Can't watch this one Dobaara!
Gangster movie sequels got popular after the glorious 'Godfather' and Milan Luthria tries to recreate the 70's & 80's with his series 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara’ (OUATIMD).
The mafia in Mumbai was infamous for controlling the Cricket and Indian film industry and that is one aspect that Luthria is trying to highlight with this flick.
The prequel ends when Shoaib (Emraan Hashmi) shoots Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgn) and takes over the mafia world, which is where the sequel begins from.
In 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara', Shoaib (Akshay Kumar) is the new don who controls Mumbai from the Middle East. He wears only suits and dark glasses; he has a baritone voice and woos women at cricket matches.
The movie begins with a bike race between two teenage boys Aslam (Imran Khan) and Dedh Tang (Pitobash). Both get picked by Shoaib and are trained to be his gang members. Shoaib comes down to Mumbai to seek revenge from Rawal (Mahesh Manjerkar) who tried attacking him. In Mumbai, Shoaib ends up meeting Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha), an aspiring actress and falls in love with her. Aslam tries helping friend Dedh Tang to win over his love and in the process falls in love with Jasmine. While Shoaib is obsessed about Jasmine, Aslam is torn between loyalty and love and has to pick between the two.
Akshay Kumar is outstanding; he plays the villain from the 80's to perfection. His body language, to the way he talks, he manages to create an aura. In fact, whenever Akshay appears on screen the movie gets a power dose.
Imran Khan makes a sincere effort and tries to look and act every inch like Aslam. As an actor, Imran makes progress, but yet again he fumbles in a few scenes. However, he gets full marks for his honesty.
Sonakshi Sinha is a good actress, but she puts no effort to look like a Kashmiri girl in the 80's as her look is very modern. However, towards the end of the movie she makes an impact with the final dialogue.
Sonali Bendre has a brief role, but an impactful one. Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh is decent. Mahesh Manjerkar does justice to his role. Sophie Chodhury is very expressive. Pitobash is good too.
Milan Luthria has some big hits to his credit and expectations with OUATIMD are soaring high, especially because the prequel was a huge success. However, this time Luthria fails to keep the movie fast paced and the first half is slow.
One expects OUATIMD to be a gangster flick, but it turns out to be too much of a love story. Luthria however does create some magical moments like Akshay and Imran lying under the tracks and the grand finale.
Rajat Arora writes a gangster story with a love angle; however, the main issue is that people have the prequel in mind and expect something on similar lines. Director of Photography Ayanaka Bose has done a stupendous job, especially when it comes to capturing the Middle East. Editor Akiv Ali does a good job too. Music by Pritam is harmonious and does take you back to the 70's. 'Ye Tune Kya Kiya' by Javed Bashir is a soulful sufi song. The 80's were popular for the cabaret era and 'Tu Hi Khwahish' recreates the magic and is choreographed well. The album also has a reprised version of Amar Akbar Anthony's 'Tayyab Ali' which is well shot on Imran and Sonakshi.
Akshay Kumar is the soul of the movie, his personification of the Don is very powerful and the movie works in parts just because of him.
OUATIMD might work because of the long weekend and also with audiences in single screen theatres. Just a one time watch!