In case you’re wondering, no, Brainwala is not a long-lost brother from the Kumbh Mela to the other more famous holders of the “wala” part of the surname. Nope, I was not talking about Doodhwala or Paperwala either. They are not surnames you stupid.
I was talking about Daruwala (The most famous being Bejan Daruwala) and Baltiwala (I distinctly remember I have seen that surname somewhere).
Which brings me to a joke I just made up –
What would happen if a Daruwala guy were to marry a Baltiwala girl?
A number of things. For e.g:
1.The girl’s side family would shed bucketful of tears when she’s leaving her home.
2.The guy’s friends would give him a bachelor’s party where they would have daru in baltis.
3.The guy’s family and all his relatives would get free buckets as marriage gifts. Dowry buckets they would be called.
4. Nobody would ever kick the bucket. Because its free, and it contains daru.
If you have other more innovative answers, please feel free to comment at my blog. i.e, if you manage to reach the end.
(For the non-hindi speaking peoples, The Daru = Alcohol and The Balti = Bucket)
Anyways, what I had started to blog out, was about a certain movie called “Shootout at Lokhandwala”, released last Friday, based on a famous shoot-out which occurred in Mumbai in the 90s and which killed 5 well-known gangsters of the Dawood gang. It was supposedly a bloody gun-battle which, though gave the Mumbai Police a much needed impetus to their fight against the under-world, but also gave them a lot of flak for their actions. An exciting premise isn’t it?
And this is exactly why I decided to watch this movie. A quick call to one of my office friends – one of those I seem to make in a jiffy…the kinds who’s eyes twinkle, tongues roll up and let out a knowing smile at the sight and sound of anything resembling alcohol. Please don’t get me wrong. This happens only on Fridays and Saturdays. My mother is staying with me here. Dry days have become the norm for me.
Anyways, so we went for the last show, thinking that watching it late night would provide a fitting context for such a dark sub-plot. However, I must add, the multiplex was quite colorful, which almost distracted us from concentrating on the mood of the film. Keeping our focus, we went inside. In fact, we weren’t even talking to each other. Oh! No wait, we were on our cell phones talking. I was telling my mother I would be late. And he was talking to his wife.
So, anyways, without further ado, beating around the bush and any such further idiotic idioms aimed only at confusing the literate, let me get to the point – I still do not remember where I saw the Baltiwala surname!!
Oops!! Sorry, that was not it. Here it goes:
“Shootout at Lokhandwala” is a movie which had a powerful plot to back it up; a plot which has seen the likes of Satya, Company, and Sarkar. But it starts and ends in a painful mish-mash of scenes and characters which seem to be embroiled in the director’s attempt to show too many sides to a simple premise – that of 5 gangsters being shot in a daring encounter by 3 brave officers of the Mumbai Police.
It starts with compelling images of thousands of bullets, ammunition and blood lying on the ground, being swept with a broomstick at the, now upmarket, Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri and with Dia Mirza doing a report, post the killing. Following which we are taken to an interrogation of the 3 officers (Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty and Arbaaz Khan) by a senior lawyer, played by Amitabh Bachchan.
And this interrgation takes us to the story of the 5 gangster-characters, 3 of whom played by TV actors, while the other 2 – Vivek Oberoi and (hear, hear) Tushar Kapoor.
Now, we all know what Vivek Oberoi can do with a gangster’s role. And here, he almost lives upto it, except that he overdoes it. Maya Dolas, his character, was supposedly one who used to leverage people’s fear of the underworld for the crimes he committed. Hence, Vivek had to “taak Maya, waak Maya, eat Maya and drink Maya”. And he does all that, and too much of it.
But I did not mind it, because a character like Maya Dolas would not be known to us, unless:
1. One is in the underworld, which none of us are.
(The only word which we would have used as frequently and which sounds like underworld would be underwear. But we’ll leave that aside. The word, i.e)…or
2. One is a close relative or friend to Maya Dolas, which again points us to point no 1….or
3. One was involved in the shoot-out then, which could mean either we needed to be in the police or, again point no 1. OR
4. One is watching this movie and gets to know about Maya Dolas.
Hence, Q.E.D – Vivek Oberoi does whatever he could, to bring us this character. Apparently, in an interview, he said that he had done a lot of research for this role. Now, if only he had acted as less as he did his research, maybe things would have been better.
But what is beyond a sane mind’s comprehension, is the fact that Tushar Kapoor plays a supposedly psychotic shooter, right hand man to Maya Dolas and obsessively in love with a bar dancer!!!
I do not know much about cinema, but I can say with absolutely no doubt, that just by dressing up somebody in dirty jeans, a gun visibly tucked away at the back, a black see-through baniyan, an open-buttoned shirt, a french-cut beard and an opening shot where he smashes up a guy’s hand because he touches the love of his life, one cannot turn a romantic hero, into a dreaded Mumbai gangster!!
C,mon man! This is the same hero who ran from one high-rise to another looking for his babe, and then later goes into a jungle to croon “Mujhe kuch Kehnaa hai”!!
The only people who went psychotic were me and a lot of others in the theater when we saw him in a scene, supposedly laughing like a psycho at another man being thrown off a building!! I could have jumped out of the theater for chrissake!!
Anyways. Even if all this were bearable, how can a movie, based on a true shooting incident even dare to think that their leading gangsters would dance in sync to a daru song? Corny aint it?
Not only to a daru song, but all the other songs which were shot at a dance bar. Maybe it was to depict that these guys used to frequent such places and indulged in all vices with absolutely no regret or a sense of morality. But of all things, sync dancing to show this?
Indian Cinema seems to find novel ways to entertain its audiences.
And amidst all this chaos, we have other wonderfully crafted scenes and characters:
1. A police officer, Arbaaz Khan, speaking impeccable English and Hindi and constantly piques his partner Suniel Shetty whenever he mouths some expletives. It provided some forceful funny moments, but now, we were watching a real-life incident of a shoot-out, weren’t we?
2. One of the gangsters starts seeing ghosts of the family he had erroneously killed once. This he starts seeing as we reach the climax and the shoot-out almost begins. Premonition was it? Hmm…
3. The police and the gangsters are firing each other with all kinds of ammunition, including rocket launchers. Yet, the 5 guys take out the time to call their respective families and lovers, show emotion and fire back at the police in rage!!
Maybe it was to show that these gangsters were after all human. Now, we all know that they certainly did not land from outer space. They were human beings and gangsters.
So whats the need for such melodrama?
A bigger question – with all the firing and blasts, phone lines were still working…HOW IT IS I SAY?
Well, I could go on like this. And the more I think about it, the more saddened I feel about the 3 brave officers who risked their lives to kill the gangsters. Now, I shall leave the debate of human rights, etc to people who can speak on it. I shall stick to what I can talk on.
When one makes a movie on controversial incidents involving such brave people, and who are still alive, doesn’t it behoove the film-makers to do their homework better and put in a more concerted effort at maintaining reality as close to what it was? I think it does.
And this was the only conclusion my friend and I could come to, as we came out to a cool Pune night for a drive back.
The only shoot-out that happened for real that evening was of my brain. Which lay splattered amidst the 150 Rs I paid for this mindless mayhem.
And I can see one more. Yours’. On this blogpage.
Yeh kya pakarela hai bhai…Khopche mein leke doon kya isko kaan ke niche…