I have never been a huge fan of first impressions. My decision to watch a film isn’t based on the trailer, or dialogue promos or how popular the music of the film is. It is rather a combination of originality, plot cum concept, star cast and timing. Nevertheless, there is an exception to every rule and ‘Once upon a time in Mumbaai’ (also referred to as ‘Mumbai goes Rewind’) was one such exception to my rule. From the moment I had laid my eyes on the first look of the movie, I was intrigued and had made an advance note in my calendar to watch this movie. Alas, after I returned from the screening of the movie, my faith was restored in an old belief, “Never judge a book by its cover or a movie by its trailer”. Once upon a time in Mumbaai disappoints.
The fascination with gangster movies is apparent and immense worldwide. Some of the finest made films Deewar, Vaastav, Company have maintained their tremendous fan following till today and some of the characters and dialogues from these movies have gone down in history as iconic. Even before you settle down in the comfort of your theatre seat, you are presented with a disclaimer, reaffirming that the movie or characters bear no resemblance to any person or events, yet owing to the speculations during the pre-release period or even certain scenes in the movie will compel you to draw parallels to real life.
The plot is simple and has been done-to-death in the past. If you intend to know more about the prime character references in the film, just turn to the numerous Google pages attributed to them. Traveling to a time in the early 1970’s when Mumbai was Bombay, the film is about Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgn) a smuggler cum Samaritan who laps up every moment by the sea, makes big bucks indulging in accessories, equipments smuggling and barters money with a beggar lady for blessings in exchange. His love for Mumbai is highly compassionate so much so that under no circumstances will he allow Mumbai being torn apart by underworld dealings. Therefore, he divides the city into geographic divisions amongst his other gangster friends strictly reprimanding them from interfering in each other’s areas. When he is not working his smuggling ways, he is at his charming self, dining and socializing lady-love Rehana (Kangana Ranaut), who plays a top actress of those time with perfect sensuality and panache. All is well in Sultan’s world – the poor, helpless worship him, young kids idolize and emulate him and he is the solution to any problem of the rich and poor alike. Until the day, a conflict erupts, when prot