Saturday, August 14, 2010
Review - Once upon a time in mumbai
Once upon a time in Mumbai seems to be a bollywood drama unlike many other flicks on the subject of underworld that looked like documentaries. Sultan Mirza, a poor boy who worked in the coal godown in his childhood, enters the underworld supported by his sharp mind and superb guts. He wants to earn lot of money and power, but on his own terms. He goes against the Government restrictions to meet his ends, but not against his own principles. When he was compelled to smuggle narcotic, he says, "maine woh kaam kiya hai jiski izzazat sarkar nahin deti, woh kaam nahin kiya jiski izzazat zameer nahin deti." Sultan is like a Robinhood for poor people. He teaches lessons to the sons who torture their parents, and says, "Jo apni maa ki izzat nahin karte, main unka baap banke aata hun". He considers Mumbai as his girlfriend and gives his level best to make the city safe. To serve his purpose, he calls a meeting of all the underworld dons and devides the city amongst them as areas of business. This is to avoid gangwars, animocity and violence. His simple principle is, "Jab dost bana ke kaam ho sakta hai, dushman kyun banaye". He also threatens the gangsters to accept his proposal and passes his message saying, "baat khatam karni hai, yaa kahani suru."
On the contrary, Shoaib is a very notorious guy who entered the underworld not because he did not have any other choice but because he was a power greedy person and very much fascinated about the crime world which could make him achieve his dream fast. Hunger for fast money and excessive power made him follow Sultan's footsteps. He had the guts to confront Sultan and say, "lahron ka saamna karne ki himmat to mujhme hai, ab aap socho sahi aadmi pahchaan ne ki nazar rakhte ho ya nahin."
The lives of these two different people (Sultan and Shoaib) in the crime world and how Shoaib takes over Sultan make the story of the movie.
Performance-wise, Ajay as Sultan is superb. With looks and attire (along with the attitude that he wears all through the movie) alone, he convinces us as a don, forget about the dilogue delivery which is just amazing. Once again, Ajay communicated through his talkative eyes in quite a many scenes - to highlight, the scene where he calls Shoaib (Imraan) to cross a distance to reach him and the last scene when looks into Shoaib's eyes sharply while delivering a political speech.
Imraan as the bad boy is quite effective. He has done all the justice to his role. He stands out in both as an adamant lover and a youngster who is hungry for power. Randeep Hooda as the police officer delivers a power-packed performance. Both the female leads (Kangna Ranaut and Prachi Desai) sizzle in the seventies' looks.
The dialouges, especially the one liners, remind you of the seventies' (Salim-Javed) touch with a refreshed avatar. Lines like "Kaam karne ka tareeka badla, tewar nahin", "kasti lahron se takrayegi, tabhi to kinara naseeb hoga", "Apni dukan me hamari ek tasweer laga lena Sohaib, kabhi zaroorat pade to dono me se kisi ek bhagwaan ko chun lena" sound old but do not seem repeatative. Some lines force you to clap and whistle - "Zindagi ho to smuggler jaisi, duniya raakh ki tarah neeche aur khud dhuyen ki tarah upar", "Raston ki parwah karunga, to manzil bura maan jayegi", "Himmat batayi nahin jaati, dikhayi jaati hai".
Scenes that stand out
The first train scene when Sultan puts his life at stake to save thousands of lives, young Shoaib's introduction scene, Sultan's first meeting with Rehana (Kangana), Sultan's first meeting with ACP Agnel (Randeep Hooda), Shoaib's entry into Sultan's crime world, and of course the climax.
Scenes that let down
Vardhaan saying, "tu daler bhi hai aur dariya dil bhi", sounds a line like that of a movie of seventies, fortunately there are not many of this kind..
Bollywood could finally give us an entertaining movie on the underworld. Once upon a time in mumbai is perhaps the most decent movie made on this subject till date - Milan Luthria has proved that a movie on such a subject can also look realistic without usage of foul words.