There are N number of movies on gangsters, underworld crime, etc. As much as we may hate them in real, we love to see these characters on screen. Heavy Duty dialogues, Slick and stylish dons, cabaret and so much more was there to those old gangster flicks.
Once Upon a time in Mumbaai tries exactly that. It tries to recreate an era, when all THIS was the common trade in bollywood flicks,but is no more to be seen today. IT isnt you a true story or a part of the history, but it easily makes you revisit that era, with a mix of fiction and realism.
It is a tale of the falling of a powerful king and the rising of the Prince, which is loosely inspired from the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ebrahim, blending it with a fiction story to make it intriguing enough for the audience.
So does Once Upon A Time IN Mumbaai really take you back to the bygone era? Does it really turn out to be a complete entertaining gangster movie, which now has become a rarity? Well the answer is a Freaking Yes. The movie totally sucks you into itself and you cant help applauding each bit of it.
The best thing about Once Upon a time is that it is riventing in each field it does. Romance, Action, drama, subtle comedy..it succeeds everywhere!
It is a story about Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgn) who is an underworld DON, a smuggler, yet a messiah for the people of the city. He loves the city and believes it to be his 'Mehbooba' and doesnt indulge in killing. On the other hand, there is Shoaib (Emraan Hashmi) who is a power greedy, mannerless guy, who eventually joins Sultan, and gradually supercedes him. How it happens..how it started is all that the movie is about.
The story begins with the cop (Randeep Hooda) attempting to commit suicide. Since he fails, he is asked the reason for the cause. And there begins the story, which is thoroughly narrated by this cop, making the story through a flashback mode.
It is a power packed movie, and while you expect some gore sequences in a gangsta movie, you would be surprised to know that there is hardly and blood/violence sequences in this flick. Moreover, the climax has deliberately been kept as subjective for the audience to assume themselves as to what happens and disturbing(which is a job well done). Yet it impresses big time.
First things First, one has to accept that Milan Luthria is finally into the bracket of A list directors. The way he projects, and takes you forrward through the narrative is commendable!Be it the romantic portions or the crime drama,he presents it in a fascinating manner.
The screenplay is done fabulously. Importance is equally given to character framing, romance, drama, action and there is nothing that comes out all of a sudden. It takes its time and slowly poignises you with its compelling essence.
The art production is excellent. Creating the same retro is damn tough, but you see these technicians coming out with flying colours. You can actually feel the era..the era we loved to see on screen.
Full marks to the cinematography as well. Locations are perfectly shot, especially the sea side sequences featuring Ajay Devgn.
The background score is excellent. You will be left wow and want more of it. How many times does it actually happen to you while watching the movie? You will be forced to remember, but here it catches on to you the moment it begins and makes up the scenes even more enjoyable. You gotta love it.
But the main USP of the film has to be its dialogues. I mean when was the last time you heard of some more than a dozen of dialogues which stayed on to you even after you exit the theatre? Come Once Upon a time in Mumbaai, and you are succumebed to so much of fabulous dialogues presented by Rajat Arora, that you just cant get the proper hold of each n every dialogue. They are so exemplary that they take even an ordinary scene to extraordinary heights. This one is a masterpiece here.
Music by Pritam is one of his best works till date. The songs are excellent and as they have been placed appropriately in the movie, they shine out more. 'Pee Loon' is a beautifully picturised track, while 'Parda' rocks you alongwith a sizzling performance by Gauhar Khan. 'Baburao' is an enjoyable track, showing the rise of Emraan Hashmi while 'Tum Jo Aaye' along with its reprise version is a treat. One does miss the track 'I am In Love though.
Coming to the performances,
Ajay Devgn is a superstar. Period. He gives one his finest performances and does so in such a way that whenever he appears on screen you can feel the charm and impact of Sultan Mirza all over you, making you go WOWWWWW. You havent seen him as a star before, but with Once upon a time in mumbaai, he breaks the norm. He is utterly fabulous! A Class Act!
Emraan Hashmi is very good as a lusty, power greedy man, who is possessed about becoming successful in shorter span of time, come what may. He carries the look of the gangster completely and does exceedingly well as a desparate lover too.
Kangna Ranaut (as Rehana) is natural and very good in the short role she does. She is the emotional force in the movie and plays an importance part here and despite having a short part, she does very well. Infact her look is the best you have seen of her ever before this movie.
Prachi Desai (as Mumtaaz) as the innocent confidante, has a very short role and is mostly used as a prop due to her cuteness and sizzling bobby sequence. Yet she does very well in all that she has to do in the movie. Worth appreciating.
Randeep Hooda (as Agnes Wilson) as a cop,is the surprise package. Though billed as special appearance, his performance is excellent and turns out to be very confdent in the movie. He should do more films.
Avtar Gill(as home minister), Naved Aslam (Patrick),Sanjeev Wilson(Chandru), Ravi Khanwilkar as (Vardhan) does well. Gauhar Khan sizzles.
My favourite scenes:
Pre Climax to the Climax - the very last scene (shot with the whole city around the protagonist at the centre)
Ajay - Kangna whole romantic sequence
Pee Loon & Parda
Shoaib's rising while Sultan is away.
After party sequence (Emraan's act as the fake police)
Young Emraan scene with the TT.
Randeep screams at his colleague officer.
Shoaib - Sultan showdown when Sultan returns.
Emraan - Prachi romantic sequences in the jewellery shop
Emraan beats up the guy at his shop.
Ajay - Randeep conversation at Emraan's shop.
and many more...
On the whole Once Upon a time in mumbaai is an extremely well made movie and easily among the best crime based movies ever made(best for me).It excels in every department and makes up for a Compulsive watch. Do not miss!