Film: Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobara
Director: Milan Luthria
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan and Sonakshi SInha
What it's about:
A sequel to Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, Shoaib (Akshay Kumar) is the main protagonist in this one. While the earlier edition had more drama and action, OUATIMD focuses more on the love angle. The sequel is more likely to make you go ooh… instead of ouch! There are no bones being broken, skulls being smashed, clothes getting ripped (save in the climax).
It's a bold move - to attempt something so different from what the predecessor offered. The audiences generally go in expecting more of the same in a sequel. But who says gangsters can't fall in love and show the chink in their armor? So you have mentor Shoaib and Aslam (Imran Khan) falling in love with Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha). Conflict follows. Loyalty is tested, as is love and courage.
Most romantic films end with a trip to the altar. Most endorse the fairy tale aspect of love. The romance in OUATIMB is real and good old style. Akshay Kumar plays the bad guy unapologetically. He is chilling as the dreaded don and endearing as the helpless (and later dangerous) man in love.
The novel thing about the screenplay is that neither Shoaib nor Aslam are ready to sacrifice their love for each other. The film steers clear of the romantic clichés of self-sacrifice. The initial camaraderie between Shoaib and Jasmine is well captured – the whole part of her being the only person who doesn’t fear him because she doesn’t know his identity. And then Shoaib’s menacing act in the second half when he won’t let anything come between him and Jasmine – not even his “bachcha” Aslam.
At first, Imran Khan feels like a miscast but then he grows on you. Kudos to the actor for urban boy for stepping out of his comfort zone and attempting something so daringly different. Sonakshi Sinha is superb – she is getting better with every film. She is at ease with both Shoaib and Aslam. Most importantly, she keeps her character from being annoying with her innocent appeal.
OUATIMD’s crowning glory is Akshay Kumar who goes all the way with his “negative” act in one of his career-best performances. The scene where he walks into a police station in broad daylight and then walks out as casually is one of the film’s high points. The last 30 minutes of the film belong only to him and he rises way above the script with his raw and gritty persona.
The film is inconsistent in its pace – at times it just chugs along aimlessly. The screenplay could’ve been much tighter for the impact to be enhanced. The film begins slow and then picks up slowly towards the latter part of the first half. The same is the case in the second half. Problem is that while OUATIMD stands on it's own, it fails in comparison to the first part.
Fans of the original will be disappointed because they will expect some serious gangster action, while this is an out-and-out love story. Perhaps the problem is in the communication. It should never have been projected as a gangster film. The soundtrack of this film also does not match up.
The Bismillah song does nothing for the film and sticks out like a sore thumb. Rajat Arora’s dialogues are fantastic but they become the films biggest vice. There are just too many punches. Before you can relish one, another one leaps at you and you cannot savour any.
What To do:
Love stories are the flavour of the season (Aashiqui, Ranjhanaa and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and here's another one to make you go ah!
Here's the trailers: