Once Upon a Time in Mumbai (2010)
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Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time in Mumbai
Few actors in mainstream films manage a self-assured, under-stated swagger, convey so much silently, sometimes just with their glance and droopy eyes... Bachchan perfected it as the 'angry young man'. Devgn, you can tell, is his fine successor.
Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time in Mumbai
There used to be a time when Bollywood was overly glamorous, the middle class always in awe of the rich, law that was still being written and order that was established by the ruling underworld mafia and when, a crore of rupees really meant a lifetime's wealth. Lives were less valuable back then and nobody lit candles for the fallen. This was when the city was called 'Bombay'. Director Milan Luthria takes us to 'Once upon a time in Mumbaai' in the era of a smuggler who sought control of the seas and his apprentice who changed the meaning of crime altogether. The inspiration for the character of Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgan) was certainly derived from the erstwhile RobinHood Smuggler Haji Mastan Mirza. Sultan's attire, his background, his occupation, his interest for the welfare of the poor, his love for a Bollywood heroine and production of movies are obvious parallels to Mastan. Devgan portrays his character with ease and familiarity but makes a remarkable impression with the dialogues written by Rajat Arora. The movie is a bible for the man on the streets in Bombay. Each one as if a quotation by a philosopher and yet dramatic in effect when combined with a sharp screenplay. The result is what you would relate to as a Salim-Javed penned underworld drama. “Jab dost bana kar kaam ho sakta hai toh dushman kyon banaye?” is repeatedly used by Sultan, as though asserting his philosophy in dealings. Sultan's love interest is the glamorous looking Rehana (Kangana Ranaut) who falls for his one-liners and cleanly ironed white outfits. Kangana looks gorgeous and performs naturally in a role that also is familiar territory for her. She even over-shines the beautiful Prachi Desai who could do with a meatier role next time. In the aftermath of the '93 serial blasts, a despondent ACP Agnel Wilson (Randeep Hooda) regretfully narrates the tale of how two criminals shaped the future of the city and how he trusted the wrong one among the two to turn away from the underworld. His mistake resulted in just one of them surviving the decades of criminal dominance when the ghoda was the law and Shoaib Khan's apathy to the city, was the order. Although Emraan Hashmi has portrayed similar negative roles in the past, he adds some sleekness to a reckless character who would shape up to be Dawood Ibrahim. Shoaib's ambition “duniye raakh ki tarah neeche hogi aur khud dhuye ki tarah upar” makes him greedy, zealous and rash. Eventually, his ways diverge completely from the more humble, loop-hole smuggling approach of Sultan's who, as everyone acknowledged, never caused harm to the city but instead, bestowed it with generosity towards the masses. This disparity in attitudes is supremely entertaining. Chandu, in his rage says, “tu aur teri Company Khallas” in 'Company' and here we have Sultan enraged over Shoaib's management of his business in his absence, ordering his men “Shehar Saaf chahiye mujhe!” The combination of such screenplay and dialogues is essentially the strength of this film and the reason why it has its place in the hallmark of crime sagas. Pritam's two romantic tracks make up whatever good there is in the album. Mohit Chauhan's melodious Pee Loon and the combination of Tulsi Kumar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan make Tum Jo Aaye a hummable track in the romantic rains. Milan Luthria directs his best after the promising 'Kachche Dhaage' with some powerful writing by Rajat Arora. Numerous scenes are packed with metaphorical dialogues that will build the required tension without any drama. The background music, cinematography and the crisp editing also make this a commendable thriller. Perhaps there hasn't been a more worthy tribute to the real Dons of yesteryears and even though, the climax does not bear any resemblance to characters or events in real life, the end-note pays a serious tribute that sums up the story and leaves us with a helpless grasp of events that have taken place in real life, due to a real person. “Beyond the myth, lies Mumbai's greatest betrayal.” 8.148 on a scale of 1-10.
Good Time Pass! - About two guys who became some of the greatest mobsters of Indian History, one by Compassion & other by Relentless! - Moral: There are two kinds in this world, Those who win by Compassion, & Those who win by Relentless! When being Friends, can get Things done, then why become Enemies!?!
Ajay devgan has again shows his class. Nice dialogues, well knitted story, every single actor/actress did justice to the character. One of the better hindi flicks in recent time.
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