Duration: 02 Hrs 15 Mins
Genre: Action, Crime
Director: Sanjay Gupta
Writers: Robin Bhatt, Sanjay Gupta, Vaibhav Vishal
Producers: Sangeeta Ahir, Shiv Chanana, Hanif Chunawala, Anuradha Gupta, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Zahir Shah, Gary Van Shipley
Music: Amar Mohile
Cinematography: Shikhar Bhatnagar
Editing: Bunty Nagi
Production Company: T-Series, White Feather Films
Release Date: 19 March 2021 (India)
Released: In Theatres
Star Cast: John Abraham, Emraan Hashmi, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sunil Shetty, Amole Gupte, Gulshan Grover, Rohit Roy, Prateik, Vivaan Parashar, Shaad Randhawa, Samir Soni, Kajal Aggarwal, Anjana Sukhani, Sandesh Jadhav, Ivan Rodrigues
Plot: Inspired by real-life events ‘Mumbai Saga’ highlights the clash between the underworld and the police.
The film is set in the backdrop of the 1980s and 90s when Mumbai was called Bombay and was ruled by the 'Bhais' and 'Bhaus'. It tells the tale of a determined gangster Amartya Rao played by John Abraham who suddenly transforms into a ravaging beast when his younger brother Arjun (Prateik Babbar) is almost killed by goons. Thus, begins Amartya Rao’s journey into the big bad world. He turns into a no-nonsense mad man who doesn’t think twice before killing, and wants to expand his name as one of the deadliest gangsters in the city, and wants to rule Mumbai, but now Vijay Savarkar played by Emraan Hashmi, as the cop is on his duty to stop his rise.
Review: Sanjay Gupta, who is synonymous with the gangster films in Bollywood, started his career in 1994 with the action film ‘Aatish: Feel the Fire’, but it was the 2001 multi-starrer ‘Kaante’ that brought him recognition. His credits also include Musafir, Zinda, and the Shootout series. He is known to be the only director in the industry who continues to make films in the thriller-gangster space.
Similarly, the story of ‘Mumbai Saga’ is interesting and full of thrills. The film wastes no time as it soon comes to the point as to why Amartya Rao (John Abraham) became a don. His rise seems too quick but thankfully, there is a lot happening in the film to keep the interest going.
The film has been treated in a very dramatic and entertaining manner and the director has tried his best to cater to the lowest denominator. A lot of it works especially because it shows Mumbai’s turbulent past, which is chillingly real.
Robin Bhatt and Sanjay Gupta's screenplay is effective. The writers have tried their best to ensure that the focus remains on the main plot and that viewers don’t get bored even for a second.
Sanjay Gupta and Vaibhav Vishal’s dialogues enhance the mass appeal of the film. A few moments are exceptional in the film and are very well thought of.
The first half is especially engaging with John Abraham beating up the bad guys and everything else in the process. But the director should have made the second half, particularly the climax sharper. The length in the second half is also a bit of an issue. However, there is enough paisa-vasool action, thrill, and guns galore.
The characters of Amartya Rao (John Abraham) and Vijay Savarkar (Emraan Hashmi) especially are strong and are well fleshed out. John Abraham is in the top form, and looks every inch a dreaded gangster, and is fantastic in the action scenes. He struggles in a few of the emotional scenes but ultimately manages to deliver a performance that doesn't disappoint.
Emraan Hashmi has a late entry and that might make his fans unhappy, but the moment he enters the narrative, he is rocking. Not just with action, he also steals the show with his one-liners. The cat and mouse chase between them keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Among an ocean of other actors, Suniel Shetty stands out in his short, yet, impactful special appearance as Sada Anna and so does Mahesh Manjrekar, as the kingmaker ‘Bhau’, who calls the shots with fine restraint.
Amole Gupte is superb. Prateik Babbar looks a bit off but manages to leave a mark. Kajal Aggarwal and Anjana Sukhani get a limited scope. The same goes for Tithi Raaj. Gulshan Grover looks stylish and is decent. Rohit Bose Roy is fine as Amartya’s right-hand man. But his motive in the second half seems a bit unconvincing. Samir Soni, Shaad Randhawa, Vivaan Parashar, and Harsh Sharma are okay.
Amar Mohile's background score is dramatic and thrilling. Music has limited scope in a film like this. Thankfully, there are only two songs in the film. 'Danka Baja' is foot tapping. 'Shor Machega' is well-shot but seems out of a place in a period film. In short, Amar Mohile’s background score is far more impressive than the songs.
Shikhar Bhatnagar's cinematography is sans complaints. Bunty Nagi's editing could have been crisper in the second half. Priya Suhas and Sunil Nigvekar's production design and Nahid Shah's costume are authentic. AnbAriv - Anbu and Arivu's action is one of the highpoints of the film.
On the whole, ‘Mumbai Saga’ is a massy action-packed crowd-pleaser. If you like gritty gangster dramas packed with brawn, blood, and bullets then it could be worth a watch!