Finally. Director Sanjay Gupta dishes out a film that’s inspired from real life and not movies of other filmmakers. Adapted from Hussain Zaidi’s book Dongri to Dubai, Shootout at Wadala, which claims to be a sequel to Shootout at Lokhandwala is not really one.
Apart from the similarity and the fact that both films are based on police encounters featuring cops and gangsters in designer sunglasses, the treatment and structure are quite different.
This certainly is a much meatier film than the mindless action slow-motion film Shootout at Lokhandwala. The shootout itself here forms only the last ten minutes of the film. The film begins with considerable promise as we gear up for two sides of the story — the police side and the gangster’s account of how they got to the titular shootout.
Though a little convoluted and inconsistent, it’s not too bad as Gupta peppers his narrative with Bollywood masala: item dances, colourfully filmy expletives, slow motion action sequences, dialoguebaazi and pop culture references and a score with a flavour of the Seventies.
This is the kind of cinema that works purely on star power and this film has plenty of that. Anil Kapoor is first rate, revelling in a tailor-made role as a no-nonsense cop, reminding us of the superstar he used to be in the Eighties. The kind we had forgotten after his clownish fruit-eating outings in the Race movies.
John Abraham is so beefy here that when he tries to flex his acting muscle, it looks like a Herculean task. Almost like the only prep he did for the role was at the gym. And there are stellar performances from Manoj Bajpayee and Sonu Sood to keep us relatively engrossed with Tusshar playing the clown convincingly.
This is a film designed for the front benchers with at least five cleavage-flaunting numbers: Sunny Leone, Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and Sophie Chaudhary, distributed all around the film that should’ve rightly been called Shooters at Hooters (the global chain of bars loved by men around the world).
As a result, Shootout at Wadala turns tiringly long and overstretched with an overdose of guns and girls, before it gets to its predictable end.
By no means is this an accurate account of events or can be taken seriously as a piece of docu drama. Shootout at Wadala is pulpy, kitschy, Bollywood masala that makes no bones about its intentions: To titillate.
If that’s your idea of entertainment, go for it.
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Cast: Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee, Sonu Sood, Kangana Ranaut, Tusshar, Ronit Roy, Mahesh Manjrekar
Storyline: The rise and fall of gangster Manya Surve and an account of the first registered police encounter
Bottomline: History is just an excuse for a regular Bollywood gangster film, served with an overdose of guns and girls.