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Review by : Harish V
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Prachi Desai.
Direction: Milan Luthria
Music: Pritam Chakraborty
Production: Balaji Motion Pictures

Milan Luthria, the man behind Kachche Dhaage and Taxi No. 9211, has come out with a gangster movie, a story which is happening in the late 70s and early 80s. The expectations are soaring high for this Mumbai-based movie and the songs have
  Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai
also been instrumental in attracting the purses to the ticket window. This Balaji Production is a sure-shot hit unless Luthria misses it completely. Thankfully, Luthria doesn’t miss it completely but it doesn’t hit the Bull’s eye either.

People who have seen brilliant gangster movies like Nayagan, Company and Satya and expecting this to be in the same league will surely be disappointed. The movie starts off well and the happenings do keep you glued to the seats but still you feel something is seriously missing. Now let’s analyze what actually went wrong.

The story is about Mumbai and a gangster named Sultan (Ajay Devgn), who used to control the entire city but with utmost care and principled behavior. He loved Mumbai as much as he loved himself and that makes him a messiah among the locals. But when a police inspector’s son Shoaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi) joins the gang all hell breaks loose as he starts to fiddle the principles of Sultan. But due to the rift between two people Mumbai pays the price.

The story is quite interesting and the narration style seemed to work quite well at first but when you start off with a story you should end it too. If it’s the point of view of AC Agnel (Randeep Hooda) one should continue to be in his point of view and should not drift away to other’s, but Luthria fiddles around the logic and tries to sell us a story which is actually not there. There are several stories unfinished, like - what happened to Agnel? What happened to Mumtaz and Rehana? If you think with the story of the protagonists it is interlinked, why start it parallel? There are several problems in the movie but at the same time the movie for most of the part entertains you but again a half baked and hurried up climax lessens the impact.

The biggest strength of the movie is its strong performance line up, with Ajay Devgn being in supreme form after a long time. His performance has depth and the characterization spot on. Finally, a perfect role to feed this brilliant actor. Emraan Hashmi looks convincing as an evil prince who is trying to take hold of an empire. He is an extremely talented person and the role gives him ample opportunity to use his histrionics and he delivers. Randeep Hooda is a treat to watch as the strict and cunning ACP. Both the female leads, Kangana and Prachi impress, with Kangana taking brownie points with her sensuous 80s costumes. The rest of the crew has no problem whatsoever to showcase their talent.

The crew has done a fabulous job with Aseem Mishra’s capable cinematography, award worthy art direction by Nitin Chandrakant Desai, decent editing by Akiv Ali and a spectacular work by music director Pritam and an even better work by him for BGM. One of the finest BGM work in years.

Overall, a movie that has its moments but in no way in the same league of Company or Satya, but it’s an entertainer never the less.

Verdict – Mass more than class

Tags : Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Review, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Prachi Desai, Milan Luthria, Pritam Chakraborty
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