Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout At Wadala largely draws inspiration from journalist-author S Hussain Zaidi’s Dongri to Dubai-6 decades of the Mumbai mafia. But the maker takes the cinematic liberty of changing the material at hand to make his film and characters more engaging. Or should we say largely entertaining.
15 minutes into the film you know Gupta means business as knives gash, guns explode, blood flows, actors mouth expletives galore and items girl gyrate shamelessly.
SAW has two protagonists—Manya Surve( John Abraham) a bright college student from the 70s, who finds himself inexorably drawn into a vortex of crime. The other leading man is Aafaque Bagraan(Anil Kapoor) a trigger-happy cop who wants to clean up the streets of the maximum city.
As the police and the criminals play the regular usual cat and mouse game; the screenplay introduces the viewer to endless gangsters and their girls. There’s Vidya( Kangana Ranaut), Manya’s love-interest, Sheikh Munir(Tusshar Kapoor), Gyanchod (Siddhanth Kapoor) and a couple of more hoodlums who are his henchmen. And you have their deadly opponents—the Haksar brothers, Zubair ( Manoj Bajpayee) and Dilawar(Sonu Sood). Manya and Zubair wrest to take over the Mumbai mafia. Quite naturally the opposing gangs bay for one another’s blood. And in true Bollywood style, the slaying is interrupted only with the swaying; so you have three item songs lined up. The first item has adult star, Sunny Leone, whose song—Laila teri Le Legi is alone worth the price of a ticket. This Canadian-Indian girl is such an object of desire; she makes other dance girls pale in comparison.
The other selling point of the film is Milap Zaveri’s dialogue. Many of the lines are claptraps. But be warned, there’s a liberal peppering of filthy lingo that will make you cringe. The performances are largely A-grade. Manoj tops the list. And though he’s a Mafioso, his demeanour will get the maidens to melt. Sonu who plays Dilawar, succeeds in spreading menace and speaks eloquently with his eyes.
John is the one with the maximum screen time. From vulnerable to invincible, from a testosterone wonder to a believable actor, Manya is his career’s best act. Tusshar is earnest and effective. Kangana may not have the item song benefit but she has recall value as the anguished gangster’s moll.
Siddhant Kapoor, son of baddie Shakti Kapoor is also a young talent to watch out for.
Anil Kapoor does his encounter specialist act with elan. He’s supported ably by Ronit Roy, Mahesh Manjrekar and Jackie Shroff who puts in a guest appearance as the police chief.
SAW ultimately belongs to Gupta, who stays true to the genre and makes a welcome return to the credible lot of Bollywood directors.
A conscientious college student is wrongly accused of murder. Post his jail break, he attempts to take over the Mumbai mafia. Does he succeed? Or does he succumb to the law?
You may not like this film if don’t have the appetite for blood and gore.
The Times of India