Movie Review - Once upon A Time In Mumbaai

By: Amit R Agarwal ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is eagerly awaited because of the rumor that it is based on the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim. Is it? Well, references and modeling characters and incidences from their lives don’t really attribute in making the film a ‘biopic’. Moreover, the 29 year difference between Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim isn’t established in the film. It is definitely not a biopic. ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI’s USP is that it is set in a bygone era. The retro look gives the audiences reason enough to see the film. ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI opens on the infamous night of March 1993 that shocked the nation – Mumbai serial bomb blast. A senior police officer, Agnel Wilson (Randeep Hooda) attempts suicide and after being saved, he confesses to his superior that he is partly-responsible for the blasts as he let the main culprit, Shohaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi) mushroom. In a flashback, Agnel recounts, the making of Mumbai’s first underworld don with a heart of gold Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgn) and how Shohaib Khan came in contact of Sultan. Agnel let Shohaib fledge as he wanted to decimate Sultan. The plot of the film bears a striking resemblance to Company and there is no doubt that Company was a much superior film. As already indicated, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai’s main USP is that it is set in the 70’s and the retro look makes for a very gripping first half. The color, the tone, the texture and the background music captivate the audiences. Milan Luthria is in total control of his craft with a firm directorial rein and the first half increases audiences’ expectations manifolds. However, the second half spirals out of control and is very inconsistent. It gathers only when Sultan Mirza comes back from Delhi, but then, it is the climax.
What rocks the movie:
• Ajay Devgn, in a role similar to that of Company, it is only his maturity that instead of reprising his earlier act, he gives an entire new dimension to his portrayal! It sure should fetch him awards. • The first half; a few sequences are notable, like Sultan Mirza pulling of a daring act during a train sequence. • Milan Luthria’s vision as a director in the first half, everything about this part is simply superbly aesthetic. • The writing in the first half
What chucks the movie:
• Emraan Hashmi’s act is too lame as a result he couldn’t really make his character a successful antagonist. • The second half • The romantic track hinder the pace of the film • The entire angle of a supposedly Mandakini look-alike with Shohaib Khan is force-fit.
If you are looking at a Company kind of a high from the film, you might be disappointed, but Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai is worth a watch just because of its retro look.