After the multi-starrer Ek Ajnabee, Apoorva Lakhia is ready with another multi-starrer film shootout at Lokhandwala. The previous film failed to do well at the box office, but Shootout... is the most awaited film of the year. We spoke to the director Apoorva Lakhia about his latest flick to know about the inside story. Here is the excerpt.
The gang war has ended in Mumbai. So, why did you choose such a subject for your film?
Firstly, the reason as to why I choose a subject of gang war is that this particular incident is quiet interesting and controversial too. Most people who were involved in this shootout incident are still alive. There are still a lot of court cases running against the policemen because whatever happened that time was wrong.
There have been a lot of other shootout incidents in Mumbai in the past. What was the reason behind choosing the shootout at Lokhandwala?
There are many reasons behind it. If you look at it carefully, it was a shootout where 286 policemen were engaged for the encounter of just five gangsters. The police fired 1700 rounds of bullet in a posh area for seven continuous hours in broad daylight. An incident of this sort has never happened in the history of Mumbai.
What kind of research have you gone through for this film?
For this film I had to do an intensive research. I had managed to gain the original news tapes of the shootout of 1991 from Mithi Tejpal and Madhu Trehans. I tried to talk to as many people who were involved in the incident. A.A. Khan (Aftab Ahmed Khan) himself has helped me a lot. He has also written a book called 'Surrender' on incident and I have included a lot of matter from it in my film.
It has been heard that Maya Dolas had ditched Daud Ibrahim and thus he had planned this encounter on Maya through A.A. Khan ...
This is a controversial question. A lot has been said and written on the matter. What you are saying might be true or might not be true. As I told you earlier too, there were a lot of nuisances happening in the underworld at that time and the police department was tired of it. When A A Khan heard that Maya was present at the building called Swati in Lokhandwala, the very moment he has decided to finish off the matter forever. In my film too I have Sanjay Dutt say the dialogue "Mumbai mein ayega toh upper ka ticket katayega" (If he comes to Mumbai, he would not be alive). Not many people know that Maya Dolas had surrendered to save his life, but the police still fired at him.
Whom are you trying to glorify through the movie, the underworld or the police department?
I'm not trying to glorify anyone through the movie. The police had been very cruel while handling the underworld at that time. Thus, under such situation it is very difficult to say who was correct or who was wrong. As for now, I leave this decision on the viewers.
You say that the movie is a true-life depiction. So can we expect an answer from you?
When have I said that my movie is a true-life depiction of the incident? I have not made any documentary; it is like any other commercial movie in Bollywood, which is meant to entertain the audience. The only thing true here is the incident that I have chosen. The rest, I have put in a lot of things from my own imagination. It is true that I have done a lot of research for the movie, but I have only incorporated only those things that I found interesting for the movie.