Sunday, August 1, 2010

Once upon a time in Mumbaai - Review

A tale of two gangsters in the city of Mumbai....err.. Bombay!

Once upon a Time...., set in 70s, shows Sultan Mirza's (Ajay Devgn) rise to power and his ultimate demise after his opponent Shoaib (Emraan Hashmi), defies to oust him. 
The film transports you to the Mumbai back then. The 70s (clichéd) film dialogues, bling and peppy numbers of that era, the look, the costumes (flared bell-bottoms) and, most importantly, the simplicity of the narrative. 

Sultan, a smuggler, gangster, I felt, was a less-sauve Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan in Sarkar) of sorts, a benevolent godfather-like figure to the oppressed. He may not have the Bachchan-like persona but manages to impress all the way. Be it as a mobster or a lover. His 60-second scene where he woos Rehanna (Kangana Ranaut) is to watch out for, besides many others.

Kangana, in her '70s-film actress' role, is petite and pretty. Her dialogue delivery is clunky at times (which I have noticed in other films too).

Imran, as a chindi-chor in his childhood (the kid was impactful with his dialogues), is as convincing as the wannabe-Sultan Mirza in his youth. You'll see traces of his serial kisser-image, but he manages (mostly!) to go beyond and make you forget that with his convincing young-blooded rebel act. But then, again.. We have seen him in similar roles before. A small-town chap wanting to make it big, by unlawful means! Jannat? Anyone?  
The 22 year-old Prachi Desai (opposite Imran) pulled off her role (whatever little) pretty smoothly for a one-film old actress.

Randeep Hooda is striking as ACP Agnel Wilson. The name R Hooda sounded familiar but my failure to recall got me googling it. (Sushmita Sen's ex boy-friend ;-) Randeep's other films include Monsoon Wedding (2001) and Ram Gopal Verma's 'D' (2005). Haven't seen both of those, but in OUATIM, he's definitely good.

All in all, the film has its set of clichés, in terms of dialogues for its 70s setting, but is certainly a one-time watch!


  1. u got excellent talent....u must expore more options to exapand this network...great post

  2. I thought this was one of the best ones this year. One time watch, yes, but I'd still give it a 3.5 or 4 atleast.

  3. @dukenucane-thanks.. But look who's telling me that :-) THE writer himself..

    @lakshya-It definitely can be counted among the best films this year so far..

  4. Nicely written, Mansi ! I thought it an excellent movie too, and I was despairing for 2010 !

  5. @Amo - thanks! back half of the year is usually exciting... we'll hopefully have good films around Diwali :)


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