Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Mahesh Manjrekar, Pitobash Tripathy
b! Says: ***1/2
This week’s blockbuster offering is Ekta Kapoor’s ‘Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!’ – a movie whose title was probably decided after more than one trip to the numerologist’s office. Have the gamble and extra letters paid off? In part. OUATIMD certainly won’t be giving the audiences any warm and fuzzy patriotic feelings this Independence Day, but will still send them home satisfied and entertained.
OUATIMD is the next chapter in gangster Shoaib’s (Akshay Kumar, earlier played by Emraan Hashmi) life that now sees him as the undisputed kingpin of Mumbai. Shoaib continues to be a ladies man, and a young starlet Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha) catches his eye. Unfortunately, Shoaib’s protégé Aslam (Imran Khan) finds himself in love with his boss’s girl and the classic love triangle struggle ensues.
Bollywood’s favourite (?) don is brought to life on screen again but Luthria takes his own sweet time to develop Shoaib’s character in this film. The obligatory songs and sightings at the cricket stadium are pretty tidbits but could have been done away with since they do nothing to carry the story forward. As in Luthria’s last (The Dirty Picture) there’s heaps of dialogue-baazi but we don’t mind it. The whistle-worthy lines help lend Akshay’s character charisma and also adds a touch of an era gone by. We had serious doubts about Imran Khan pulling off the loafer look, but he does a decent job of the task at hand. It’s also smooth sailing for Sonakshi Sinha. Her performance is endearing and she manages to bring a smile to the audience’s faces. Pitobash Tripathy as Dedh Tang doesn’t have much to do, but scenes involving him add masala to the proceedings. We did have problems with the character of Mumtaz, who was played Prachi Desai in the first film, but is now a sad, lonely woman played by Sonali Bendre. Her inclusion seemed unnecessary and in some scenes where Shoaib speaks to her about Jasmine, you wonder if there was any love there at all to begin with.
If anything, ‘Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!’ is sure to keep boredom at bay. Even though it drags in parts, it’s not a bad option for the long weekend ahead. As Imran Khan’s character would put it – Yeh movie dekh le, phir thank le aur vatak le.