Film: Mumbai Saga
Cast: John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi, Suniel Shetty, Kajal Aggarwal, Rohit Shetty, Anjana Sukhani, Mahesh Manjrekar, Prateik Babbar, Samir Soni, Amole Gupte and Gulshan Grover
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Rating: 3.5 Moons
Director Sanjay Gupta’s Mumbai Saga is inspired and based on true events that take us to the early 90s when Mumbai was still called Bombay and was ruled by the underworld. Starring John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi, Suniel Shetty, Kajal Aggarwal, Rohit Shetty, Anjana Sukhani, Mahesh Manjrekar, Prateik Babbar, Samir Soni, Amole Gupte and Gulshan Grover, Mumbai Saga is an action thriller that falls right into the patented stylistic Sanjay Gupta mould.
John plays a common greengrocer called Amartya Rao but when a local goon called Gaitonde (played by Amole Gupte) tries to extort money and ends up bashing his brother Arjun (played by Prateik Babbar), he faces them in a brutal fight. Amartya inadvertently becomes a goon himself after this incidence and gets into the world of Mumbai’s underworld. His rise in the criminal world is testimony to his fearlessness and tenacity as well as the support he garners from a local big wig politician Mahesh Manjrekar, who plays Bhau. Bhau rules over Mumbai and helps Amartya become one of the most dreaded underworld don. Amartya proceeds to take revenge over the attack on his brother and kills Samir Soni, who plays an industrialist named Khaitan. This murder in broad daylight brings Emraan Hashmi’s character on screen. Emraan, plays the role of Inspector Vijay Savarkar who comes on the scene with only one agenda- to nab or kill Amartya.
Mumbai Saga boasts of well-choreographed action sequences which the lead actors do full justice to. However, the stunts and actions are not exemplary and will not blow your minds. There is nothing new that you haven’t seen before or not expect in a John Abraham and Sanjay Gupta film.
Even though the film boasts of a stellar ensemble cast, there seems to be much to ask for. John is good in the action sequences and showcases a well-built chiseled physique. He impresses with his stunts but does not do justice to emotional scenes and his dialogues seem over-the-top. Emraan, on the other hand, tries his best to portray the role of a ruthless police officer, hell-bent on doing his job. The audience, who were expecting lots of fireworks with the two actors battling it out on screen, will be left disappointed as the two do not share a lot of scenes together. Maybe the film would have got more brownie points if the two actors had more scenes together.
The supporting cast headlined by Mahesh Manjrekar, Amole Gupte and Rohit Roy are top-notch. Gupte brings a sense of humour to his scenes which give respite in an otherwise tightly-strung film. Manjrekar, is impeccable in the role of a shrewd politician. Rohit supports John effortlessly as his gang member and friend in Mumbai Saga. Gulshan Grover also impresses in his small cameo. Kajal Aggarwal and Anjana Sukhani do not have much to do in the film and hence fail to create an impact.
Sanjay Gupta has managed to balance his direction with good action sequences. He remains true to his signature style and manages to pack a humongous ensemble cast in a film. However, the dialogues could have been better as many sounded clichéd and unnecessary flamboyant and flowery. Shikhar Bhatnagar’s cinematography is commendable and does justice to an action film based in the 90s. Robin Bhatt’s and Sanjay’s screenplay would have worked wonders if it was crisper and tauter.
The film's music helps to further the narrative and lends pace to the film when it slackens. Yo Yo Honey Singh’s and Payal Dev’s music is acceptable and good enough. Amar Mohile’s background score is noteworthy as it helps to accentuate the action sequences of the film.
Mumbai Saga showcases how Bombay became Mumbai in the mid 90s' with the criminal underworld being rampant in the city. The film will appeal to people who are missing out on Bollywood action films and male adrenaline rush.
Back to theatres, Boom!
PeepingMoon.com gives Mumbai Saga 3.5 Moons.