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SHOOTOUT AT WADALA - Becomes bearable just because of John Abraham and Anil Kapoor. (Review by Bobby Sing)

03 May, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

After watching this latest film from Sanjay Gupta, who already has more than 4 inspired gangster movies to his name as a director, I was honestly thinking that what could be the reason behind attempting such a clichéd, all seen before kind of film by him, at such a scale. Because even when there have been a number of films already made on the same subject in the past, the team feels no harm in trying it once again, taking WE the viewers as granted following the good old typical routine act of our Hindi film industry as usual.
Now though the narration of SAW begins with a promise of being different, showcasing some calm well directed scenes featuring John Abraham as a sincere student. The film simply moves on to a completely familiar path with nothing new to share with its audience as soon as the transformation of a common man into an underworld don is there. The technically sound director in Sanjay Gupta keeps surfacing repeatedly with promising scenes ensuring that something terrific is coming up soon. Yet that doesn’t happen at all till the predictable climax of this 150 minutes long film and all those interesting build-ups truly fall flat without anything substantially novel happening on the screen.
Partly based on the book “Dongri To Dubai” by Hussain Zaidi, its once again all about the rise of gangster groups and their clashes with the police in Bombay during the 70s and 80s. But haven’t we seen this all in many earlier films made by Ram Gopal Verma, Milan Luthria, Apoorva Lakhia and many others? And haven’t we already made too many projects on this subject in the past decade or more?
Certainly the makers don’t think so as they constantly go on making films on similar subjects only which sometimes makes me feel that,
Isn’t this glorifying the crime on screen in a certain way?
And Isn’t this encouraging the ‘picking up a gun culture’ in a subtle manner in the questionable social structure around us in the present times?
Because while watching it as a common man, frankly its very easy to get pumped up seeing the hero picking up a gun and shooting the other, in a well shot slow motion sequence along with some high voltage background score running at the back. And this point gets proved perfectly when Mahesh Manjrekar clearly says in one of his dialogue in the film that,
”Yaar Yeh Amitabh Bachhan Ne To Sabki Baja Ke Rakh Di Hai”.
Now he actually says so because that was the time (in the mid 70s) when Amitabh’s angry young man image was being formed with energetic films such as ZANJEER, DEEWAR, SHOLAY, TRISHUL, ADALAT & more. And ironically in the film, an Ambulance is also used by the policemen to arrest the powerful gangster, just like Amitabh uses it in TRISHUL.
Anyway that subject has always been a debatable one since ages, so coming back to SHOOTOUT AT WADALA, it does give you some lively sequences to feel the magic of cinema. Such as the first murder committed with John’s assistance, his brother being killed in the jail, Manoj Bajpayi & Sonu Sood’s fantastic entry, Anil Kapoor & his team arresting the big goon in his own local area and Anil’s conversation with Jackie Shroff towards the end. However all these good scenes fail to lift up the movie from an average platform due to its continuous monotonous tone which even tends to go boring after the interval.
Further as its seems, the makers truly knew that they were not having anything fresh in their script so maybe that’s the reason of including not 1 or 2 but 3 item songs in it featuring, Sunny Leone, Priyanka Chopra and Sophie. And it really feels awkward writing Priyanka’s names along with the other two. Moreover, I also felt that Sunny Leone was fast becoming the new age ‘Huma Khan’ of the film industry with all her item songs deliberately added to show her physical assets only. However this isn’t all what is thrown in to woo the audience, as SAW also has many abusive dialogues spoken by the entire cast and then a steamy bedroom scene too of John & Kangna who is there just to fulfill the female requirements of a gangster film.
In the musical department, SAW has a forgettable soundtrack but a great background score which supports all its action sequences brilliantly. The flashback point doesn’t really gel well but the film has been edited skillfully which always have been a merit of a Sanjay Gupta film in the past.
So then for what SHOOTOUT AT WADALA can be seen once?
It can be seen if you are interested in watching the fairly realistic account of those decades in Bombay when the underworld was cropping up. And it can be seen if you really are a big fan of all those actions sequences being shown with a slow motion editing & pumping background score on the screen.
Plus it can be seen only because of John Abraham and Anil Kapoor together since they both have given their best to the film unarguably. Particularly its one of the career best performances of John whereas Anil once again makes you look at him with both surprise and praises together. Supporting them Manoj Bajpayi is in a class of his own, Sonu Sood surely takes a step further in his career and Tushar Kapoor tries hard to deliver the light moments in an otherwise tense script. The rest of the cast acts perfectly fine but its only the ‘all seen before’ and clichéd content of the movie which turns it into a mere average one in the end. Hence you can easily make a choice if that interests you.
Rating : 2.5 / 5

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03 May 2013 / Comment ( 0 )
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