Mumbai Saga can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video
Sanjay Gupta is no stranger to Bollywood gangster films. After packing some serious action in Shootout at Lokhandwala and Shootout at Wadala, he’s brought Mumbai Saga to audiences who are stuck at home. This John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi-starrer is a concoction of all Bollywood cliches that are typical of gangster dramas - Gupta has truly stuck to the one formula he knows best and has refused to experiment in this film.
Set in 1980's-1990’s Bombay, Mumbai Saga follows the transformation of a regular man who emerges as a force to be reckoned with, eventually catching the attention of a police officer who is put up to the task of taking the former down. Abraham plays the role of this regular man, called Amartya Rao, who turns into a formidable gangster after his younger brother is almost murdered by thugs.
Rao’s journey thus begins and he battles multiple mustached burly men with bullets raining down on the city as the rest of the gangs, politicians and people of influence try to gain control of the financial capital. Through the course of the movie, one fact emerges clearly - it is mob rivals Gaitonde (Amole Gupte) and Bhau (Mahesh Manjrekar) who are the puppeteers of this city.
Surrounded by corrupt policemen and trapped in a city ruled by goons, Rao puts himself on the map of violence and crime when he ends up killing the influential industrialist Sunil Khaitan (Samir Soni) whose widow makes an offer - the cop that can kill Rao is promised a reward of Rs 10 crore. This intrigues encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar (Hashmi) who takes the challenge up. What happens next forms the crux of the film and leads up to the climax.
Though Gupta has tried hard to replicate the thrill of his previous projects, Mumbai Saga often overdoes it - the dialogues will remind you of an extremely dramatic old Bollywood gangster movie which makes you cringe every time an actor utters a line that is supposed to inspire fear, but actually just puts the audience off. The background score by Amar Mohile is able to redeem many moments that will make you want to question if the dialogue was put into the film only because it rhymed.
Abraham’s performance is as good as the role assigned to him - he makes the most of the action sequences but falters in emotional scenes. Hashmi does a commendable job, but the true star of the film is Manjrekar who craftily dominates all other characters. Suniel Shetty’s special appearance will easily perk the audience up.
Overall, the film is a typical action-packed, violent Bollywood movie that seems to really appeal to a certain audience. If you fall in this category, you’ll definitely enjoy watching guns blazing and some epic fights in the film. But if you’re someone who reads into the plot and its twists too much, you might find yourself annoyed with the excessive flair and dramatics.