Movie: Mumbai Saga
Mumbai Saga Cast: John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi, Kajal Aggarwal, Amole Gupte, Mahesh Manjrekar, Prateik Babbar, Rohit Roy, Shaad Randhawa, Gulshan Grover
Mumbai Saga Director: Sanjay Gupta
Where to Watch: In theatres
If there are two genres where Hollywood can easily rub shoulders with the best in the world, it's got to be thriller and crime. Speaking about crime films since we're on the subject of Mumbai Saga, classics like Deewar (1975), Parinda (1989), Agneepath (1990), Satya (1998), Vaastav, (1999), Company (2002),
Ab Tak Chhappan (2004), Sarkar (2005), Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010 and Gangs of Wasseypur — Part 1 and 2 (2012) immediately spring to mind. While none of Sanjay Gupta's movies figure in this, he did put a good spin on the remake of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, which came to be known as Kaante (2002), and also before that with Aatish (1994), which was a recreation of both Deewar and filmmaker John Woo's A Better Tomorrow. However, the same cannot be said when it comes to his original crime movies. So, does he make amends with his latest release, Mumbai Saga, starring John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi, touted to be an original story. Well, not even close, and secondly, there's nothing original about it despite not being a remake of any film. So, are you excited about what to watch this weekend or what to watch this week and wondering whether Mumbai Saga is worth the trip to the theatre? Scroll down for my full The Courier review...
What's it about
Mumbai Saga attempts to adapt the real-life story of notorious gangster Amartya Rao aka DK Rao (played by John Abraham), his meteoric rise, how he once ruled half of Mumbai (then Bombay) with an iron fist, his close encounters with the police, and his eventual fatal encounter with the cops (or in the cinematic case, a single cop, played by Emraan Hashmi).
Check out the Mumbai Saga trailer here... VIDEO
There are only three aspects that make Mumbai Saga barely hold its head above water — a.) John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi's charisma and their arresting (pun intended) screen presence, b.) The hardcore and well-choreographed action sequences, c.) The sound effects and mixing, especially in said sequences. Other than these,
Kajal Aggarwal, Prateik Babbar, Mahesh Manjrekar, Amole Gupte and Gulshan Grover do their best in their shoddily written parts.
Director Sanjay Gupta throws every cliche — and I mean every — in the gangster-movie handbook at our way. From hafta vasooli (protection money), the poor guy rising as a messiah of the oppressed and him challenging the rival ganglord to getting a politician to be his major support, a close aide betraying him and trying to keep his younger brother away from his sordid world — Mumbai Saga is riddled with more cliches than the bullet-holes pumped into people's bodies in the film. What's more, the narrative becomes so predictable in the second half that you can see what's going to happen from ten scenes beforehand — the problem isn't so much the cliches, but Gupta's unwillingness attitude to at least try and package as old wine in a new bottle. Making matters worse are Shikhar Bhatnagar's unimaginative camerawork, Bunty Negi's lackluster editing and Amar Mohile's derivstive background score.
Unless you're a diehard John Abraham or Emraan Hashmi fan, or can ignore all the cliches and or predictability solely for the brutally good action, Mumbai Saga holds little appeal, especially for people who enjoy good crime films. I'm going with 2.5 out of 5 stars.
2.5 out of 5
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