words 'Ghopta Badhiya Hai' or emboss a tattoo showing 32 human teeth on arms and other preferred places.

Gupta is fast on track to become the new age Laxmi Mittal with the charisma of..what's that guy's name..richard branson!

Badhai sandesh:

Shashank Teotia on getting married!
Sunny Paaji on getting engaged
Anubhav Srivastava on finally deciding to go back to working 9-6


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