Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai A complete entertainer
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Direction: Milan Luthria
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Kangna Ranaut, Prachi Desai, Randeep Hooda.
The film does re-open the familiar X-files of Mumbai’s most well-known crime story — the stormy relationship between Haji Mastan and his protegee Dawood Ibrahim, even though it does begin with the mandatory disclaimer of steering clear from real life. But it does it with an elegance and an intensity that keeps you glued to your seats, despite the fact that you know where the drama is headed for. And that’s because director Milan Luthria chooses to anchor his film in the emotional heartland rather than dabble with guns and gore. Refreshingly, the film goes low on violence and focuses more on the emotional quotient, throwing light on how Sultan Mirza (an awesome Ajay Devgn) rose to his Shahenshah-esque status in the underworld and how he tried to tame the roguish new team member, Shoaib Khan (an edgy Emraan Hashmi). Alas, in vain!
Interspersed between this titanic tale of a ganglord and his wannabe are the tender love stories of the two fugitives. Once again, done with a delicate finesse which creates memorable mush on screen as Sultan serenades the actress Rehana (Kangna Ranaut) and Shoaib tries a Bobby with his shy showroom girl Mumtaz (Prachi Desai).
After the innovative and experimental Love Sex aur Dhoka, producer Ektaa Kapoor once again scores with a complete entertainer which boasts of almost everything: a compelling story, crisp and absolutely state-of-the-art dialogues (Rajat Arora), an artistic period piece ambience (Aseem Mishra), a lilting music score (Pritam) and some riveting performances. Both Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi breathe fire and brimstone in to their portrayal of the two disparate gangsters and come up with two of the most mesmeric acts of the year, while Kangna Ranaut and Prachi Desai pitch in as perfect and picturesque molls. Add to this an in-rom ensemble cast which includes principled cop Randeep Hooda and loyal Sultan aide, Naved Ahmad (both are extremely watchable) and you have an entire catwalk of flesh and blood characters in a cinema that is generally peopled with cardboard cut-outs.