Screenplay, Dialogues & Lyrics

Movie Review
Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara:All that rhymes is not poetry

There was a time when Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi joined together and held their grounds at the box office with the support of retro style dialoguebaazi. The triumph of The Dirty Picture followed the success of Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, leading the makers to believe that they had got their success formula. For their third outing together, director Milan Luthria and writer Rajat Aroraa have tried to rehash their own recipe but without achieving the right mix, one must say. 

Shoeb (Akshay Kumar) rules over Mumbai, literally, and is adamant to continue his reign. He survives a fatal attack by his opponent Rawal (Mahesh Manjrekar) and returns to India to hunt him down. Aslam (Imraan Khan) is one of his loyal henchmen whom he had taken under his wing some 12 years ago. After setting this up, the pace of the film dwindles as the story changes its trajectory with the introduction of Jasmin (Sonakshi Sinha). What the audience is able to guess from the very first scene keeps escaping the imagination of the characters and story just tries to push things till it’s time for the climax. Shoeb falls for Jasmin but she doesn’t know this. Aslam too falls for Jasmin but he doesn’t know Shoeb also meets her often. Similarly Jasmin doesn’t know that Aslam works for Shoeb. All these convenient routes taken by the writer only make the characters look naïve and we keep waiting for new developments to take place which do happen, though only after every 8 to 10 lackluster scenes. So basically the whole simple age-old tale of two heroes turning against each other over the same girl is stretched over two and a half hours. The over-the-top dialogue writing spends too much efforts looking for the clap-moments which takes away all the charm. Or wait a minute; guess clap-moments are not what they were aiming for. Since every single line is supposed to be a punch line it can be believed that rather than telling a story the makers were trying to give competition to a Mushayraa. Every character talks like a poet but that doesn’t hide the fact that they are listless and unimaginative. There is a lesson here, however, for every writer: You don’t get a good film just by adding quirky philosophical angles to every single line; you do so if your characters feel alive and do what they have to. 

Another major problem of the storyline is that it unnecessary focuses on Shoeb, the self-proclaimed villain, while the central conflict demands more from Aslam’s character. It should have been Aslam’s story rather than an attempt at exploiting the popularity of the senior star-actor. 

The saving grace here is Akshay Kumar who plays Shoeb with élan. His look suits the character and his robustness adds some life to an otherwise foolish don. Sonakshi tries to do justice to Jasmin’s characters and looks at ease delivering the corny lines. Imraan Khan however is completely a miscast. His schoolboy face doesn’t support all his ‘Dhandhe Ki Sayings’ as nothing in him shows signs of a dreaded hoodlum. 

Pritam’s music tries to uplift the film. The song ‘Ye Tooney Kya Kiya’ (overall, Rajat Aroraa does better as a lyricist) is refreshing. With average direction, the whole responsibility of giving the film a retro look lies with the choice of sunglasses. 

Akshya Kumar’s fans will like him but only if they can stand the repetitiveness and the excessive duration of the film. For everyone else, this one’s a dud. 

   Dinkar Sharma


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