Critics' review: Shootout At Wadala is a mass entertainer

By HT

Director Sanjay Gupta's gangster flick Shootout At Wadala has earned some praise from the critics for the entertaining element it has. Plot doesn't seem to be too different from the usual mafia movie fare but it does hold its own. Though the movie has its share of loop holes, it still manages to get a nod from most reviewers.

Film: Shootout At Wadala
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Cast: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Tusshar Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpai

Spoilers ahead

Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV feels the director brings a degree of flair and finesse to the table. "As far as the plot goes, the film does not proffer much that has not been seen before. Sanjay Gupta gives the hackneyed and violent story a sustained edge that is difficult to ignore. Shootout at Wadala is a hyper-dramatized and stylized cinematic version of what is essentially a journalistic account (taken from S Hussain Zaidi's book Dongri to Dubai) of the rise and fall of a Mumbai mafia don in the 1970s and 1980s," he says.

Going to the root of where Gupta perhaps got his inspiration, Tushar Joshi from DNA writes "Sanjay Gupta is perhaps the biggest self-proclaimed Quentin Tarantino fan in the country. When you look at Kaante (2002), Musafir (2004) and Zinda (2006), there's no denying what inspired him to conjure up those slow motion action sequence, and bullets blowing up brains. Shootout at Wadala is no different. Set in the late 70's and 80's the film is an unapologetic gangster flick that milks every opportunity to play to the gallery and titillate its core audience with violence and sex."

The film dramatizes the first-ever registered encounter by Mumbai police, where gangster Manya Surve was shot dead in 1982. The film is an adaptation of the book titled Dongri to Dubai. Critics feel John Abraham, as the protagonist, given his heart and soul to the role.

Taran Adarsh applauds the actor. He says, "Leading the pack is, without doubt, John Abraham, who makes the character of Manya Surve come alive on screen. It's a drastic transition for John as he has several heavy-duty scenes to perform and the actor does the switch from an action hero to an able performer with much delight. Call this a coincidence; whenever John has been cast in a negative role, his performance has always stood out (Zinda, Dhoom and Race 2). Now Shootout At Wadala will prove to be the talking point".

Tushar Joshi too is all praises for the Bollywood hottie calling him tough competition for the young lads. "John Abraham deserves credit for physically and emotionally giving his all to the role. Watching the actor flex those biceps and show his well chiselled torso is a thing of the past, but that slow motion frame where he clings on to a BEST bus is bound to remind all these upcoming lads (likes of Arjun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Sushant Singh Rajput) who they are competing against", says the reviewer.

Anil Kapoor has been appreciated and Kangana Ranaut too garners positive feedback.

Most critics like the movie, but there's a counterpoint in Mayank Shekhar of Daily Bhaskar. The critic rips it apart. Literally! He calls it "super cheap, cheesier version of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai."

He further says, "If you didn't know any better and there weren't that many guns going off at one go, you would imagine that you had actually walked into a long mushaira of lafanga shayars with this hollow film. Every character here is a poet and he knows it. Every line in the picture is loud dialoguebaazi".

Verdict: Going by what most critics feel Shootout At Wadala is a masala entertainer which packs enough punch.

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