I saw ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’ way back in 2010 in a movie theatre shortly after its release, and I remember it to be a really well made movie about the life of a gangster. So when ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara’ (Dobaara = Again) released, I was eager to watch it, especially after reading ‘Dongri to Dubai,’ excited that I was more aware and slightly more informed; not that it was required.
Anyhow, I watched it with my husband about a week ago and the scars are still fresh. Let me elaborate.
Fifteen minutes into the film I was wondering if it was made by the same person who made the first movie. Twenty minutes after the film started, I realised the only connection it had with the first film was Shohaib’s character. Thirty minutes into the film, we – my husband and I – rued the moment we decided to watch this instead of ‘Chennai Express;’ not that that would have been a movie worth watching.
Why did we rue the moment or whatever? Because my ears were close to bleeding listening to the dialogues. Okay, granted, we laughed at the first three or four lines, but everything after that was something I would put in my Shovel List, if I had one. (I’ll explain the Shovel List later when I review ‘The Mystery of Mercy Close.’)
Forty five minutes into the film, my husband asked me to wake him up when the movie was over because, even though we knew we should have walked out of the theater and either gone home or watched another movie, I still wanted to watch the whole thing because we had spent money on it. Not spent well, but spent nonetheless. Sunk cost, if you will.
And I will tell you why.
There are some good things about the movie, but that’s barely anything and in the larger scheme of things, they don’t even matter.
Like for example, this movie is not about the Gangster, Shohaib – even though there are bits and parts that try to show how powerful, passionate and feared he is – it’s about his love life. At least 90% of the movie is and the other 10% is insignificant even though that’s what takes the movie from A to B.
Akshay Kumar, my first Bollywood hero, has slightly disappointed me in this one. He has done (and rocked) some amazing roles; my favourites being – Mr. Honest Policeman (in Mohra, Main Khiladi Tu Anari,) Mr. Psycho-Killer (in Aflaatoon, Khiladi 420,) Mr. Funny Guy (in Hera Pheri, Bhool Bhulaiyya,) etc. But somehow, even though he pulled off the tough gangster ‘look,’ I found something lacking in his performance. His dialogues were monotonous – both, the words (more on that, below) and his tone. I was reminded of John Abraham’s dialogue delivery in Jism – every dialogue, every emotion was conveyed in the same tone. Not something I expected from an experienced actor like Akshay who has many brilliant performances under his belt.
What made Akshay’s dialogue delivery unbearable, were the dialogues themselves. Every single line was cheesy, and it rhymed, like @OnlyBabaSehgal‘s tweets. The only thing worse than reading (or in my case, being mentioned by my friends in) his (re)tweets, would be having someone read them. Out loud. And though this wasn’t that bad, it felt close. The rhyming made me feel like I was sitting in a Kavi Sammelan rather than the movie theater. It made me wonder if Sidhu, wrote the dialogues, but then those ‘Taali Thoko’ shaayaris have a totally different class, so I dissed that idea too.
I could have lived with the rhymes if they were used sparingly and they made sense, but they weren’t and they didn’t. In fact, at one point, Sonakshi’s character asks Akshay – “Tum kisi bhi baat ka seedhi tarah se jawaab nahi de sakte kya?” and I was all like, yeah man, that didn’t make sense. Why can’t he give a straight answer to any question?? So after a point, when I couldn’t laugh anymore, I ignored the dialogues and did some selective listening. Worked amazingly. I mean, come on, if the dialogues were so good, wouldn’t I have remembered a few?
Let us now shift focus from Akshay to Imran. Now, even though he is not my favourite actor, not even close, I have a soft corner for him because he looks like my husband, and as much as I adore his cute, chocolate-boy look, the tapori, mawaali look didn’t do it for me. For one, the look didn’t suit him. No matter how much kaajal he had under his eyes, his face still had an innocence about him. He was good in the movie, no doubt, but again, someone else in his place could have been a better Aslam; Arjun Kapoor for instance.
As for Sonakshi’s character, for most of the film I was left wondering what the hell she was up to and who she really liked. They clear that in the end, but come on, you don’t behave that way with a guy you consider as only your ‘friend!!’ That’s the kind of thing Veena Malik does. Remember how she and Aashmit were only “friends”?? Anyway, I digress. But it’s not her fault totally. No one told us that some of the scenes where she was flirting with the other guy were the guy’s imagination! What the hell!!
But, but, I would like to say one thing in Sonakshi’s favour; her character may have been confused, confusing, rather, she looked amazing in the movie. I liked her – her simple dresses, her hair, even her nose-ring; so much that I have started wearing mine again. 😀 She isn’t looking weird and is certainly looking feminine. Slightly dumb, but that’s okay.
Sonali Bendre was not required in the movie because she was a shadow; barely there. Her relationship with Shohaib is not clear. Are they married? Are they separated? Are they even in love? Who knows!
The one good thing, the ONLY good thing about the movie, are the songs! They are amazing! Almost as good as the songs of ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai.’ Listening to them that loud in the movie theater was the only ‘experience’ I enjoyed. But you know what? No matter how amazing the songs are you don’t need to go to a movie theater to hear them.
All in all, it was a highly disappointing movie. Not a great performance by Akshay, who has done better in the past. It has some really annoying and cheesy and almost unnecessarily rhyming dialogues. If I was watching this on TV, I would have changed the channel or put it on mute and just watched Akshay. Okay, maybe a little Imran too, who am I kidding? 😛