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J. Brandon Hill
During March 1993, after his Ambassador car is being fished out of water, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Agnel Wilson, narrates to the Commissioner as to how he commenced his investigation against an underworld gangster, Sultan Mirza. He details how Sultan had survived floods in Madras, shortly after Independence; his arrival in Bombay; and his employment which earned him a mere 25 Paisa daily. Agnel's attempts to rein in Sultan fail, but he keeps tabs on him and his romance with Bollywood actress, Rehana; as well as his new recruit, Shoaib, the son of Sub-Inspector Khan. Agnel will find his investigation slipping out of his hands after Sultan temporarily delegates complete responsibility to Shoaib. Written by
Gauhar Khan suffered an injury while shooting the song Parda. See more »
In one of the scenes Sultan Mirza is shown removing the railroad tracks and the railway sleeper or railroad tie are made of concrete. These concrete sleepers were introduced in India in early to mid 90s during the 70s there used to be wooden railway sleeper or railroad tie. See more »
More than a one-time-good movie with great music & good dialogues
If you like storytelling, you are going to enjoy it. Once Upon a Time in Mumbai is all about the rise two smugglers / gangsters in Mumbai i.e. Sultan Mirza (played by Ajay Devgun) and Shoaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi). Movie begins with ACP Agnel Wilson (Randeep Hooda) narrating the life stories of these two smugglers. Sultan Mirza, a poor boy, who enters into this business at a very small age becomes very strong and powerful man of mumbai due to his strength, bravery & wisdom. He also divides mumbai into different zones and allocates each of them to different smugglers and chooses the seashore of mumbai for himself. Sultan soon becomes messiah of mumbai by rescuing poor from difficult situations and giving charity to needy.
On the other hand, Shoaib Khan, spoiled son of a police inspector, becomes a thief. Shoaib's father requests Sultan Mirza to help him in this regard and Sultan helps shoaib in establishing a electronics shop which shoaib in unable to continue due to his temperament & reputation. Shoaib requests Sultan Mirza to let him work with him in smuggling business to which Sultan agrees. Here the plot of the movie resembles with that of film Company in which Ajay Devgun inducts Vivek Oberoi as his worker and The Company gets more strengthened. Shoaib Khan soon proves that he is fully capable of working for Sultan Mirza and Mirza's reliance on him increases till a time comes when Sultan goes out of city to execute his future plans and makes Shoaib the caretaker in his absence. This is the point where the problem starts between the two.
Director (Milan Luthria) has done a wonderful job by recreating the era of 70's & 80's. First half of the movie is better than the second half due to well-balanced comedy, romance, action; nonetheless, movie does not loses grip in the second half. Rajat Arora (writer) has also done a good job with good dialogues; nevertheless, end of the movie could have been made better. Idea of Sultan Mirza's character seems to have been inspired from life of Haji Mastan Mirza who was a smuggler of Mumbai and had nothing to do with underworld (that is drug, narcotics etc). Ajay Devgun has been given the same look which Haji Mastan Mirza was famous for i.e. white dress, chauffeur driver Mercedes car, imported cigarettes in hand, big donor / charity worker. Haji Mastan also married a bollywood actress and so does Sultan Mirza in the movie who marries top actress of his time Rehana (played by Kangana Ranaut). Although roles of both ladies Rehana and Mumtaz (Shoaib's love played by Prachi Desai) are very small; both actresses have fulfilled their duties. Here, credit also goes to costume designers who were successful in giving the actors & actresses the accurate 70's / 80's look.
As far as acting is concerned, this is one best movies of Ajay Devgun's career (performance wise) and its seems that this role could not have been suited on any other actor apart from Ajay Devgun. Two negatives of the movies are 1) Emraan Hashmi - who gave his best in the movie but (unfortunately) couldn't break his lover boy's image 2) Randeep Hooda - who has not been utilized properly. It would have been better if Shoaib Khan's role was given to Hooda due to the arrogant, anger look on his face.
Pritam's music is one of the strengths of the movie. All the tracks have been composed wonderfully and according to the moment at which they have been placed in the script. Singing great Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's "Tum Jo Aaye" & "Pee Loo" by Mohit Chauhan was splendid.Last but not the least, apart from the songs, superb background score was the biggest plus of the movie especially in the latter half.
Conclusion: Highly recommended to all the cine goers especially to gangster / mafia movie lovers.
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