ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI turns out to be yet another ‘could have been’ movies rather than ‘is’ movies. By this I mean, what could have easily been a fast paced story of greed and deception turns out a somewhat uneven ride with all the elements forcefully packed into it.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is the story that depicts how the mafia came into and became a powerful force for the first time in Mumbai. It portrays the crime scene in the city during the 70s and 80s. The movie starts with the introduction of ACP Agnel Wilson [Randeep Hooda] who then narrates the story of two of the most powerful people of Mumbai, Sultan Mirza [Ajay Devgn] and Shoaib Khan [Emraan Hashmi]. He narrates the story of how Sultan came from a south India as a child and slowly became the king of Mumbai and story of Shoaib, who in his quest to conquer Mumbai forgets what is right and wrong and spoils the till then great city of Mumbai.
Director Milan Luthria does well to recreate the era of 70’s and 80s and extracts great performances from his star cast. The screenplay by Rajat Aroraa could have been tighter and could have definitely done without 1-2 songs as well the focus on romantic tracks [especially Emraan Hashmi’s]. The dialogues by Rajat Aroraa are brilliant and make the scenes way more interesting.
The music is already a rage and Pritam strikes the right chord yet again – ‘Pee Loon’ and ‘Parda’ being the best of the lot. A special mention of the background score – Superb!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI has some fine performances with Ajay Devgn taking the lead. He is looks his part and well, isn’t he expected to be brilliant…that is what exactly he is – splendid. Emraan Hashmi delivers a great performance as the greedy and ambitious gangster. Kangna Ranaut and Prachi Desai do well in the limited scope [especially Prachi] they get. I loved Randeep Hooda’s performance as the young ACP – this could be touted as his comeback. He looks dashing as the police offers and delivers a commendable performance. Avtar Gill [Home Minister], Naved Aslam [as Patrick] is perfect and Mehul Bhojak [Javed] play their part well.
Final word – As I mentioned earlier, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is a movie that could have been an extremely enticing and fast paced story of disguise and greed but in the end turns out to be only an average affair.
My Rating – 3/5