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Mar 27th 2023
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Home Reviews Cinema & Theatre Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai: Dobara

Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai: Dobara

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Poster Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai: DobaraYou can dare the movie only if you are a die-hard Akshay Fan or have an extra time to spare.


Sequel is something which Bollywood has finally embraced. We witnessed the first sequel of Hindi cinema in 1989 with the Sri Devi-starrer 'Nigahein' that was a follow-up of 'Nagina (1986). It didn't work on the box office and nobody else took the risk for many years. Things are different today. We not only have sequels, remakes too are being roped in. Being a franchisee owner seems a better guarantee for filmmakers when the production cost has crossed Rs 500 million and a hit is being declared on collection of Rs 1 billion.

One thing essential in this format was the subject line and presentation type. Audience knew they'll see a love story in 'Ashiqui 2' or watch a story revolving on a police encounter in 'Shoot Out...' series or a super hero story in 'Krrish' sequels.

'Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai: Dobara' tries to differ this time. The movie carry forward the franchise in name only; though this is the same clash of the titans, as in the prequel, but this time for a girl.

Story: The film portrays the character of Shoiab (Akshay Kumar), said to be inspired by the life of Dawood Ebrahim. A womaniser, chain smoker, over confident, ruthless, cricket fan, and a mafia don who trusts nobody in the world. He comes out of his nest, seeking revenge and settling score with his arch rival (Mahesh Manjrekar) in Mumbai. Shoiab trusts only three people - his mate Javed, his companion Mumtaz ( Sonali Bendre) and Aslam (Imran Khan), whom he spotted as a child in a slum and groomed as his most trusted man. Things get complicated when Shoib and Aslam, both fell in love with an upcoming actress Jasmine Mirza (Sonakshi Sinha). And so Aslam has to make a choice between his love and his godfather.

Direction: Milan lutharia has also directed the prequel of this movie. The first thing which disappoints is the love story angle. Though the first 30 minutes promises action and drama, but then comes the famous cricket connection scene of the inspired character. The film loses steam the moment Shoiab starts to woo Jasmine by showcasing his game fixing skills in cricket. I could not understand if this scene was for a comedy or a serious effort to highlight the power of the don.

There is a series of silly and unconvincing characters, other than the two male protagonists and their love interest, who doesn't even understand the difference between studying inter (mediate) as a course or something else, pronounced  without gap in the two words. The only unique characterisation is of Mahesh Manjarekar's who is shown as a big Prem Chopra's fan, for unknown and convenient reasons.

Milan has attempted a love story with an underworld background. Nothing new in this one, except the boredom he has gifted. The love triangle takes too long to develop, and is full of boring conversations. At times it feels like watching a soap opera, where story is not moving from many episodes - Jasmine comes to know of shoiab’s attraction towards her almost after half the movie has passed. The love triangle too is formed just half an hour before the end. I wonder what they were doing in rest of the film.

The character of Shoiab looks underdeveloped, he calls himself brutal but not shown as such even when the situation demands so. Akshay's mannerism has been kept so loud that after some time it all looks very artificial. The film stands not even twenty per cent of the original.

Performance: Akshay's entry catches your attention. The ever smoking lips deliver crispy lines in the first fifteen minutes. But after that he looks like the same old Rowdy, who is not Rathore in this film. His dialogue delivery suffers limitations of his capacity.

Imran Khan carry shadows of his Mamu, from Rangeela. As Aamir Khan has set the standard for acting as a 'tapori', his bhanja has the full right to copy that. There is no depth in his acting as he fails to encash opportunities, especially in emotional scenes.

Sonakshi is suave, but she has done a better job in Lootera. Her character is not strong enough to hold the attention of two dons of Mumbai.

Mahesh Manjrekar has been wasted. Sonali Bendre is good in her small role. She carries, with ease, an emotional scene confronting Shoiab. Pitobash Tripathi as 'Dedh Taang' shows his theatre background. Other actors are not worth a mention.

Writing: Rajat Chopra's one-liners do not carry the weight of the prequel or 'The Dirty Picture. At times it feels as if the characters are just throwing one liners on each other just for the sake of it. The film suffers under a heap of nonsensical dialogues like "Police ke kaan main mutega toh haath jaan se dhoyega" or "Itni seedhi ladki hai ki ravan se bhi ram ram bulva de".

Others: Editing is average. Film is of a smart length of two hour twenty minutes, and Editor Akiv Ali has managed to adjust some unwanted songs, scenes, dialogues & characters. Cinematography by Ayananka Bose is again an extension of the prequel. Most of the film is shot indoor or in night scenes, providing freedom of adjusting fancy lighting in backdrop. Many a times , the backdrop seems to be of some wedding lightings.

Music: Pritam has done a decent job. There are some peppy numbers, a qawwali, an item number and few romantic songs. 'Yeh tune kya kiya' by Javed bashir seems to be the best song, followed by 'Tu hi khwahish' by Sunidhi Chauhan.

The background score needs a special mention. It provides pace to the narrative and thrill to the subject. It reminds you of the background music of thriller scenes of 1980s.

'Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai: Dobara' is not worth a 'dobara' watch, if you mistake it to be a thriller or action movie. It is also not worth a watch if you want to see a touching love story. You can dare dobara, only if you are a die-hard Akshay Fan (same for other actors) or you have some extra time, money and mind to spend on a 'Chaalu' picture.

Along with many other things, I could not figure out why Ekta Kapoor chose to add an extra 'y' , with the 'A' in the title of the film. Maybe it says, 'Y' (why) Dobara!


(Rating: **1/2)


---Sharad Vatss is a movie buff who works for Pepsi. The Views expressed here are his own and do not reflect the opinion of The Other News.


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