Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara! Reviews
The prequel established the onset of the great upcoming underworld don Shoaib Khan's (Emraan Hashmi) reign by making him the undisputed leader once he assassinated his mentor and senior Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgn). It was made pretty clear then and there that unlike his mentor, the new don was in no mood to follow any code of principle or sharing. The sequel starts with Shoaib (Akshay Kumar) being shown as the ruthless, mirthless, powerful don, who is well settled in the middle east and controls his Indian and other overseas operations with his loyal aid Javed (Sarfaraz Khan). Also, he unabashedly indulges in womanizing activities.
Honestly speaking, while watching such Dawood influenced movies (Company, D-Day, Shootout At Wadala, OUATIM, OUATIMD), you don't find any exclusive difference amongst them. In one or the other manner, they end up showing you the making and toughening of the anti social, his power and action, his softer side with a particular love interest, some hard core cop action and last but not the least, the culture, lingo and lifestyle of the 80's and early 90's.
What has actually stood out in this movie is the presence of Akshay Kumar. Actually, there are two heroes in the film - Akshay and his Dialogues. He mouths them unabashedly throughout the movie and almost all of them throw the required punch. He has also very well adopted the lean, mean and suave physicality and attitude of a great don. In fact you can say, it's very Italian. Also, he has very well played the role of an emotionless womanizer and a love torn angry young man. It is a fresh change to see him do method acting. Otherwise, normally you associate him with punjabi fashion wear and loud movies with long legged lasses.
Sonakhshi's character demanded someone who is beautiful, innocent, conscious and also forthcoming and robust. Needless to say, that she has suited the role very well. Also, she has looked beautiful and acted well. Imraan has this natural look and body language of someone who is very simple and honest. So, in spite of his cool presence, you do think that an Emraan Hashmi or a Ranveer Singh would have fitted the bill better. Mahesh Manjrekar has derived his own style of acting and his performance can be well speculated in advance. Sonali Bendre is a revelation in her very small but intense role. Sophie Choudry has managed to look glamorous without looking voluptuous or over the top. Sarfaraz Khan and Pitobash Tripathy have also acted well.
Akshay Kumar plays Shoaib Khan, a feared gangster who has the potency to halt cricket matches and fix award ceremonies. He sneers behind his shades as he declares himself as the ultimate kingpin of Mumbai. Aslam (Imran Khan) works for Shoaib. He was picked up by Shoaib due to his street-smarts, and in his formative years, Aslam has grown up to be a faithful disciple. But their admiration for each other is put at risk, when both of them fall for the same girl, Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha). Thus, the infamous love triangle strikes back in the narrative.
The story is set in the 80s and Luthria tosses his Mumbai tale carrying the same semblance of the Bollywood films, typical to that time period: raunchy, light-hearted and melodramatic. However, the 80s backdrop has no significance in the actual story and the movie's look doesn't make any effort to recreate the Mumbai of that time. You may find some historical references now and then but this whole affair is a big turn-off to audiences who expect it to be a tribute to the movies of that period.
Perhaps the eventual culprit is the weak structure of the film, which wastes ample time in introducing characters and wanders away until it's too late to engage. The main leads, especially Akshay Kumar, are confined to hamming cheesy dialogues which make no sense at all. It's just impossible to be fearful of a shady character who passes ridiculous lines like "Doodh me jo nimbu nicode, paneer uski". Akshay is anything but menacing. Also, the character of Sonakshi has no real depth, her actions are confusing and her importance in the screenplay is constructed as a plot device. The supporting cast are fillers and they lie around just like furniture; their main job is to make themselves look miserable in front of the leads.
This is really an unnecessary sequel. To quote Luthria's leading lady in The Dirty Picture, "Films become successful only for three reasons, entertainment...entertainment...and entertainment." And what lacks here is entertainment.
Date: 2 Sept 2013
Time: 10.00 pm
A delightful matinee diversion.