Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara arrives in theatres today after undergoing half a dozen spelling changes in the title, a few casting changes and the most important of them all – a change in the release date from the lucrative Eid day to the almost equally lucrative Independence Day. A lot of promotion has been done for the film with Ekta leaving no stone unturned to get the audiences to see her film and justifiably so, since this is the biggest film of her banner. So does the sequel of the 2010 smash hit Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, come together? Does it work? Let’s see.
Story: The movie picks up from where the first part ended. Shoaib (Akshay Kumar reprising the role of Emraan Hashmi from the original) is now a major gangster-cum-don in the middle east. He chances across an upcoming gangster called Aslam (Imran Khan) and grooms him to become his man friday. Aslam meanwhile meets a struggling actress Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha) and falls in love with her. The problem arises when Shoaib lands in Mumbai to deal with his enemy and instead also falls in love with Jasmine. The story moves forward with the two men looking to out maneuver each other. The whys, hows and whens of the rest of the story should be discovered by the viewer. Watch out for the surprising climax!
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara Review
Screenplay, Dialogues, Direction: The director-writer combo of Milan Luthria and Rajat Arora achieved tremendous success recently with OUATIM and The Dirty Picture so when they decided to team up again, massive fireworks was to be expected on the screen. To be honest, the flare seen in their past outings hasn’t diminished completely but their effect in OUATIMD is not even nearly as potent. The dialogues are applause worthy and seeti worthy (especially for the aage ke teen row wali audience). But where the film lags in, is dealing with the storyline. The screenplay falters in places where it was expected to rise and even though the climax acts like a last minute CPR, the damage has already been done. The film drifts and struggles to find its true calling and manages to end up neither as an intense love triangle nor as a revenge gangster flick. I came out of the film thinking that they had written the dialogues first and then chose to make the film around it. And Milan Luthria must take blame for the haphazard way this film was made.
Miscellaneous: The technical aspects of the film are top notch, though. The period setting is almost spot on and credit must be given to the set and costume departments. The finer details in the production design give that edgy raw feel to OUATIMD. Another aspect of the film that stands out is the cinematography by Ayananka Bose. The film looks stylish due the slick frames this ace cinematographer churns up in regular intervals. The editing is also of noteworthy quality with no scenes and shots being stretched more than required.
Music: Pritam’s music in OUATIMD is a dampener. Much was expected from the music of the film for a variety of reasons. The music of the first part has become cult, and Pritam has been in fine form recently delivering commercial chartbusters almost regularly. So when you come out of the theatre after watching OUATIMD, you’d expect yourself to be humming a few of the songs. Alas, only “Yeh Tune Kya Kiya” stuck with me afterwards with the other songs being just bearable. The new age “Tayyab Ali” was a big disappointment too. Having said that, let me mention that the background score is scintillating.
Performances: OUATIMD would have been a much better film if the actors were chosen carefully. Heck, it would have worked if the actors had chosen to actually ‘act’. All the three main protagonists give stale performances. Akshay Kumar as Shoaib doesn’t create any aura in his personality or mannerisms that a Don like him should have. There are only fleeting glimpses of his off screen charisma and that too few and far between. His dialogue delivery also leaves a lot to be desired. Imran Khan just doesn’t cut it as the street smart Aslam. Casting Imran in OUATIMD could very well turn out to be one of the biggest casting guffaws of the year. His acting is, bluntly put, bad. Sonakshi Sinha who delivered one of the finest performances of the year in Lootera is back to her normal self with this film. She delivers her dialogues in a mostly one note tone and ruptures ear drums with her screaming in the climax. Mahesh Manjrekar delivers a jarring performance but that’s mostly down to the all black shade the writers penned down for the role. Sonali Bendre was a pleasant surprise and I wish she had a bigger role.
Conclusion: OUATIMD is another example of commerce taking over art. The only reason this film was sanctioned was probably to cash in on the cult following of the previous film. I can only hope that Milan and Rajat get back to tackling original ideas and don’t follow the herd. They are simply too talented for that. OUATIMD does have its moments, but overall the film doesn’t work. It doesn’t come together as fluidly as it could and should have.
Box Office: OUATIMD faces tough competition at the box office from Chennai Express and will only see a full release on the 16th. Competition, less screens wouldn’t have mattered if the film had content good enough to back up the hype. I see the film taking a very good opening and then audience response will carry the film forward.
- Production Design
- Background Score
- The screenplay falters
- Direction not up to the mark
- None of the 3 main actors are in form
- Music is a disappointment