Thursday, May 31, 2007

Shootout At Lokhandwala

I will not review this one. I will simply list ten reasons why you shouldn't watch it.

1) First of all, they got the tagline wrong. There's nothing called 'true rumours'. A rumour is, by definition, a story that may or may not be true. A true rumour is then, by definition, a true story. In fact, I believe that this usage of 'based on true rumours' instead of 'based on true stories' is itself a lame way to get out of the burden of realistic portrayal that a true- story based concept imposes. It sets the tone for everything that follows.

2) When one wants to portray real-life gangsters and the cops who fight them or collude with them, with a personal touch, one tries to go inside the lives that they have lived, the causual functions that made them the way they were, the dilemmas that they may have faced, and the rationalizations that helped them overcome these dilemmas. One does not go the 'ooohh look at him - walks like that, talks like that, dangles cigarettes, makes cool statements, recites Urdu poetry' way. When one goes that way, one aims to make a stylised timepass movie, like Dhoom 1 for instance. Realism and glamour mix like sugar and gasoline, with the same sputtering results. (quote courtesy, an Oct 1998 issue of Sportstar) Let's get this straight - encounters, moral dilemmas, divorces, job frustration etc are serious issues and when handled well can lead to great cinema. When reduced to 'I wear Ray Ban and keep two buttons open' style machismo, a movie bcomes mediocre forever.

3) When one wants to portray realism in cinema, one tries to get good actors. Suniel Shetty, Rohit Roy, and Arbaaz Khan are not good actors. There's only so much that Tusshar Kapoor can do. Sanjay Dutt and Amitabh Bachchan cannot elevate a movie by simply being there.

4) Ohh did I talk about acting in point 3. Vivek Oberoi must have the dubious distinction of the only actor who could never exceed what he did in his first performance. The man who excelled as Chandu in Company is such a pain as Maya Dolas that at times it became difficult to look at the screen. Doals was, by all accounts, a flamboyant gangster. With some gravity and attempt, it can be a career defining role for most actors. One does not even need to cut down on the stylistics. However, by focusing solely on the stylistics, Mr poodle-hair has devoided Dolas of any real on-screen menace. What a shame.

5) The license-quota-permit Raj is over. We get to see phoren films. And if you lift from them directly, we will call your bluff. For heaven's sake bollywood, stop filching. One does not lift the 'bite the pavement' scene from American History X directly. In fact, one (Hollywood or Bollywood) does not lift anything from an Ed Norton movie directly, simply because 99% actors are not worth the guy's pubic hair. Please refer back to Ajay Devgan's pathetic attempts at playing a fraudulently schizoid cold-blooded murderer in Deewangi. Go watch Primal Fear after that. You'll know what I mean.

6) Any Hindi film director who believes that roping in a couple of foreign chicas for one of the song/dance routines is a must, should be jailed for lack of imagination.

7) Someone needs to tell 'realistic' action directors that TV sets cannot be lifted and smashed that easily, and that residential houses do not have neatly arranged sets of five sharp impalers that you can use as a hangar for the villain's neck to delver final poetic justice. Also, the nonchalant lighting of a cigarette after fighting crime seems like a neat uidea, but is actually quite laughable.

8) When you get everything else incorrect, atleast get the fashion right. The fancy coloured canvas shoes that people wear these days is a recent phenomenon, en vogue for the last 2-3 years. So there's no way the gangster buwa could have been wearing the blue adidas canvas pair that he wears in the movie.

9) In a movie that is supposed to provide you edge of the seat thrills, if by the end all you can do is check out the shoes of the dead gangsters, the filmmaker's vision and execution have gone seriously awry.

10) I reserve the worst for the last. Emotional sentences do not make for great courtroom defence scenes. Good courtroom dramas are some of the best movies ever made - one only needs to look at A Few Good Men to see that this statement is objectively true. A defence lawyer who chastises his clients throughout his preparation and then launches a brilliant fact and analysis based defence makes for a great character. With tight editing, such an episode can even prove to be the focal point of a movie. Unfortunately, this movie was made by Apurva Lakhia, the guy who made Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost. I should have kept that in mind when I went to watch this. Shootout has got a terrible climax. Fortunately, it's short.

8 comments:

shuvam said...

I COULDNT AGREE MORE......IT JUST GOES TO SHOW THAT DIRECTION AND SCRIPTS ARE KEY ASPECTS OF A MOVIE AND NOT SO MUCH THE ACTORS.....THAT SOME OF THE SCENES HAVE DIRECTLY BEEN LIFTED FROM 'HEAT' AND 'GOODFELLAS' IS TESTAMENT TO THE LACK OF IMAGINATION.......I FEEL HOWEVER THAT MOVIES LIKE ANY OTHER COMMODITY OPERATES IN A MARKET BASED ON DEMAND AND SUPPLY.....SUCH MOVIES WILL CONTINUE TO BE A REGULAR PART OF THE INDIAN CINEMA UNLESS THE POPULATION OF INTELLIGENTSIA INCREASES AND THEREBY THE DEMAND FOR BETTER MOVIES...

unclemuts said...

r u tellin me that u went n saw the movie ????

zen babu said...

uncle,

Sadly, yes. With family and all.

~A said...

Spider Man III makes records, so does Pirates III (equally bad as Lokhandwala ) !! I don't think you can blame the lack of intelligence from the viewers. I feel good movies, will succeed with the current demand. There are examples for such successes. It is simply that media and movie makers are becoming dumber by every second - this sorta crap is all they can make.

zen babu said...

~a,

Agree with you about spidey, haven't watched pirates but I think I'll end up agreeing with you. However, you'll notice that I hardly blamed the viewer. I agree that film-makers are the ones at fault, and yes, the media hype too.

~ஆ said...

Ritwik,

I was referring to Shuvam's comment on lack of intelligent populace as a possible cause for bad movies.

~ஆ said...

Also, I intended to say "I don't think you can solely blame the lack of intelligence from the viewers" in the first place.

unclemuts said...

seems miss Bansal took some some inspiration from yr post....