Review: Revisit the underbelly of the 70’s era with 'Once Upon...'

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2010, 08:27 AM IST

Spicezee Bureau

One thing is for sure that in ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai’, you are not going to see just the relics of past, which are now considered legendary and something which even today continue to excite the psyche of us Indians. Here’s on offer is a loosely based film on real life dons who ruled the Mumbaai heartland in 70’s - a fictional tale of the clash of the titans and bhaigiri of the time.

Nevertheless, the disclaimer clearly states that it bears no resemblance to a particular person, but you can`t help but draw parallels.

The story takes you to the era of underworld dons who ruled Mumbai, the politics and the terrorised Bollywood honchos. Set primarily in 1970, the films talks about how the mantle of leadership was wrenched form the teacher to a protégé. It follows the rise of Sultan (Ajay Devgn), and his eventual fall, when his second-in-command Shoaib (Emraan Hashmi), challenges his supremacy, and usurps power to rule the murky underbelly of Mumbai.

But the gangster chapter is not the only high point of the film. One even enjoys this film also because of its riveting drama and the power play. It could`ve been set anywhere, in the corporate world, in politics, in the film industry. Moreover, the rise and subsequent fall of the King and the emergence of the Prince as the super power is what makes this film a compelling watch.

The best part however is the magical and heartrending song compositions that are poignantly placed at the just the right junctures, making the film sail smooth through the rough gang wars and violent actions jerks. The music, especially the track “Pee Lu” is splendid. It gives the feeling of the golden era lost and forgotten.

A little romance, a game of hearts played at the backdrop of a mafia epic makes it even more dangerous, eventually making it a fulsome movie experience.

Director Milan Luthria’s has worked extensively for the movie which is completely visible in performances of the lead gangster’s as well as Randeep hooda as the tale narrating police officer. The jewellery shop romantic scenes of Prachi’s stands out on romantic stratum and the instances of Emraan’s conflict with Ajay are absolutely spell-bounding. The war of the two superpowers looks intense, dark and real.

Pritam’s music is already rising up the charts and doing the trick for the movie. The onscreen pair of Ajay and Kangna is replete with amazing chemistry. You are going to enjoy this more than just the battle of the dons!

Ratings: Four cheers for this one