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Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007)
White feather is flying high ..!!!!
If you could remember a film named AATISH that was released in early nineties, you could also remember the name of the director. It was MR. SANJAY GUPTA. Since that movie, he has emerged as one of the intelligent director who also has that ability to perform the duties of a producer or an executive producer. Just like Spielberg!
After a couple of disaster movies like JUNG that he did with his all time buddy SANJAY DUTT, he finally came out with the tense thriller, ZINDA that was very much based on OLDBOY, a 2003 Korean film. Not to forget the 2002 blockbuster KANTEE based on the legendary RESERVOIR DOGS. This was even better than the DOGS, only because of well written dialogs by a complete rookie MILAP ZAVERI, but still, the movie was a hit and was appreciated, so the glory to MR. GUPTA stands.
Now, for the people who are not from India and don't know the Indian culture and political/social environment, here is something for them .
Though, judging from the TV news, a person living in western country, mainly Europe or USA often concludes India as a very difficult place to live and a place of complete chaos. And very often, they are right. For example, I would like to refer to a survey that took place in the city of Surat where I live. As per that survey, there is currently one, I repeat ONE policeman per 1200 repeat twelve hundred citizens in the state/region. This data is shocking! Not even the people of western countries, but people here also wonder several times how this country is running. Imagine this scenario in any developed country, and that country would be in condition of civil war!
But in complete contradiction to this, my country is normal.
This fact is confusing for others, but still it remains.It is amazing how a POLICE FORCE, outnumbered to such an extent, is taking care of a such a huge law and order system. No wonder it is called FORCE And a common man here is mostly afraid of the police, decides to stay away from them, and for the same reason, decides to stay away from the crime.
This fact has a strong context to this film. In the early nineties, the city of Mumbai was a mess with gangs and the shootouts between these gangs on the roads were common. Countless innocent people lost their lives in these shootouts.
Mumbai police, in those times, took some decisions and ATS ANTI TERRORIST SQUADS were formed which killed more than 200 gangsters in the city in less than seven years. The methodology became popular as 'Encounter' and the policemen were nicknamed 'The Encounter Specialists'. It was simple. Instead of taking a hardcore gangster to justice, he was shot on place, murdered and then reported dead in encounter with police! As a result, the gang riots and shootouts declined in the city and today, the nineties are history. The city of Mumbai lives in peace today, and majority of the population is supporting the police.
It was during these times, when Mahindra Dolas, popularly known as 'Maya' became one of the most feared and wanted gangster, and whatever efforts the ATS took in killing him are portrayed in this film. Much of the base for the script was from book SURRENDER by Additional Police Commissioner of Mumbai, Aftab Ahmed Khan, the then in charge of ATS. SANJUBABA plays his character in film.
The director APURVA(APOORVA) LAKHIA has finally hit the mark after giving weak/flop films like 'Mumbai Se Aya Mera Dost' which was disaster on box office. His other flop with AMITABH BACHCHA was 'EK AJNABI', stolen from DENZEL WASHINGTON starer, . This time, thankfully, he has remained away from stealing plots from Hollywood movies and has worked on something original.
The songs in movie are totally unnecessary. Aarti Chabaria looks impressive, but has done nothing which could be termed as acting. All she has done is exposed, just like she did in her other movies. But she looks beautiful for the first time in her entire carrier. I will give her that. Other ladies are wasted. No comments on them. Neha Dhupia's character was not at all required and her poor acting and not-so-impressive appearance has only slowed down the movie.
TUSHAR KAPOOR, is brother of EKTA KAPOOR, one of the producers and has worked hard and tried to act well. He looks good too. Compare to his other films, in which it was terrible to watch him on the screen, this time he seems at least OK. Before this, he was only EKTA KAPOOR'S brother, and so, was an actor. He has acted for the first time. But he will always remain a pooor actor just like his father, jumping jack Jeetendra.
The movie has a gripping script and direction. The director has done a good job of keeping the pace of the film and the events are well edited. Camera moves only when necessary and has remained away from using camera gimmicks like Ekta Kapoor who is one of the producers.
Music and background music are OK. In fact, on the second thought, they are worse and it looks that the music director has done nothing. Above all it is the story, the director, SANJAY GUPTA'S touch and SANJAY DUTT'S presence in the movie that makes it worth watching.
My heartily good wishes to MR. LAKHIA. I hope he sticks to good scripts like this and stops the adoption from Hollywood movies.
Some movies are larger!!
Everybody, even a 'not-so-much-movies' person also knows that movies are larger than life. And probably, this fact is the key force for anyone to watch a movie. We see stars on screen; we enjoy a movie like a visual feast .
But mostly, it is the stars, the actors that we cherish. We see an actor as a hero we pretend to be like him during and even after movies sometimes. Our dream girl very often resembles to an actress!! Anyways, one can understand that I am not saying something very deep or important.
What is important is, that some movies are indeed larger, but they are so large, that it does not matter who starred in that movie. What remains larger is the movie itself, and not the stars who are worshiped. Anyone can say that this type of movies would have remained the same even without popular stars.
For example, in Superman movies, Chris Reeve was so handsome and adorable, so fit for the role that it became impossible for us to even imagine a Superman movie without him. Even today if we imagine Superman, we see him, and not Brandon Routh. He was larger than the movie. And this happens very often.
On the other hand, the movies like THE INDEPENDENCE DAY are larger than anything, it does not matter weather it had Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith, it would have still remained a blockbuster with completely unknown stars. Spiderman movie would have remained the same if it had someone else and not Toby. The movie made Toby large; Toby did not make the movie large.
Such movies don't come very often. But they do.
This movie is surely one of those! I could bet a month's salary on it.
But before I start writing, I must say, that it was very difficult for me to get SIN CITY out of my mind and watch 300 as an independent film. And you might find the same while reading this comment.
During the initial ten minutes, while watching the young Leonidas fighting the fierce wolf I saw two eyes of the wolf in the dark and the way it is shown in the movie, I instantly recall Elijah Wood and his shinning spects in the dark and chill went through my spine and I mean it, literally. Even if I will see Elijah in person, I will be frightened for a while .It was very difficult to get SIN CITY out of your mind. I think this is a credit to FRANK MILLER. If these are his work, he is surely a genius.
History has always told everyone that Athens was superior to Sparta and Spartans are always projected as barbarians, killers, hooligans .. I thought the same.
And how wrong I was!! It is a fact that Spartan females were not only more strong, but socially, they enjoyed more freedom that any other female in the contemporary society. Queen Gorgo speaks for Sparta very firmly in the movies. This is not a sign of a barbarian civilization. NO.
Lena Headey is beautiful, but she is sexier and she has a superb, ringing voice. You will feel good just by listening to her voice. It has that special quality. I would watch the movie second time and her voice would be a reason.
Gerard Butler is perfect as the King Leonidas and the entire flick is brilliantly directed. But still, I would give the credit to FRANK MILLER.
I recommend analyzing the whole movie as one, instead of doing the same with its characters, story and other technical aspects.
The movie, at the end, keeps you thinking about Sparta, Spartans and Spartan females instead of the movie it self. The real hero of the film is Spartan civilization. I was glad to view the Spartan civilization with a different point of view.
I have already obtained the disk of THE 300 SPARTANS, released in 1962, starring Richard Egan that tells the same story. I was told by a friend that it is more powerful that this one. Well..let us hope I give 05/05 to 300. A must see. It will keep you thinking about Sparta and you will be more anxious for SIN CITY II.
Casino Royale (2006)
Make way for MR. CRAIG.
As a die hard bond fan, when I went to see this movie first day first show, the anxiety was not to see a brand new bond movie, but it was to watch Mr. Craig perform. Right from the point where he was pronounced the new bond, there have been two groups of people. One said this was not good. He just did not seem right. And another was of just opposite opinion. I and my wife were of the first opinion and I was very eager to see that I was right.
To my surprise, right from the first frame, it was clear that Mr. Craig has hit the mark and we were wrong. Though, the beginning of the film in black and white is of no meaning and has some strange impact, as the film proceeds, it takes the fans to a roller-coaster ride with state of the art chase and fight scenes. After the end of the opening sequence, I was just asking my self one question.." Who was that man Bond was chasing? Was he made of rubber?" Unlike any other bond films, this time, the bond is real. His feet are on the ground. There are no gadgets. At least, they are limited. Bond is portrayed as human with human strengths and fight scenes are more realistic than any bond movie. I mean, I could hardly believe that Roger Moore was quick enough to beat the knife killer from Circus in OCTOPUSSY.
Fans were not sure this time of what to expect. Even in the promos, the care had been taken by the team that they don't reveal the actual content of the film. We all went to see brand new gadgets and brand new bond, and we got only one.
How do you describe James Bond? I say, MR. 100%. Everything about him is 100%. He is 100% lucky, 100% fit, 100% handsome and bla bla a character that we all know could not be in real. And we all pretend to at least behave like sometimes in our lives.
You will find nothing of above in our new bond. He gets hurt, his face has bruises this time, M has a little or no admiration for him and she goes to a point where we could fell she has extreme dislike for him. His girl friend/s are both not so attractive and sexy this time and he uses mobile phones like us. Very well on the ground.
What is amazing about this is that he still does it. We still get that rush that we used to get while watching any other bond flick. Could you imagine any bother bond climbing a plane ladder and jumping on the truck, and still it looks real? Naaah .
Sean Connery is still THE BOND, but being physically super fit and chasing the bad guys on the feet like Jackie Chan, were not one of the virtues of bond. Roger Moore, George Lanzby, Dalton and Brosnan all are superb, no doubt about it. But no one could do it like Mr. Craig. With due respect, imagine Bronson running at a full speed like a gentleman and then setting his tie he could look just good, but still not like this bond who wears designer t shirts and short sleeve shits and rocks the screen. And he looked just splendid in designer sun glasses.
Daniel Craig has a god like body and takes the entire image of Bond to another, upper level. The viewer could believe that happens in the movie and I think this is the first time, the bond has been shown like this.
Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have done a perfect job as producers. I was sure that Mr. Craig was not gonna make it and Barbara is going to change the bond for one more time. But the credit of the entire movie goes to Martin Campbell who has done it again after GOLDEN EYE.
It would be unfair to think of this movie without martin Campbell. The real hero of the film is him. He has done it well and has done it twice. Hats off for Mr. Campbell.
But the soundtrack is a complete disaster. YOU KNOW MY NAME is nothing compares to THE GOLDEN EYE, GOLD FINGER , TOMORROW NEVER DIES or DIE ANOTHER DAY. To the best of my knowledge, this is the second time after A VIEW TO A KILL DURAN DURAN that male artist has performed a title track.
Eva Green is OK. Not as impressive as Daniel Craig, but OK. In fact, thinking again, she is a mistake. Not even her, but the other girl who has a brief appearance, is also not up to the mark. I hardly believed that this was the series that has given us divas like URSULA ANDRESS, TANYA ROBERTS, BARBARA BACH, CAROLINE MUNRO, BERRY and DENISE RICHARDS. All these were far far better bond girls. To this date, as per my opinion, MAUD ADAMS is the best bond girl.
Even on the screen, it was clear that bond could have many more beautiful girls. Falling for an accountant was nothing but lack of options.( I think this is exactly what the director wants to convey..:))There is no on screen chemistry with EVA.
In short, Ms.Barbara has succeeded and apart from all the lacunas, the movie is visual feast and a must watch. Daniel Craig has arrived, officially. The undersigned was never so happy to be wrong!