CAST & CREW
In following the recent trend of mushrooming sequels, “One Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara!” is one more on the list, and is a follow up on the original 2010 one, which was loosely based on the lives of some of the leading underworld dons of Mumbai, spanning from the times of the smuggling mafia and reaching to more dangerous ones that got sucked into the arena of international terrorism. Although the film is a take-off from where the original had ended, the lead actor has been changed in this version.
Plot: The film starts with the second phase in gangster Shoaib Khan’s ascendancy to the underworld throne after eliminating his mentor Sultan Mirza. In this sequence, however, the role is portrayed by Akshay Kumar instead of the younger Emraan Hashmi of the original. Khan is shown back in Mumbai after establishing himself in middle east, seeking to reclaim his kingdom from contenders like Rawal,(enacted by Mahesh Manjrekar in traditional villain style). The other characters who enter the scene are the two ladies - Khan’s former love, Mumtaz Khan and his current weakness, budding actress, Jasmine Sheikh, portrayed by Sonali Bendre and Sonakshi Sinha respectively. The other important player in the plot is Aslam, Khan’s side kick and loyalist, played by Irfan Khan. Of course as the plot thickens it develops into a love triangle with both Khan and Aslam falling for Jasmine, and a love hate relationship developing between them, till the slightly unexpected climax in the end.
Overall, the film seems too heavily loaded in favour of Akshay Kumar as he hogs too much of the limelight with his strong one liners and typical dadagiri mannerisms. Irfan comes up with a appreciable performance too, although Sonakshi Sinha seems out of sorts – perhaps because of a not too defined character assigned to her by the script and the story. On the other hand, however, Sonali Bendre in a much diminished role comes up with a performance that sticks on the mind.
One of the drawbacks of sequels always happens to be the comparison with the previous version, and if the prequel had been successful, invariably the later version suffers. The same is the case with this film, as here one would also compare Akshay Kumar with Emraan Hashmi. The most striking difference is basically the plot. The original one was almost faithfully built along the real life characters of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim, and by virtue of that had greater gripping powers on an aware audience. The sequel, however, is mostly fictional and also tries to play up a love triangle which apparently does not gel well with the main action theme. Although Milan Luthria has directed both the versions, he has made the treatment much softer in the sequel, perhaps to accommodate the love triangle, and not make it appear as a pure action film like the first one. The other plus points in the film are the sharp shooting dialogues of Rajat Arora and the extremely proficient cinematography of Ayananka Bose.
Verdict: Pritam’s numbers are not only catchy but in keeping with the theme and tempo of the movie.
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