CAST & CREW
Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai tells us the story of the good-hearted gangster Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgn) through the eyes of DCP Agnel Wilson ( Randeep Hooda). The movie follows the rise of Sultan's power and his love story with film star Rehana (KanganaRanaut) and his discovery and his curious relationship with Shoaib ( Emraan Hashmi).Shoaib joins Sultan as a young rising gangster with eyes for Sultan’s empire. How their relationship evolves and howShoaib rises through the ranks as Sultan falls form the crux of the story. The movie is said to be inspired by the real-life story of Haji Mustan and Dawood Ibrahim.
The glamorous 70s-80s sets the scene for this tale of glorified gangsters and the city of Mumbaai (with an extra “a” for some reason). The entire movie plays out as a tribute to that era and even takes cues from the movies of the time. The one-liners are powerful, and the interplay between Sultan and Shoaib is what drives the movie. The lack of chemistry between Ajay Devgn and Kangana Ranaut makes the love story weak but thankfully the focus is not on that but the rise and fall of the gangsters. Strong performances from the lead actors ensure that this is an entertaining watch.
Ajay Devgn’s Sultan is an extension of his character from Company, which is certainly a good thing. He manages to show the dark side while also making you care for him which is crucial to understand his popularity with the masses as a modern day Indian Robin Hood. Emraan Hashmi as the young guy who is highly ambitious is spot on and brings the arrogant charm to the character. Both Devgn and Emraan have astounding dialogue delivery, and this takes importance in the movie because of the number of one-liners.
The recreation of the period that the movie is set in has been achieved through very high levels of attention to detail with the art director deserving special credit. It’s a joy to see the 70s-80s come to life on the screen.The brilliant performances from Devgn and Hashmi, which make you care for the gangsters.
WHAT’S NOT THERE?
The lack of chemistry between Ajay Devgn and Kangana Ranaut makes the love story fall flat.
Though the film is fast-paced, it slows down a bit too much in the second half.
Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai is a movie for all those die-hard fans of the 70s and 80s Bollywood with powerful dialogue, dazzling song sequences, and intense action.
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