‘Once up in a Time in Mumbai’ was the turning point in the lives of Milan Luthria, Rajat Arora (writer) and Ekta Kapoor for seeing their first big commercial success. That gave a big boost for them to make ‘Dirty Picture’ which again was successful. Both of these movies had something in common – the punch lines and lead characters fighting for a common goal. Now, the sequel ‘Once upon A time in Mumbai Dobaara’ unsurprisingly falls more or less in the same template. As the tagline says ‘This time it’s personal’, the movie is more about the personal war than the business (read it as ‘dhandha’).
The movie stars Akshay as Shoaib (played by Emraan Hashmi in OUATIM), who has almost acquired Mumbai, but has some hassles in the form of Prawaal (Mahesh Manjerakar), another gangster. Aslam (Imran Khan) is a faithful worker under Shoaib. Jasmine enters their lives, unaware of each other. Both Shoaib and Aslam fall head over heels in love with Jasmine, but none of them confess it. The day when the beans are spilled, the personal war begins and how their destinies end up is the rest of the story.
Seems like the director-writer duo of Milan Luthria -Rajit Arora has concluded from the previous two hits that writing fifty punch lines can pull the crowds and the writing can leisurely take a backseat. I am afraid, that is not the way things work. Dialogues shall complement the script, but not dominate it. The movie, definitely has some good dialogues, but relies too much on the punch-lines delivered by the two leading men. There is good number of lines for the frontbenchers too. Coming the content part, the only well-written character is of Shoaib. The introduction and some of his sudden entrances in the movie are fantastic. The first half is very gripping, but falls flat for lot of time in the post-interval. However it picks up in the penultimate 20 minutes and ends on a note which leaves a clue to expect another sequel.
Akshay steals the show, with a very attractive personality he carries throughout. Casting him was the perfect decision. At the same time, casting Imran as Aslam was an equally bad move. The soft and suave Imran we know, looks artificial here. The character seems confused and ultimately delivers something which is a mix of Jai (of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na) and Siddhu (Aamir Khan of Ghulam) – an odd combination. Sonakshi, however has a good screen presence. Post Lootera, her charm is working well. Abhimanyu Singh (the sequel’s Randeep Hooda) , Mahesh Manjerakar, and Pitobash were adequate.
Art work and costumes are good, and as usual the team could get the retro look well. Cinematography is good with neat editing. The soundtrack by Pritam is very inferior to OUATIM, which had great music. The only song which audience would like is ‘Yeh Tune Kya Kiya’. However, the background score is up to mark though sounds similar to the first part.
On the whole, OUATIMD has many interesting moments, and Akshay’s performance is flawless. On the flip side, the writer and director have given to their characters too much to say and too less to emote.