Mumbai Saga

Emraan Hashmi, John Abraham and others.
Sanjay Gupta

It takes so much to go to a theatre these days, the excitement is back to the pre multiplex days. Very few movies are on, and we all want to make the most of the experience. Wearing that dreadful mask. And then we end up with a film like Mumbai Saga.

The film is about Amartya Rao (John Abraham) who lived in Mumbai when it was still called Bombay. The times when the common man’s security was not in going to the cops but paying off goons every fortnight. While Amartya did that with his head bowed down, he didn’t take it kindly when the bad turned in on his brother Arjun (Prateik Babbar) the subservient good guy took up arms without a blink (literally, because Johnny boy likes to stare expressionlessly throughout this film).

Taking cue from his brother, Arjun too takes up arms. No explanation needed. The brothers have everyone’s blessings other than that of Insp Vijay Sarvarkar (Emraan Hashmi) Vijay is a walking-talking example of confusion. He believes he is doing everything for his ‘khakhee wardi’ but he is no less a goon in many ways.

Soon we see Amartya and Vijay locking horns, again and again, and *yawns* again. Like the Marvel quote goes “You are wrong. You think you are right, and that makes you dangerous.” Inadvertently both Vijay and Amartya are dangerous and get lethal with each passing montage.

I say montage because that’s what director Sanjay Gupta has made. He has put frames and clever shots all over the 128minutes of screen time without a semblance of thought. 

Of course, there are others in the film like Mahesh Manjrekar dressed as Thakarey, we have Suniel Shetty who just disappears somewhere in the film without trace, after a few scenes. Kajal Aggarwal who plays John’s love interest and so on… none of them have a story. Making me feel like screenplay writer Robin Bhatt has done a Robinhood, charged the filmmaker without bothering to put in a single storyline throughout the film. We see elements from the Mumbai underworld all over the film, but each contrived and none coherent. 

The cinematography by Shikhar Bhatnagar is excellent, as is the action (Sanjay Gupta) but the two are meaningless in Mumbai Saga because there is one original thought in the film. The redundancy of characters we have seen in perhaps all the Mumbai-underworld films gets tedious to watch. Especially since there have been other films that did more justice to the characters Sanjay Gupta is trying to recreate in Mumbai Saga. 

It has been so long that we have seen an Emraan Hashmi starrer, the same goes for John Abraham and to see them come together would have been a treat. But you won’t see two more directionless actors in a film. They don’t have any chemistry together. You don’t even think of the magnitude of their stardom when you see the film because everyone in the film is presented the same way these two are. Low shots, extreme close-ups and murmurs for dialogues. The film is so verbose, that your head starts getting heavy within the first half an hour of the film. You end up getting so restless after a point that your mind starts wondering if it was even worth wearing that mask and entering the theatre in the first place?

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