Maybe we went overboard praising the dialogues of Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai.
Because the numerologically- and logically-challenged sequel titled Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbaai Dobaara does not have characters speaking dialogues. They only talk in punch lines.
Akshay ‘Khiladi’ Kumar who reprises Emraan Hashmi’s role as Shoaib indulges in dialogue-baazi that goes like:
“Khiladi tha, ab poora khel hoon.” (I was a player. Now, I am the whole game)
“Hero marne ke baad swarg jaata hai ... aur villain jeeteji swarg paata hai” (A hero dies and goes to heaven... And the villain lives in heaven on earth)
“Agar main hero ban gaya toh meri pehchaan buri maan jayegi” (If I become a hero, my identity would take offence)
It’s cute for a while but then, when every character starts spouting punch lines... Line line nahin, sentence ban jaata hai! (A line becomes a life sentence)
All this would have been at least justified if the film had a plot and/or equally powerful protagonists. But no, Shoaib’s aide Aslam (Imran Khan) is no match for the don. The loyalty is never really challenged after all the build up... Spoiler alert: Not even in the end!
It doesn’t help the film that Imran looks too boyish for the role. And Man versus Boy is not really a contest you want to cheer for.
Remember the trailer of the film?
Packed with punch lines, it introduced the hero and the villain and took us till the final punch line: “Pyaar main marne ke liye tayyar ho jao” (Prepare to die for love). That catchy trailer is 90 per cent of the film!
It has the best lines/moments from the film, the entire plot... except the last scene. So if you watch the trailer and catch the last two minutes of the film, you wouldn’t have missed anything at all!
While Imran tries to keep the drama down underplaying the character, he looks lost in a film that’s not quite his sensibility. Akshay Kumar, however, seems to relish channelling his inner Prem Chopra in a rare villain role (It’s rather strange they used Mahesh Manjrekar as the Prem Chopra fan and not Akshay himself given his dialogue delivery).
Sonakshi Sinha has it easy. She plays an actress who can’t act. Apart from... well, the damsel in distress! Yawn!
One should refrain from any further analysis of this film. Kyunki agar iss ‘film’ ko review kiya toh cinema bura maan jayegi (If we review this as a film, cinema would take offence).
Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonali Bendre, Pitobash
Storyline: The don and his loyal aide both fall for the same girl
Bottomline: A watered-down predictable sequel that’s barely watchable