Shootout At WadalaCast: John Abraham, Tusshar Kapoor, Kangna Ranaut, Anil Kapoor, Sonu Sood and Manoj Bajpai
Direction: Sanjay Gupta
Sanjay Gupta relies on style and noise to bail him out of a plot that’s replete with loopholes and a script that reeks of shoddy writing. ‘Shooutout At Wadala’ is not lacking in visual sheen, if only a toned canvass, low angle shots and tight close-ups could substitute the need for a rational narrative.
It is a typical Bollywood gangster saga; reminiscent of the storytelling style in ‘Vaastav’ and this film’s prequel ‘Shootout At Lokhandwala’, the story unfolds in flashback as our protagonist (John Abraham) reveals how Manohar Arjun Surve became Manya Surve. The sketchy characterization however evokes neither compassion nor repulsion. Whether it was Raghu (Sanjay Dutt) in ‘Vaastav’ or Maya (Vivek Oberoi) in ‘Shootout At Lokhandwala’, their performances were a layered rendition distinctively angst ridden and restless. Abraham grapples with the portrayal, trying hard to replicate Dutt’s restive vulnerability, complete with a vermillion smeared forehead but failing miserably.
There is no method in the madness; there’s so much senseless bloodshed that you stop caring after a while; everyone shoots at point-blank range, bullets slice through skulls, hands are chopped off in broad daylight and blood trickles down in slow motion. Desi abuses are in abundance and clichéd dialogues like, “Ek sachcha Musalman, apne dost ke liye jaan de bhi sakta hai aur jaan le bhi sakta hai’ are supposed to tickle minority sentiments.
Rahul Bose had once said in an interview that item songs weren’t disrespectful to women but to the filmmaker because it is a deeper self-admission that he has failed. As if to exemplify that point, Sanjay Gupta shoves in not one but three unsavory item songs. Semi-clad women (Sunny Leone, Priyanka Chopra and Sophie Chaudhary) gyrating to not even remotely peppy numbers is supposed to add to the entertainment quotient. Gupta then peppers his narrative with two sex scenes that is neither aesthetic nor weave into the story but I guess, we can’t justify Kangna’s presence in the film unless we can get her to show some skin.
To give the film its due, the casting it have immense potential but alas it was a squandered opportunity. ‘Shootout At Lokhandwala’ with well-etched out characters and a edgy climax definitely made for a much better watch than this one. If you dig violence and that’s all you care about, this film will definitely satiate your appetite for blood and gore. ‘Shootout At Wadala’ remains just a stylized spectacle bereft of a real story or a soul.
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