Movie Review: Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Pitobash Tripathy, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sonali Bendre
Director: Milan Luthria
The Indian Express rating: *1/2
What did you expect from the sequel of Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai which came out in 2010? Given that its director and writer are the same, I knew that the clunkily-titled-and-spelt Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! would tread the same territory: gangsters- muscle-flexing-in-Mumbai-which-used-to-be-Bombay, non-stop rat-a-tat of '70s style dialogue-baazi, loud background music, and a plot riddled with predictabilities from beginning to end.
What I wasn’t prepared for was just how similar it would be, despite the change in leads (Ajay Devgn and Emran Hashmi have been replaced by Akshay Kumar and Imran Khan, and instead of Kangna Ranaut, there is Sonakshi Sinha), and after a point, just how listless it would turn out to be.
Hashmi’s brash I want-to-take-over-everything Shoaib is played by Akshay Kumar in the new film. The character, fleshed out with nods to the dreaded Dawood (those distinctive dark glasses, and a penchant for cricket and betting) is first seen lording it over in what we presume is Dubai. Shoaib is ruthless and ambitious, and master of all he surveys, but `Bambai’ calls to him because an underling (Manjrekar) who has dared to challenge him has to be set straight.
Once in Bombay, he whistles up his faithful. One of them is Aslam (Khan), whom Shoaib had taken over when he (Aslam) and his best friend Dedh Tang (Tripathy) were youngsters. But before the script turns its attention to these `bhais’ duking it out in Dongri (or wherever it is that they hang out in large numbers), it comes up with a romantic distraction for both the main gents. The spirited Jasmine (Sinha) is new to Bombay, and a wannabe heroine. She is also more naïve than any young woman has the right to be.
Unless, of course, she belongs to a film like this where logic is made to bow before masala and melodrama. Sinha does her by now all-too-familiar 'susheel'-sassy-sexy act, and swings like a magnet