Movie Review: Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara

Movie Review: Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara

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Movie Review: Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara

The anti hero has always been an intriguing character. He has an edge over the traditional hero and he’s never condemned like the orthodox villain. His grey shades only add to his power. That’s Akshay Kumar’s Shoaib for you. He’s the centre piece in Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara (OUATIMD). He is the pillar on which Milan Luthria mounts all his set pieces, punchy dialogues and of course drama. But most of the director’s efforts feel light weight. Their effect becomes even more underwhelming when compared to Akshay Kumar’s performance. In the end this gangster saga meets love triangle story ends up being too inconsistent.

A comparison then with its predecessor Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai is inevitable and OUATIMD staggers on that count as well. The original story had little dramatic weight but it had enough meat to allow an average film buff to dig his teeth in. The sequel has as much dialogue baazi as before; heck Akshay’s uber coolness pulls you in too. But it’s the second lead who falters. Imran Khan in an equally important role doesn’t match up at all. Sonakshi Sinha who’s the third important cornerstone of this film is alright. She does well in a character limited to being the object of affection for two men. But it’s her scenes with Imran that do nothing to draw your attention.

For a film of its genre, the story was quite enticing. An underworld king pin, Shoaib falls for the very girl that his trusted right-hand man has feelings for. For a while the innocent girl even leads the don into believing she’s reciprocating. But of course things go south when the don’s domineering personality kicks in. OUATIMD had its moments too. Certain developments avoid a clichéd path. Imran’s Aslam doesn’t fall for Sonakshi’s Jasmine at the drop of a hat. He thinks twice before choosing between love and his faithfulness towards his boss Shoaib. But the writing doesn’t maintain the same sense of newness throughout. There are too many tepid scenes that seem like excuses to indulge in some more dialogue baazi. And the movie drags its heels and ends in a more-than-convenient twist.

Pritam’s and Anupam Amod’s music doesn’t do any favours either. The songs (which include a reprised version of Tayyab Ali pyaar ka dushman from Amar Akbar Anthony) are rather flat. Ayananka Bose’s cinematography and Akiv Ali’s editing are crisp. They add a pleasant technical touch to the movie. Scenes where Akshay Kumar is featured in low lighting set a great mood. The movie, thanks to a combination of production design, props and CGI, does well to get the period feel right. Watch out for blink and miss appearances by Vidya Balan and Poonam Dhillon.