Review: Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara!

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Old 18-Aug-2013
Review: Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara!

The title of this Bollywood film has distinct fairytale undertones, but there’s no happy ending awaiting viewers of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara!.

Starring Akshay Kumar and Imran Khan, the two play menacing gangsters Shoaib and Aslam, who go weak in the knees at the sight of starlet Jasmine, played by a buxom Sonakshi Sinha. They are mean men who never hesitate to blow their enemies’ brains out, but Jasmine makes them go all soft.

As far as premises go, it’s a tough one to digest and villains Kumar and Khan do little to make it believable.

While Kumar mistakes perennial swagger and style quirks such as sunglasses that never come off his face — be it day or night — for intense acting, Khan struggles to make his servile protégé act convincing. His baby face stands in his way. The scene where he polishes off his enemy in a moving train by beating them into a pulp evokes unintended laughter.

The saving grace of this film is undoubtedly the crackling dialogue that Shoaib recites generously. If you are a fan of bombastic one-liners such as “Mujhe accha banne ka koi shauk nahin hai” [I don’t wish to be angelic] and “I am not the player but I am the game”, you may enjoy the film a lot more. But how long can you feed on one-liners?

The opening scenes place Shoaib as a manipulative gangster with zero scruples. He beds his business partner’s wife (Sophie Choudhry with scarlet stained lips) when she loses a cricket match wager. He acquires wealth and women with shocking brutality — so it’s shocking to see him court Sinha in such a gentlemanly manner. She wards off his amorous advances and all he can do is break a glass or two. The Shoaib we knew would have merely put a bullet to her head and snuffed her out. Unfortunately, no such luck for the viewers.

A few songs and some melodrama later, the two boys who were thick as thieves turn against each other. What happens next is something that you have seen in almost every Bollywood love triangle. If you are still curious, check out OUATIMD. But my view: A gangster with a heart is a tough one to take.

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