CAST & CREW
There has been a series of movies that made about the goings on in the Mumbai underworld starting from films like “ Deewar” to “Once Upon a Time in Mumbai”, but this one is a follow-up to “ Shootout at Lokhandwala” both being based loosely on the crime fiction Dongri to Dubai though not by the same directors. S Hussain Zaidi’s book approximately covers many of the notorious gangsters of the Mumbai underworld and of some of the police officers of the time caught in the controversy of encounter killings.
Plot:The central character in the film is Manya - John Abraham), who started life as a reasonably good student, and was about to lead a normal life, hoping to formalise his marriage with girlfriend Vidya, played by Kangna Ranaut, after passing out. However, neither his marriage nor his education gets completed. He gets caught up in the violent sequence of events in which his gangster brother Bhargav ( Vineet Sharma) and a rival don, Bhatkar (Ranjeet) get involved and both brothers get arrested as one of the gang members gets killed in the exchange of fire. Quite poignantly, while Manya is in college to see his results, is instead subjected to public humiliation by Inspector Ambolkar, played by Anupam Kher. In a prison flare up later, Bhargav gets killed in trying to save his brother Manya who was attacked by a rival goon named Potya ( Chetan Hansraj). Manya settles scores soon stabbing Potya to death. Subsequently, Manya manages to escape along with Munir with whom he had struck up a good friendship while in prison. Forming a loose association with brothers Zubair (Manoj Bajpai) and Dilawar ( Sonu Sood) who control a large part of Mumbai’s underworld deals, Manya and Munir get down to settling scores, but soon Manya forms his gang with Munir and others since Dilawar had taken a dislike for Manya. One by one Manya sets out to finish off his first enemy Bhatkar as also publicly humiliate Ambolkar, his first arresting police officer. After this Manya gains sufficient clout and gets involved in quite a lot of inter-gang killings, till finally he himself gets killed in a shootout at the behest of the police commissioner, often described as an ‘encounter killing.'
While there is a bevy of accomplished actors in the cast, the true credit for this slickly produced movie goes to director Sanjay Gupta, who mixes the original content of the book very well with freshly conceived episodes to avoid this becoming a documentary on gang warfare and encounter killings. This is surely a rank to Gupta’s best film to date, and half his work is done through a punched in the screenplay, where he is aided by Abhijeet Deshpande and Sanjay Bhatia, with Milap Milan Zaveri delivering the ultimate punch through his hard-hitting dialogues. On the acting side, it is John Abraham all the way with his figure dominating the screen most of the two and half hours or so. What is noteworthy about the music is that it carried one back to the seventies era, perhaps aptly so, looking at the period of the events in the film.
Verdict:For those familiar with the goings on of the Mumbai underworld, this provides a lot of ‘identification episodes’ but even for others who appreciate good cinema it should have enough to please them
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