Punchlines, power-packed performances elevate 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai'

High on drama, 'OUATIM' makes one anticipate what is going to happen next rather than predict the next episode in the tale.

Even though it is not hard to draw parallels between this Ajay Devgn - Emraan Hashmi starrer with Ram Gopal Varma's 'Company', the treatment is so different that one doesn't mind faint similarities when it comes to the storyline of the two movies.

The treatment is what makes a complete difference because Milan has ensured that the film delivers what is expected from a film belonging to a different time. So whether it is the costumes, sets, backdrop or the vehicles - one is instantly transported to the era gone by.

Writer Rajat Arora has included some of the best dialogues and punchlines in the film.
Whether it is the 'anger' of Ajay Devgn who is the reigning smuggler, the arrogance and high headedness of Emraan Hashmi who wants to be known as the don, the sophistication of Kangna Ranaut who is a top actress or the submission of Prachi Desai who has a conscience of her own - it's the dialogues that elevate the proceeding along with a good score by Pritam.

Acting is another strong point in the film. Ajay Devgn tops once again in an intense role where he has never failed. Though he was completely short-changed in 'Raajneeti', he makes sure that through his immense screen presence he gets the most crucial scenes for himself in the movie.

The biggest surprise is Emraan Hashmi, right from his 70s look, the way he dresses up and gradually turns into a ruthless don, this is easily his best act ever. It should help him grow out of his lothario image. Randeep Hooda, who narrates the entire story, has a parallel part to play and he too comes up with his best act till date.

As for Kangna, who draws inspiration from everyone including Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi and Neetu Singh, it is a welcome change to see her doing a soft role in comparison to the schizophrenic characters that she has been laden with. Prachi becomes far more comfortable than her 'Rock On' and 'Life Partner' days and is a complete natural. It is good to see her shed her inhibitions for camera.

The first 20-minutes are just about okay with not much screen time spent in establishing how the character of Ajay Devgn turned into such a huge force.

Also, the love story between him and Kangna, makes one a little restless as you wait for the drama to kick start with Emraan Hashmi arriving on the scene. The film does give a sense of ending in a little abrupt manner as one doesn't gets a sense of a climax build up. An epilogue sequence may have helped to get a better culmination.

However, leaving aside an average start and a sudden ending, the middle two hours of OUATIM make film a worth watch.

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