When Once upon a time in Mumbaai became successful , there was little doubt that the film would see a sequel very soon given the fact that the film was allegedly based on the life and times of the dreaded gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Thus 3 years later we see a sequel in the form of Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara (OUATIMD form hereon and yes Mumbaai becomes Mumbai now 🙂 ). But the adage ‘Too much is too bad’ is something which I guess Bollywood will never understand. Hence what you get to see in the sequel is literally an excess of clunky dialogue, cliched situations, mediocre acting among many other things.
OUATIMD tells the story of Shoaib (played by Akshay Kumar who takes over from Emraan Hashmi from the first part) who has now grown into the big bad don of don of Mumbai city. He takes two budding ruffians under his wing – Aslam (Imran Khan) and his crony (Pitobhash Tripathy) . As time progresses Aslam becomes one of his most trusted aide. All is hunky dory till both fall for a budding starlet Yasmeen (Sonakshi Sinha) and their equations change.
While the first part had got the retro look and the dialogue right, here everything is over done to the point of sheer exhaustion especially the dialogues. Sample these –“Doodh mein nimbu jisne daala paneer uski” or the signature line of Imraan Khan “Apni ek saying hai”, “Thank le watak le” and other such inanities.
Every time such a dialogue popped up in the mind of Rajat Arora (The story, screenplay and dialogue writer of the film) I am sure he must have felt proud of himself for coming up with such lines.
Random scenes and dialogues pop out in the film which makes you wonder what is happening. There is a scene in which the some people of the underworld circle are gossiping about the alleged spat between Akshay and Imran ‘s characters. And one of them says –“ “Yeh toh wahi baaat hui ki jab devar ki maut aati hai toh use apni bhabhi pyaari lagne lagti hai”
In another scene, Mahesh Manjrekar (who plays Akshay’s arch rival ) says to Imran over the phone “Phone pe se hi dosti ka haath badhaa raha hu” Perhaps the writers were subtly hinting towards the evolution of social media which we the mere mortal viewers failed to understand.
Akshay Kumar is shown as a dreaded don, but the menace is hardly there. Throughout the film he mouths these smart one liners, smokes like a chimney, seduces the wives of other people in hotel washrooms. But when it comes to writing love letters he becomes completely clueless and spends hours about writing his thoughts. Seriously? Do the film makers think that the audience is foolish enough to accept this?
The initial few minutes of the film try to establish Akshay’s presence as a dreaded don who is slowly spreading his claws over most of the illegal activities world over. But suddenly as he comes to Mumbai, all of this takes a backseat and the film only focuses on the love triangle between the three lead characters.
How I wish the makers had taken equal care to work on the story and screenplay like they did on the style quotient. And what is it with the swagger of Akshay and Imran. Akshay walks with a swagger even when his life is at stake in the last scene with Imran and the police waiting to pounce on him from both the sides.
On the other hand you have Imran Khan as a budding gangster who looks up to Akshay’s character as a role model. Now here is a chap who doesn’t understand English very well and hence mistakes intermediate for intercourse while conversing with Sonakshi Sinha. You know that this intercourse word will serve as a major plot point when it is repeatedly being stressed throughout the film.
Sonakshi Sinha ‘s character is another of those sickeningly sweet and too good to be true characters whom we more than often see in our movies. Who else starts shouting at random people thinking that they are committing suicide, mistakes the advances of a don only for friendship even after he has helped her get a newcomer award without her acting even in a single film and other such benefits?
With every subsequent release of his, Akshay Kumar seems to be hellbent on surpassing the trashiness of his earlier release.
Irrespective of what the role and the film is, Akshay seems to be playing an extension of himself on the screen and this film is no exception. There was a time when Akshay was one of my favourite actors and I eagerly looked forward to watching his films. Sadly that is not the case anymore. I really hope that he takes a sabbatical and comes up with better films in the years to come or else it is going to be only a downhill journey from here on. I guess the Ay in the title is a homage to the trademark mannerism of Kumar’s character from Housefull 2.
Imran Khan in OUATIMD without the slightest doubt has to be epic miscasting of the year. Nowhere does he look as a street smart ruffian with his suave looks. Moreover he has the unique ability to emote only with his eyebrows and no other facial or body muscle. Whatever may be the scene, dialogue or situation Imraan is stonefaced throughout the film.
Sonkashi Sinha is unremarkable for most of the time. Moreover her poor characterization and inane dialogues only help in making her character all the more weak and annoying.
Amongst the other cast members Pitobhaash Tripathy seems as confused as a kid in a topless bar ? I guess even he doesn’t have an idea what the hell was he doing in the film. Same goes for Abhimanyu Singh who seems to be present in the film just for the heck of it. Same goes for the rest of the cast members such as Sonali Bendre , Mahesh Manjrekar, Vidya Malwade etc.
After watching films like Once Upon a time In Mumbaai Dobaara I am sure the idea to make such films emerge as a result of heavy drinking and doping session. In the case of this film, the makers must have come up with idea to make a sequel during the success party of the first film. They must have thought who cares about the story, screenplay etc?
As it is we have the money, the actors and the necessary resources in place, film toh waise bhi ban hi jaayegi.All the cast and crew members including editor Akiv Ali, director Milan Luthria and others seem to be doing an absolutely dull job and I guess did it just for the paycheck .
Just when you think that the cult of films like Gunda, Loha and Jaani Dushman was getting lost in modern day Bollywood, films like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara reaffirm that the genre of trashy films and it’s cult started by the likes of Kanti Shah will never be forgotten by Bollywood .