Shootout at Wadala Review: Is it ‘formula’ filmmaking?

More than the ‘big opening’ that this film got, the reviews were totally mixed. I connected with one or two the most, i wont mention which, as i had not watched the movie back then but that was somewhat my preconceived idea of the film.

ImageTo start with, I don’t see why the violence in this film was problematic to many. Its not really such a thing. The subject matter that Shootout at Wadala addresses, it simply cannot refrain from a bit over the top amount of violence. The story telling structure isn’t a very common one, so that was something I certainly liked. Since its partly a true story, predictability isn’t really much of a question. The first half of the film was a bit more fragile and weaker than the second half where i thought it picked up, something. It seemed like more ‘key’ incidents were taking place in the later half. ‘Item songs’ are clearly overused. One is alright, two is a bit too much to tolerate so lets not discuss the THREE item songs that this movie has in store. Its like the film is dictating the meaning of the three act structure through three item songs.  Apart from that, the songs aren’t really catchy nor do they hold anything significant to take back or probably even to hum the tune. Alla re alla seemed to be the best shot with the ‘western’ feel.  When we come to the dialogues, i can coldly say this, one out of 15 are actually good. Many of the dialogues with extreme amount of intended laughter just do not make you laugh. Some sound like those dialogues that are mediocre for something like the intellectual and urban audiences and clap and whistle worthy for the single screens. But, some of the dialogues are pretty tasty to bite upon, without a doubt. John Abraham pulls through a good performance and so do Manoj Bajpayee, Sonu Sood , Anil Kapoor and Ronit Roy. Tusshar Kapoor’s performance also deserves a praise. But still, I found his work better in Shootout at Lokhandwala . Either way, he does a good job out here too. Kangana Ranaut was disappointing. Previously, i was never a fan of her work. But that was until i watched Once upon a time in Mumbaii which was her finest work that i had seen. This film maintains that. Her screen presence expressively is actually so good, but something didn’t work over and above that. Some scenes in the film actually stand out pretty well. But there are others, which you know, Okay, this scene is not going to be with me when I’m out of here. Jackie Shroff has a cameo in the film but he has this presence which really made that scene one of the best in the film. As i said for the dialogue, sadly the same applies to the scenes. 1 out of a 15 is actually good. Overall, the film didn’t work too well for me. If the second half were like the first, i don’t think i would even call it average. But the second half manages to somehow do its job. Performances are good but not anywhere near the best. Sometimes, it feels too cheesy and the dialogue seems to be more of preaching and lesser of real dialogue, dialogue that two characters would actually speak in the given situation. To be totally frank, the film does not leave you too pleased.

shootout-at-wadala-movie-poster-2There might be a feeling that Sanjay Gupta totally attempts to use something as unexplainable as a ‘Super Hit Formula’. The item songs, the dialogue, the type of action sequences and the like. No character is given the attention you think he or she deserves. It all goes wayward. Interestingly, this becomes some sort of a plus point at the end. Somewhere, just slightly, very slightly, that last sequence stays with you. You might begin to feel for John’s character just before the shootout. But this kind of multiple viewpoint opportunity is rarely given to the audience by the Director in rest of the film. It isn’t anything to do with the screenplay which is actually pretty good as i previously said. One of the key reasons might be that you’d expect more from this film. But then again, I couldn’t help but compare the picture to Shootout at Lokhandwala once or twice. I don’t think, in my right mind, i would rate this film nearly as good as the former. Excessively commercial in its nature, Shootout at Wadala is not anything more than a one time watch.

 Overall, I give the film 2 out of 5.


About Ronak Kamat

Writer, filmmaker, photographer. View all posts by Ronak Kamat

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