Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai – Must Watch

Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai – Must Watch

Gangster movies, if they are well-made are always loved by the people. The murky tale, the thrills, the drama and performances that we have seen in movies like Deewar Satya, Vaastav, Shootout at Lokhandwala and even a love story like Gangster  has always sought repeat viewing. The same magic happens with Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai. It recreates an era of the 80s which laid the foundation for underworld dons to enter in Mumbai.

In the story of Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, we see how the mafia makes Mumbaai its home.  A thriller that shows how two youths rise up to the level of dons in the streets of Mumbai makes for a compelling watch.  Sultan Mirza(Ajay Devgn) moves quickly to the post of a don but his position is at risk by his protégé Shoaib Khan(Emraan Hashmi) who challenges his supremacy and dares to overthrow him from his high seat.  Basically, the movie works on human emotions and the thrill; it may well have been a movie based on corporate world or politics. All in all, it makes for an interesting watch.

What works for Once Upon a Time:

The charm of the bygone era, the romance, the smuggling, the mafia, the cabaret and the 70s look. The other good part is that the movie works on its thrill factor, there is hardly any violent scene or bloodshed in the film but still you get your value for money  The screenplay is taut and may help you draw parallels with the real life dons Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim.  There is hardly a dull scene in the film and every sequence blends with the other nicely. There are plenty of interesting scenes in the film and the climax scene does remain in your mind for a long time.

Technically speaking, this is the best work of director Milan Luthria to date. Art director Nitin Chandrakanth Desai, a veteran in his field, is very good in this film, having recreated the perfect retro look of a bygone era. The screenplay by Rajat Aroraa is commendable for sure. The dialogues by Rajat are exceptional, infectious to the hilt.

Pritam has done his job well. After his score in Khatta Meetha, he gives another sixer in the form of Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai. Three songs ‘Pee Loon’, ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ and the remix of APNA DESH track stand out. Akiv Ali’s editing is crisp and so is the cinematography by Aseem Mishra. It is rare to find a movie with technical brilliance and a good script to boot. But yes, this movie is a Bollywood dream come true.

What does not work for Once Upon a Time:

There are just mere blemishes here, for instance, the story starts with Randeep Hoonda trying to commit suicide but there are no reasons given for him to commit that step. The pace of the movie does slow post second half for a while but picks up in the confrontational scene between Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. The film could have been even better, had it been shorter in length.

Performances in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai:

There are some brilliant performances in the movie. Ajay Devgan as expected is wonderful, his role may be similar to the one he did in Company but he gives it a better shade in this one. Emraan Hashmi is superb as the supremely ambitious person; he gets a dark role and he does it with complete enthusiasm. Watch him emote in the penultimate scenes of the film. The girls justify their hyped retro look. Kangna Ranaut shows that she can be very handy in any role that she is given. She brings to the table the right kind of glamor and screen presence that is required of her, befitting of the 70s era actress.

Prachi Desai as the girlfriend of Emraan Hashmi does a good job. She sizzles in the Bobby song and reminds you of the sensuous Dimple Kapadia.  Both Prachi and Emraan share a very good chemistry as do Kangna and Ajay.Randeep has a small cameo but he does it so well that it might well be his best performance so far. Gauhar Khan gets to perform for the remix track and she definitely does sizzle.

Conclusion: Overall, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai is a brilliant film and you should watch it for sure.

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