Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara ‘ONCE UPON AY TIME IN MUMBAI DOBAARA' is all swagger, no substance! I personally, thoroughly enjoyed Akshay Kumar swaggering around, delivering lofty dialogues with panache, but that’s about it. The rest of the content totally fails to impress or excite you, falling short of the genuine connect created by its predecessor. The movie commences from where the previous film ended with Shoaib Khan (Akshay Kumar) being the reigning don after successfully assassinating his mentor as well as his predecessor, Sultan Mirza, thus earning the respect and reverence of the people. He is the charismatic, suave man and a womanizer, who has now extended his empire up to the Middle east. His only companions are Javed, who oversees his illegal and shady works for him, his old-time love Mumtaz (Sonali Bendre) and Aslam (Imran Khan), a youth spotted by Shoaib during one of his visits to the slums, where he once spent the early years of his life. Shoaib intends to gain absolute supremacy in Bombay. While the city is still his first love, a rising starlet, Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha) catches the fancy of Shoaib's heart. With time, this passion takes the shape of obsession and leads to a rift between Shoaib and Aslam as they both vie for Jasmine's love. There’s a scene in which Akshay contemptuously ridicules one of his acolytes; and so sure of the mocking laughter his dialogue will yield, he follows it up with “Hasne ki aawaz aa rahi hai tum logo ko?” (Meaning: “Can you hear people laugh at you?”). This is the kind of screenplay that is on display, engaging you right from the start. You can’t help but genuinely laugh at such dialogues which are so elevated in nature and style. The overly self-assured character of Shoaib (which is, as everyone knows, modelled on Dawood Ibrahim) absorbs you completely, keeping you glued for the whole of first half, despite no substantive development whatsoever. The film begins on a subject (Shoaib’s purpose of reigning Mumbai), takes it forward only marginally and then literally stops for the next two hours, proceeding to its closure only towards the end. The intent clearly was to focus on the love story and the complexities it brings about in the lives of those concerned, but this also goes nowhere for the most of the film. It is fraught with some daft and unproductive scenes, which do no good to the script. Scenes involving Imran Khan also leave no impact, for both, lack of content, and his inability to embody such a character. Yes, there are 2-3 dialogues that may evoke laughter, but usually it’s a dull affair when Akshay Kumar isn’t on the screen. The most effective creation is the bringing to life Mumbai of the 80’s, or Bombay, as it was called back then. Each set is accurate, the costumes, the cars, the buildings, and even the little nuances, like the gadgets, the popular songs on radio etc. are taken due care of. You really do feel the 80’s. The songs are good, but little do they add up to the flow of the screenplay. Talking of the performances, it’s a ham-fest all the way. Although that isn’t a flaw in the kind of cinema this represents, with proud gaits and mannerisms, always meaning to impress others. Akshay Kumar, as I said, excels through all this and his flair is totally contagious. But Imran Khan on the other hand looks a far cry from the gangster that he’s shown here to be. His role is something you wish was performed by someone more talented. Sonakshi Sinha is good, although her character is sketched in a very sloppy manner, leaving a lot to desire. All others are competent. Watch it only for Akshay’s riveting élan and some authentic recreation of the 80’s. At best a decent pastime. Expect nothing more!