Posts tagged 70s
Most of the gangster films that we have seen in Bollywood have all been inspired from real men of underworld. And when makers of Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai give a supposed indication that the film is a kind of biopic on the 2 famous dons, one might wonder-what will this film show that we haven’t seen or don’t know? And as expected, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai is to a great extent a been-there-done-that affair. However, still it makes for a riveting watch thanks to the brilliant performances and direction and a lot more factors! More about it later!
The story of the movie: The film is set in Bombay of 70s. Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgn) is a powerful man but on the wrong side of the law. For the poor, he was messiah; for the cops, he’s a smuggler who should be put behind bars and for the bhai-log of Mumbai, he’s the mediator and advisor. Unlike other goons, Sultan doesn’t believe much in bloodshed and wants peace to remain on the streets of the city. He has found a love interest too, Rehana (Kangna Ranaut), a rising superstar of Bollywood. Enters Shoaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi), a ruthless roadside ruffian who gets included in Sultan’s gang. Little does Sultan know that this could be his most fatal mistake!
The first striking and unique feature that you’ll notice about Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai is Ajay’s brilliant characterization which is so different from the rest of the gangsters we have seen on celluloid. Here’s a man who is so bloody rich but yet is always there to help the poor! Here’s a man who is ready to smuggle anything into the city except things which are morally wrong to consume! Here’s a man whose ways of getting things done are so smart and so harmless! Hats off to Sultan Mirza!
The entire film is told from the eyes of Inspector Agnel Wilson (Randeep Hooda). The movie gets on track as soon as the flashback commences. The beginning scenes where Ajay removes the tracks and the other where he divides the city among the bhais were brilliant and set the mood. From here, the film hops on a cliché track and this lasts till the end. However, you won’t mind as every second, there’s something or the other happening in the film that’ll keep you gripped!
One won’t have any complaints with the first hour. However, the second half has some share of flaws. The entire hooch episode could have been better treated. The climax was predictable but no doubt leaves a mark. However, the film ends without mentioning what happens to the significant characters of the film later. Also, showing an important character of the film in the last scene 18 years later with no change in his looks and features seemed too unbelievable. Notwithstanding all the glitches, the film gives a satisfying experience and that’s what matters!
There’s no doubt that the best performer in the film is none other than Ajay Devgn! Essaying a gangsta role is never easy but Ajay have done it twice (earlier in Company) and both performances are so drastically different from each other! An achievement indeed! Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai is surely another feather in Ajay’s cap! Keep rocking! Emraan Hashmi fails to reach Ajay’s level but still impresses with a rocking performance! His eyes and his expressions oozed evil which was what his character was all about! It was great to see him in full form after a long long time. And the good news is-he’ll soon be seen in 3 films-Crook, Raftaar 24×7 and Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji! Emraan’s face, rejoice!
Special mention should also be made of the kiddos who played kid Ajay-Emraan. Both of them had features which were exactly like two actors and hence it seemed authentic! Kangna Ranaut looks ravishing and as usual gives a top notch performance. The 70s-centric costumes given to her looked beautiful on her! Prachi Desai (as Mumtaz) does a fine job. However, her character doesn’t have much to do in the film. Randeep Hooda gives a stupendous performance. Bollywood is surely going to notice this neglected actor from now on! The one who plays Emraan’s father was terrific. Avtar Gill plays his part well. Gauhar Khan was awesome in the retro item track.
Pritam’s music is energetic and easily one of his finest works! Tum Jo Aaye is the best song of the lot followed by Pee Loon. I Am In Love is missing from the film! Parda, the item song, is beautifully picturised while Babu Rao gives a nice 70s feel!
Aseem Mishra’s cinematography was perfect. Nitin Desai’s art direction impresses a lot! The entire film is given a 70s touch thanks to him. Most of the scenes are smartly shot in the colonial areas of South Mumbai (which haven’t changed much since 70s). However, the sets (esp the one in Gauhar’s song) were brilliant and surely worth appreciating!
Rajat Aroraa wrote the story, screenplay and dialogue. Story is nothing new and something we all have seen in many films before. However, the screenplay was terrific and as mentioned before, the characters were too good. Dialogues were very sharp and one of the best things about the film. However, there was no need of giving such dramatic dialogues to the cop (Randeep). It just didn’t suit at all!
Finally, Milan Luthria’s direction was splendid! Although not his best work (Taxi No 9211 is), he should be appreciated for coming up with such a great film which has such an ordinary story! Great going and waiting for your next!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Sultan removes the rail tracks
2. Sultan divides the city among the ‘bhais’
3. Sultan meets Rehana for the first time and in the restaurant
4. Rehana gives gifts for Sultan
5. Shoaib’s childhood
6. Sultan at Shoaib’s inauguration
7. Rehana traps Agnel
8. The intermission point
9. Sultan burns the drugs
10. Sultan at Delhi
11. Sultan’s confronts Shoaib
12. The climax
On the whole, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, inspite of having an ordinary storyline, gives the viewer a great time! Watch it for Ajay, well-shot scenes and the retro look!
My rating-*** ½ out of 5!
By Taran Adarsh, July 26, 2010 – 13:29 IST
The fascination with gangster movies has been immense worldwide. On this side of the Atlantic, several gangster films have left giant footprints on the sands of time. Films like DEEWAAR [Yash Chopra], DHARMATMA [Feroz Khan], NAYAKAN [Mani Ratnam], ANGAAR [Shashilal Nair], PARINDA [Vidhu Vinod Chopra], AGNEEPATH [Mukul Anand], SATYA and COMPANY [Ramgopal Varma], VAASTAV [Mahesh Manjrekar], GANGSTER [Anurag Basu], D [Vishram Sawant] and SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA [Apoorva Lakhia] have tremendous recall value to this day.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI recreates an era that so many of us have left behind and for those who arrived on this planet post 80s, I am sure, they must have visited the era through some medium or the other, mainly movies and internet or during their academic careers.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not part of history, but it attempts to portray on celluloid tales that are now considered legendary, that continue to make news to this date. Of course, the disclaimer claims that it bears no resemblance to a particular person, but you can’t help but draw parallels with real-life characters. It could be a coincidence, though!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is a fascinating story that talks of how the mafia came into force for the first time in Mumbai. A thriller that depicts the crime scenario in Mumbai during the 70s and 80s. The rise to power of two young boys, in different age-groups, who grew up to ‘rule’ the streets of Mumbai.
Since there’s tremendous speculation in the media that ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI chronicles the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim, the curiosity to watch the film increases manifold. Of course, I am no one to comment if it’s actually based on their lives or merely borrows a few incidents from their lives or is pure fiction, but as a cinematic experience, I couldn’t help getting transported to the bygone era, getting sucked into a world I had no clue of.
Besides the gangster chapter, one enjoys this film also because of its riveting drama and the power play. It could’ve been set anywhere, in the corporate world, in politics, in the film industry. Anywhere. The rise and subsequent fall of the King and the emergence of the Prince as the super power is what makes this film a compelling watch. The icing on the cake is the magical and lilting song compositions that are juxtaposed so beautifully in the goings-on. On the sidelines of the power play, a game of hearts is being played and that’s what makes ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI a wholesome movie experience.
Final word? ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not to be missed. Set everything aside this coming weekend and watch this one. Strongly recommended!
The film, set primarily in 1970s Mumbai, follows the rise of Sultan Mirza [Ajay Devgn] and the conflict that ensues, when his protégé Shoaib Khan [Emraan Hashmi] challenges his supremacy and usurps power to rule the murky underbelly of Mumbai.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is a power-packed drama that makes you thirst for more. You rewind to an era of romance, smuggling, cabaret and mafia, but director Milan Luthria and writer Rajat Aroraa ensure that there’s no sleaze or bloodshed-n-gore. In fact, there’s hardly any violent sequence in the movie, except for one when Ajay hammers a cop during a naaka-bandi.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not a biopic, but narrates the story through the eyes of a police officer [Randeep Hooda], who traces the changing face of the Mumbai underworld. The screenplay encompasses several moments that may compel you to draw parallels with real life, but talking strictly from the movie-going point of view, it satiates you completely. In fact, the writing is cohesive, smart and watertight and there’s never a dull moment. Besides, there’s no time to think whether it’s factual or loosely based on someone’s life or a work of fiction.
As I look back and recall the movie, a number of sequences flash across my mind. Note the sequence when Ajay divides the city amongst gangsters… The train sequence at the very start… The introduction of Emraan Hashmi’s character… Randeep Hooda’s landing on a film set and confiscating the equipment… The subsequent sequence, when Randeep is framed for accepting bribe… The romantic moments between Emraan and Prachi in the jewellery shop… Emraan starting his business and the confrontation that ensues between Ajay and Randeep… The showdown between Ajay and Emraan, with Ajay slapping Emraan in full public view… The conclusion to the story is equally novel. It stays in your memory and sets you thinking.
On the flipside, the story begins with Randeep attempting suicide, but the writer should’ve cited the reason that prompted him to take that drastic step. Sure, there’s a mention at the start, but it doesn’t register well. Also, you are keen to know the chain of events that drove Randeep to suicide. Also, the pace slackens in the middle of the second hour, but picks up dramatically when Ajay returns from Delhi and confronts Emraan. Besides, how I wish the film had a shorter, mass appealing Hindi title to attract more eyeballs and a big jump in footfalls [at single screens and smaller centres mainly] for a mass appealing subject like this.
This is director Milan Luthria’s best work to date, no two opinions on that. Recreating the bygone era is tough and the director, the writer and the art director [Nitin Chandrakant Desai] deserve brownie points for giving the film that authentic feel. In fact, the film wears a chic retro look throughout. Even otherwise, Milan’s handling of the subject material is exemplary. This film is sure to catapult him to the top league. Rajat Aroraa’s screenplay is powerful and engaging. The writer marries heavy-duty drama and subtle and delicate emotions beautifully. I would like to make a special note of the dialogue, also penned by Rajat Aroraa, which are simply fantastic. In fact, the dialogue writing is such it elevates even an ordinary sequence to great levels. One rarely comes across such potent dialogue in today’s times.
Pritam’s music is another ace. Injecting songs and that too a terrific soundtrack in a gangster film is tough. He did it in GANGSTER. He does it again in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. ‘Pee Loon’, ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ and the remix of APNA DESH track are super compositions, which are also placed appropriately in the plotline. Cinematography [Aseem Mishra] captures the look to perfection. Akiv Ali’s editing is sharp.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is embellished with fantastic performances. Ajay Devgn is splendid as Sultan. The actor had enacted a similar role in COMPANY, but it must be said that his interpretation is so different in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. He adds so much depth to the character, which only goes to prove his range and versatility. This is, without a trace of doubt, Ajay’s finest work so far. Emraan Hashmi is brilliant as the power greedy, wildly ambitious rebel. He plays the dark character to perfection. He’s incredible in the penultimate moments of the film in particular. Besides carrying the look to perfection, Emraan is sure to break-free from the lover boy, serial kisser image with this film.
Kangna Ranaut is extremely natural and performs very well. Also, she brings so much of sensuality and glamour to her character [an actress of the 70s]. In fact, Ajay and Kangna make a wonderful on-screen pair. Prachi Desai is a bundle of talent who proves her mettle yet again. She’s proficient in emotional scenes and sizzles in the BOBBY song-sequence. Besides, the chemistry between Emraan and Prachi is exciting. Randeep Hooda is top notch. Even though the film belongs to Ajay and Emraan, Randeep makes his presence felt with a powerful performance. This film should prove to be the turning point in his career.
Avtar Gill [as Home Minister] is good. Naved Aslam [as Patrick, Ajay's trusted lieutenant] is perfect. Mehul Bhojak [as Emraan's friend Javed] is competent. Ravi Khanwilkar [as Vardhan] is satisfactory. Gauhar Khan sizzles in the remix track.
On the whole, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is an extremely well-made film that lingers in your memory. The realism coupled with stellar direction, power-packed writing, exceptional performances and ear-pleasing tunes are its trump cards. An outstanding cinematic experience!
By Joginder Tuteja, July 16, 2010 – 11:24 IST
There is no denying the fact that Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai has fast turned out to be one of the most awaited films of the season. Credit it to the Ajay Devgn factor as he seems to be walking in straight from the days of Company, the charm of Emraan Hashmi who seems to be on a role reversal of sorts after Gangster, the music by Pritam which has everything going right for it, the Bobby nostalgia that has been created by Prachi or the mystery called Kangna Ranaut which seems to follow her film after film.
Kangna Ranaut – a mystery, something that led to names like Madhubala and Meena Kumari being thrown around as the reference points for the role of an actress that she plays in this Milan Luthria directed film. Still, there was no concrete information coming in from any quarters. Now that the film is just a few days away from release, a couple of shocking truths have been revealed.
First and foremost, it has been declared that Kangna’s character is indeed based on an actual heroine from the 70s. Secondly, the actress in picture is neither Madhubala nor Meena Kumari but a small time actress whose name was Sona. A girl who had actually acted in a couple of Bollywood films in the 70s, Sona was also the love of Haji Mastan on whom Ajay Devgn’s role in the film is based. Since Kangna plays the female lead opposite him, it was obvious that the reference point was Sona.
“Well, I have been told that Haji Mastan was in love with this girl called Sona”, Kangna says in a hush-hush tone, “She was a Madhubala look-alike and a struggler during the 70s. When the two came together, they became romantically involved. He even went on to make a movie for her.”
A quick Google search assures that Kangna’s claims were indeed true. Sona did actually work in a couple of films though the one which was notable was Raj Khosla’s Kuchche Dhaage where she had Vinod Khanna, Moushumi Chatterjee and Kabir Bedi for company. Incidentally, another striking factor about this casting and the film was that Moushumi’s screen name here was, as you guessed it right, Sona.
Cut to 2010 and there are obvious similarities in Kangna’s characterisation. As Rehana – an actress, she plays the love interest of Sultan (played by Ajay Devgn) who is a don in the Mumbai of 70s. “Rehana is basically a cross between Madhubala and Sona. She is really desired and is madly loved by Sultan”, confirms Kangna.
Unlike Sona though, Kangna gets the perks of playing a superstar instead of a struggler in the film. “Ajay’s character feels connected to her because he knows her only through the big screen. Once the two fall in love, Rehana becomes really vulnerable. You can say that while Ajay is the positive force of the film, Emraan is the negative force and I am the romantic force.”
Of course Kangna, we would like to believe that!
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, June 15, 2010 – 17:05 IST
After playing the simple bahu in Ekta Kapoor’s popular T.V. serial Kasamh Se, Prachi Desai is all set to shed her inhibitions for a particular song sequence in Ekta Kapoor’s home production Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai.
The film, directed by Milan Luthria, has Prachi paired opposite Emraan Hashmi. Since the film is set in the 70′s, the duo are shown watching the super-hit Rishi Kapoor-Dimple Kapadia starrer Bobby in the theatre during a particular song sequence in the film. Emraan’s character Shoaib then gifts Prachi’s character Mumtaz a polka dotted top and short skirt, similar to the one worn by Dimple in Bobby.
Apparently Prachi was initially taken aback when director Milan Luthria asked her to wear this dress as she found it a bit too bold for her liking. It may be recalled that earlier Prachi had clearly informed that she wouldn’t be doing any kissing scenes with her co-star Emraan, however while that wish of hers was granted, this one wasn’t and Prachi eventually had to go by her director’s choice and wear the so-called ‘bold’ outfit.
Vipul Amrutlal Shah gets Akki and Ash together again…
MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 26, 2010)
What happens when three heavyweights Vipul Shah, Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan get together? They give you a retro cool film titled Action Replayy, that is high on style quotient and emotionally rewarding too.
The gorgeous Aishwarya puts it very simply when she says, “It is a fun-genre romantic film.’’ And her good-looking co-star, the handsome Akshay adds, “It’s a very special film for me for many reasons. This is my tribute to the 70s that was the greatest retro era. I was kicked with the idea because I’m entering the time in cinema where my father-in-law (Rajesh Khanna) was a superstar. It is my fifth film with Vipul and definitely another one to remember. Ash and I had a brief romantic interlude in Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Khakee, but Action Replayy is our first romantic comedy together. Believe me, I was blushing through the making and there’s a lot I wish to tell my audience about. But Vipul wants me to keep things under wraps for the moment.’’ Without giving away too much, one can safely say that Action Replayy is all about rewinding your life. It is about Kishen and Mala — two bickering senior citizens who “rediscover romance’’ on their 33rd wedding anniversary, when their son gets them into rew mode. Vipul Shah, who had a blast making Action Replayy, says, “Akki and I have an impeccable box office record. We enjoyed success with Ankhein, Waqt-The Race Against Time, Namastey London, Singh Is Kinng. Action Replayy is a film where the two of us return after a gap of almost three years. And believe me, it is a great way to return.’’
The film is very hip and caters to the sensibilities of the young generation. “For me it was an exciting experience because I could bring together Aishwarya and Akshay, a pair I had been wanting to cast for sometime now. They’re both goodlooking, super-talented and what’s more, they’re fashion icons as well. Akki has made an amazing screen pair with some of the existing girls but believe me, he and Ash are extra special,’’ adds Vipul.
The producer has roped in the author to take on the role of social media consultant for her latest venture
DEEPALI DHINGRA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; May 24, 2010)
This is one association that readers might find a tad difficult to digest, since Ekta Kapoor and Shobhaa De couldn’t be more different than chalk and cheese. But the soap queen’s company Balaji has roped in the author-columnist as its social media consultant for the film Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai. It’s a never before move, but one that makes complete sense. How so, Ekta answers herself, “Shobhaa’s keen insights and understanding of the society of the 70’s and the contemporary Indian mind will ensure that the context of the film is set perfectly for today’s audiences. I am looking forward to some exciting and hitherto unknown facts to emerge from her association.”
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai is set in the 70’s and will uniquely showcase all that is iconic for that period — lifestyle, gangsters, politicians, Bollywood stars, romance and the sheer colour of the era. And when it comes to the ethos of urban India, there couldn’t have been a better expert than Shobhaa. Her keen scrutiny of the social order and merciless clarity of thought has earned her the reputation of an iconic commentator on the Indian society. For the past three decades, her editorials, whether on national politics, or traditional fashions, on Bollywood gossip or on the decadence of the modern and elite, have always resonated with readers.
Needless to say, Shobhaa is keen on this association as well. “This new involvement promises to be as exciting as the Sensational Seventies. Mumbai was a hotbed of intrigue and scandal, a metropolis that was engaged in a ferocious turf battle that went beyond real estate and dhanda. The sinister and sexy personalities dotting Mumbai’s urban landscape remain as vivid today in the 21st century as they were back then. I’m looking forward to being a part of Ekta’s nostalgia,” says Shobhaa.
BINA TRIVEDI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 14, 2010)
It was strictly retro evening over Radio Mirchi’s late night programme Purani Jeans at Koolar & Co. in Matunga, among Mumbai’s oldest Irani restaurants, this one catering to the Parsi Colony residents of the area. And calling the tune was Bollywood’s new sexy swinger with the yesteryear look — Vidya Balan in a yellow floral chiffon saree, long tresses flying, dressed as her screen character Krishna Verma from the forthcoming film Ishqiya. The actress, a self-confessed Bollywood retro buff, did a live gig at the cafetaria with RJ Anmol of Radio Mirchi’s programme which brought back in vogue Hindi numbers of the 70s and celebrates its first anniversary as the No. 1 radio show in Mumbai.
Vidya, whose film opposite Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi is one of individuals caught in a web of suspense, crime, passion and deceit, was excitement uncontained. “I love old numbers and Purani Jeans is my favourite show. I listen to it while driving back late from my shoots,” trilled the actress.
While RJ Anmol kept Mirchi listeners tuned in and spun Vidya’s favourite 1970s’ Bollywood tracks from the restaurant-turnedradio studio, she vibed with Purani Jeans listeners from nearby who rushed to the Irani joint when they discovered the action was all happening there. Brun-maska and chai, the pride of any Irani’s menu, was brought out; an anniversary cake was cut, and the party continued over Radio Mirchi music late into the night… a classic Hindi film music lover’s definition of an evening well spent — listening to Kishore and Rafi hits in the company of friends and like-minded music lovers.
BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL: (From top) Stills from Luck By Chance, Kaminey, Love Aaj Kal
DEEPALI DHINGRA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 29, 2009)
Did you cringe with discomfort when a seemingly innocent child woman Isha Sherwani seduced Farhan Akhtar into bed in Luck By Chance? Or, more recently, when a salwar kameez-clad Priyanka Chopra managed to convince a reluctant Shahid Kapoor to have sex with her in Kaminey, by telling him that she knows ‘homescience’ and that it’s ‘safe to do it’? More likely than not, you smiled at their boldness and prepared for more to come. Seduction was a game played by vamps in Bollywood in the 70s and 80s. Much later, lead actresses like Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra were sexually charged in Jism and Aitraaz respectively. But even then, they were the ‘bad girls’. Well, times have changed — even the ‘good’ girls are taking a turn for the ‘bad’ and the audiences are lapping it up!
Watch newcomer Mahie Gill throwing herself in full abandon at Abhay Deol in a mustard field in Dev. D and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Trade analyst Komal Nahta says he isn’t surprised at this change. “Films, after all, are a reflection of today. Girls are proposing to guys, they are using seduction as a tool even in real life. The major composition of the audience comprises youth, so they have to show what the young generation identifies with,” he says. So Kareena Kapoor playfully hands Akshay Kumar her bra in Tashan and Konkona SenSharma suggests a quick bout of love-making to Rahul Bose in Dil Kabaddi before they turn in for the night and Deepika Padukone has no qualms with Saif Ali Khan kissing her full on the mouth in the car in Love Aaj Kal. Agrees Mahie, “Reel life follows real life. Women today are more vocal about their sexual desires than what they were about a decade back. The audience today wants to see characters they can identify with. That’s why the boldness depicted by the newer lot of actresses has been accepted.”
According to film director Onir, a growing section of audiences in urban centres are accepting this change. “Independent working women watch these films with their male friends and colleagues who treat them as equals and therefore, accept their portrayal on screen as well,” he says. Also, the younger generation of filmmakers who have grown up seeing women as friends and colleagues, are showing female characters as they are, says Onir.