So you have a hit film in hand, what's the next plausible step? Make a sequel of it! Yes, that's sadly the ongoing culture in Bollywood and even some of the top filmmakers are giving in to the lure of encashing the fame earned in their previous hits irrespective whether those films deserve a sequel or not. Milan Luthria is one such filmmaker who teams up with for the third time, this time around with the sequel Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara (OUATIMD). We tell you whether this Independence Day deserves the holiday weekend hype or not.
OUATIMD takes off from where the first part ended. Shoaib (Now Akshay Kumar) who killed his mentor in the past to gain supremacy repeats history as he, in a similar fashion of his mentor, picks up a nobody from the streets and teaches him the tricks of the trade. 12 years later, Shoaib is the ruling mafia king from Mumbai all the way till Arab (read Dubai) and the nobody Aslam (Imran Khan) one of his favourites in the convoy.
Shoaib's quest to nail down his rival Rawal (Mahesh Manjrekar) brings him back to Bombay which is where he stumbles upon a young actress - Yasmin (Sonakshi Sinha). He is immediately taken in by her freshness, beauty and candor. Slowly, but surely his attraction towards Yasmin goes onto becoming an obsession. And little does his know that his own protegee Aslam will come in his way for the latter too takes an instant liking to Yasmin. This creates a rift between Shoaib and Aslam and results in the ultimate showdown between the mentor & protegee.
The first installment of this franchise had become an instant hit with the masses purely for the stellar casting, astounding dialogues and tremendous performances. One still cannot forget the suave swagger of Sultan Mirza played by Ajay Devgn or the uninhibited hunger for power of Shoib played by Emraan Hashmi in the film.
However, call it over confidence of the filmmaker Milan Luthria who apparently banked completely on the success of the first part to pay any attention to the second or sheer laxity and laziness that OUATIMD turns out to be not even half as entertaining and interesting its predecessor.
A few days after the launch of the sequel's first trailer, Luthria had launched its second promo citing that he received a lukewarm response for the first preview. Well, his insiders who actually gave him the buzz reports should've instead urged him to replace the entire film itself for throughout this looong 160 minute saga you see actors beating around the bush for no rhyme or reason.
In a bid to give a romantic twist to a gangster plot, both writer Rajat Aroraa and Milan Luthria neither did justice to the gangster potboiler nor managed to bring out the conflict in romance and instead ended up with a highly uninspiring and unentertaining film which can lull you to sleep.
While the story definitely doesn't offer anything to look forth to, the performances turn into major let downs as well. Akshay Kumar does a downright shallow depiction of the character immortalized by Emraan Hashmi and fails miserably in all attempts to infuse a suave shade to his persona. The ample dialoguebaazi, a few interesting but mostly all puerile only make matters worse for him as he mouths them in such repetitive tone and accent that you literally get tired of all the excess talking that this film involves.
Sonakshi Sinha who impressed one and all with her performance in Lootera goes back to essaying a dumb character in a commercial film. The portions of Yasmin are so loosely written that you really do not know what the filmmaker actually tried projecting.
Surprisingly, the best performance (or the best of the lot) comes from the least anticipated character Imran Khan. Being criticized for his lack of acting capabilities, Imran tries way too hard to impress the audience with his happy go lucky natured character and though he falls flat yet again, he still remains the best of the three lead protagonists. Who would've thought such a day will come too!
Call it the shortcoming of the filmmaker itself once again that he fails to extract even some good music from the hit composer Pritam. Except for a song or two, OUATIMD fails to please the mass with some lilting numbers as well.
Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara, in short, is one film that one wouldn't want to chance twice upon! Inane plot, force conflict and lazy writing can bore you to death. Take this time if you want undisturbed three hour long sleep in an air-conditioned hall.