This week's major Bollywood release, "Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara," directed by Milan Luthra stars Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha in leading roles.
The movie is a sequel to the 2010 film, "Once Upon A Time in Mumbai," which was about the rise of Mumbai gangster Sultan Mirza through the city's underworld.
Starting off from where Once Upon A Time in Mumbai had ended, this one begins with Shoaib (Akshay Kumar) hiring two teenaged boys, Aslam (Imran Khan) and his friend Dedh Taang (Pitobash Tripathy), who were petty bike racers on whom gamblers placed their money.
Around 12 years later Shoaib, soaked in the heady cocktail of women and wealth, emerges as the ruler of the erstwhile Bombay, with the help of a gang of trusted henchmen including the notorious Aslam (Imran Khan) who swears loyalty to his Godfather, Akshay Kumar. Ditched by his rival Rawal (Mahesh Manjrekar) who plots to kill him, he makes a trip back to the city from Muscat in order to annihilate his opponent.
While the movie progresses in Mumbai, both Shoaib and Aslam fall in love with a budding actress and thickheaded Sonakshi Sinha, who has a peculiar knack of misapprehending everything ever told to her. This love triangle results in the rivalry between Shoaib and Aslam, a war that will decide the winner of the girl.
This isn't another love triangle of ordinary people. There is a top gangster and his confidante in love here and the story is laced with love, passion and obsession of its characters to win, along with the police on the hunt for the man who rules Dongri, an area of Mumbai.
Dialogue writer Rajat Aroraa deserves a loud applause for making the film interesting with his catchy lines. To throw light on this, please note when Shoaib returns to Mumbai, he observes how Mumbai has changed by saying "Mumbai Kumkum se Kimi Katkar ki tarah lag rahi hai". Akshay Kumar definitely deserves a special mention for delivering these quintessential dialogues in a manner that can sweep people off their feet!
Pritam has produced a masterpiece in the form of Yeh Tune Kya Kiya sung by Javed Bashir. The Taiyyab Ali track is a good attempt to revive a vintage hit.
A few radiant action scenes in the first half are done fabulously. The stunning city of Muscat with its outstanding natural beauty, picturesque cityscapes and rich culture is captured brilliantly by Milan Luthria. Some songs of the movie are shot at Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Muscat which is breathtaking.
The scene that stood out to me is when Shoaib walks into a Mumbai police station while the entire police force is mulling over how to arrest him. He stands there for a while but walks out when nobody notices him.
Akshay Kumar's appearance on the big screen is spellbinding and the 45-plus actor has proved yet again that he is multitalented and versatile.
Imran, on the other hand, struggles with his job as the good/bad guy.
Sonakshi Sinha looks gorgeous and has done a decent job as a naÔve Kashmiri girl who wishes to learn English and get her foot in the Mumbai film industry. She scores the maximum marks in the climax sequence shouting at Akshay.
There is one solid scene that the director gave to former Bollywood siren Sonali Bendre and she delivered it powerfully. Within a few minutes, she added depth to her character and conveyed with ease the emotional wreckage that Shoaib's love had caused her.
"Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara," is the tale of a don who wishes to win over the love of his life! Watch it for Akshay Kumar and his star power.