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Lakhia's hopeful for Shootout at Lokhandwala
Diganta Guha
Kolkata, May 14, 2007
First Published: 16:11 IST(14/5/2007)
Last Updated: 18:16 IST(15/5/2007)
Tell him Shootout At Lokhandwala is 2007’s biggest multi-starrer and he plays modest. “I thought it was Salaam-e-Ishq,” answers director Apoorva Lakhia.

Probably he would like to play down the hype centring around the film starring — check the list — Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Viveik Oberoi, Tusshar Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Dia Mirza, Amrita Singh, Neha Dhupia, Rohit Roy and Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan.

Well, the very mention of this star cast probably says it all, and Lakhia says it is justified, “I wanted known faces for unknown characters.”

Based on a real life story that happened in the Lokhandwala area of Mumbai in 1991, making the film was no easy task for Lakhia. “It involved tremendous research, talking to people to collect facts from people, charge sheets, reading DCP AA Khan’s (he was in charge of the operation) book Surrender and so on,” adds Lakhia who says the genre — gang war and action is up his sleeve.

<b1>There were two options in his hand when he sat with his producer Sanjay Gupta — make a dark movie or make it big so that it makes an impact.

“We went the latter way,” says Lakhia whose last two films were Ek Ajnabee and Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost.  

Coming back to the star cast, the first thing that strikes is Tusshar Kapoor playing a villain. And Lakhia adds that it took him two months to convince Tusshar to play the role.

“Viveik’s Maya always had a chance of reminding the audiences of Chandu in Company. So, we had to add more characters like the ones played by Rohit Roy, Shabbir Ahluwalia and Aditya Lakhia. And then there were Arbaaz and Sanjay Dutt apart from the Bachchans. Abhishek does a cameo in the film,” adds Apoorva.

But isn’t it a Sanjay Dutt film keeping in mind the fact it is co-produced by Dutt’s White Feather Films.

Lakhia answers in the negative adding, “It’s not any individual’s film.”

He loves action, so what kind of action do we have in this film?
“Very realistic in keeping with the subject because the characters are humane. And mind you Ek Ajnabee had a hero who was 63,” says Lakhia.

However, the biggest problem that’s haunting Lakhia right now, is the Mumbai centric story of the film.

“I think it needs as much push as possible outside Mumbai,” he says.

Before we call it quits, one question we can’t afford to give a miss is the box-office record of his films.

“You know what, every director is worth his last film. But you cannot write off a film as a flop. Ek Ajnabee was not a flop. Yes, it didn’t do that well, but it’s not a flop,” is his answer.

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