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Shootout At Wadala  : Shoot Your Brains Out
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Friday, May 3, 2013
Sanjay Gupta
Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Tusshar Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Kangana Ranaut, Sonu Sood, Manoj Bajpayee, Mahesh Manjrekar
You’ve been warned by Gupta – it’s a hybrid of fact and fiction. It’s also a cross between crass act and 80s action.

The plot: In a police van that takes 150 minutes to reach the hospital, uniform-loving cop Afaque (Anil Kapoor) and Manya Surve (John Abraham), the gangster he’s just riddled with bullets, swap gang war stories. Track Manohar Surve, honest as Anna Hazare. Evil cops and a devilish system transform him into Manya who rules the Bombay underworld of the 80s. And hear from Afaque the bloody tales that he wants to write The End to. By the time the van reaches the hospital, Manya’s Dead On Arrival. No sirens for this encounter.

The good: Sample this. Tusshar (as Munir, one of the many gangsters) and Siddhant Kapoor (as something strange-sounding like Gyanchod) have lines like, ‘I like the Kutub Minar more than the Taj Mahal because it’s long and forever standing up,’ or ‘I’m the Bruce jo ‘Lee’ nahin in eight years.’ If you’re inclined to guffaw at that, dialogue writer Milap Zaveri serves it repeatedly. On the menu card, you’ll find it under ‘humour’.  

If you also like dancers with chests that don’t hide their treasure and item numbers that don’t have a single musical note or choreographed jerk (oops, no pun) worth taking home, you get a triple helping of it (Sunny Leone, Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Choudry, take your pick).

Hmm, like your sex to be wild? John even bites Kangana’s lips at one point and Sanjay Gupta is not the shy type at all when it comes to gritty-raw in the bedroom. Kangana Ranaut as Vidya, Manya’s steady girlfriend, is the only character that evokes sympathy. Bystanders Ronit Roy (cop Ambat), Jackie Shroff (Afaque’s superior), Mahesh Manjrekar (another cop) and Tusshar (gangster Munir) have their moments but it’s the Haksar brothers (Manoj Bajpayee, Sonu Sood) who make their presence felt.   

For those who like blood, torture, and limbs, torso and heads being sawed off, there’s more violence here than on a terrorist’s agenda. Gupta likes it gritty-raw all the way.
Finally, if you love that Hindi choo...word, it’s on Milap’s regular menu, with even a doff of the gangster’s hat to desi abuses. As one gangster says, ‘Be Indian, abuse Indian.’   
The bad: Did you really think all the above were ‘good’ remarks?

Add to this a remarkable consistency in nobody turning in anything that would qualify as an outstanding performance. It’s one of John’s most challenging assignments so far but as a performance his best is perhaps yet to come. All brawn, John still contorts his face to show extreme emotion as he did in Force. Anil Kapoor is so sincere, it shows.

Overall: Once the initial noise settles down, it’s a re-run of bloody 80s action, with a slew of Sanjay Gupta’s technically slick shots.  

-Bharathi S Pradhan

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