MUMBAI SAGA REVIEW
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Starring: John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sunil Shetty, Amole Gupte & Kajal Aggarwal
Written by: Robin Bhatt & Sanjay Gupta
MUMBAI SAGA tells the story of a gangster and his rivalry with a cop. It also has the backdrop of how Bombay came to be called Mumbai. In the mid-80s, Amartya Rao (John Abraham) lives with his family, consisting of his father (Rajendra Gupta), brother Arjun (Harsh Sharma) and wife Seema (Kajal Aggarwal) in Mumbai. They sell vegetables and are forced to pay hafta to the goons of Gaitonde (Amol Gupte) one day one of the goons throws Arjun off a bridge and Anartya arrives in the nick of time to save him. This incident enrages Amartya and he single handedly assaults the goons and even chops off one goon’s hand. Gaitonde, who operates everything from the jail, gets him arrested and put in the same jail as him. Gaitonde’s goons again attack him in prison and again Amartya squashes them easily, which makes Gaitonde realize that Amartya is dangerous. He is then released on bail next day, thanks to the help of Bhau (Mahesh Manjrekar), who is the unofficial king of Mumbai. He then offers him to work for him and find a solution to the Gaitonde problem. Amartya agrees and learns the tools of the trade in no time. He then conquers Gaitonde’s territory and Gaitonde accepts his defeat. The story then moves 12 years ahead. Arjun (Prateik Babbar) has now grown up and Amartya sends him off to the UK to protect him. Sunil Khaitan (Samir Soni) is an industrialist and owner of a mill that was built by his ancestors. Greedy for more money, he wants to fire the workers and sell the mill for an exorbitant amount with the help of Gaitonde. But Bhau tells Amartya to not let that happen and gain support of the mill workers who can vote for him during the elections. Amartya goes and threatens Sunil. In turn, Sunil goes to Gaitonde and asks for his help. Gaitonde, in retaliation tries to kill Amartya’s brother, who had come to Mumbai for a short while. Arjun escapes unhurt. An angry Amartya then kills Sunil in broad daylight. His widow, Sonali (Anjana Sukhani), goes to the police headquarters and announces that she’ll reward Rs. 10 crore to the cop who kills Amartya. Vijay Savarkar (Emraan Hashmi) gets interested in this offer and decides he is going to be the one to kill Amartya. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
Inspired from true events, the story is filled with thrills, also has many action packed scenes. This was touted as one of those commercial films whose fun is to sit in a single screen theater and soak in the atmospheric sound of the film mixed with whistles and clapping from the audiences. That being said the film has very little going for it as the plot is been there seen that types and seems outdated.
Technically, the film is good Cinematography by Shikhar Bhatnagar is good, he captures the action sequences especially well. Editing by Bunty Nagi is fine but should have been crisper. The production design and the costume design have been done well and seems very realistic and authentic. Action by Anbariv is the highlight of the film and has been done brilliantly. Special mention is for the dialogues which are exceptional at places Music has limited scope in the film. Danka Baja carries the film forward well but Shor machega seems out of place and could have been done without it.
Performances wise, the film is great. John Abraham is menacingly brilliant as Amartya. He has given a fantastic performance and is a joy to watch. Emraan Hashmi has a bit of a late entry in the film but as soon as he enters the screen, he is superb. He is effortless in his role and rivals John very well. Mahesh Manjrekar is brilliant. Amol Gupte is equally good. Prateik Babbar leaves a mark. Kajal Aggarwal and Anjana Sukhani don’t have a lot to do but they do well. Suniel Shetty’s cameo (Sada Anna) is great.
Director Sanjay Gupta is able to draw strong performances from his leads but it is overall style over substance in the end.