Although I haven’t been a great fan of Arjun Rampal’s acting talent, one look at the pic of Arjun Rampal in a Gandhi topi & I was anxious to find out how well the movie turns out. I have always been a mafia movies afficionado & was hoping that after a slew of films based on Dawood Ibrahim, we would get to watch a decent movie based on the life of another gangster of the bygone era.
The movie which is probably the first one based on notorious gangster Arun Gawli, starts off on 1960’s Mumbai. It traces the rise of the dreaded gangster, his rivalry with another gangster & his nemesis – an inspector who keeps tormenting him throughout his journey. The director- Ashim Ahluwalia, must be lauded for his thorough research. Although a lot of characters names & events have been altered due to legal issues, the movie does spill out quite a few secrets about the Mumbai underworld. Crime/Mafia movie afficionados who have loved watching Satya, Comapny & especially Vaastav will like this movie. Biopics require the lead actor to have a certain degree of resemblance to the character he is portraying & Arjun Rampal does look uncannily similar to “Daddy”. Nishikant Kamath who plays the main antagonist, is menacing as the corrupt cop who is out to finish the don of Dagdi chawl. The first half kept us entertained & anxious to know how the movie unfolds in the second half.
But for all its research, the movie falters in the second half. Neither do you dread the principal character & neither do you emphatize with him. The movie lacks soul. Although it is good to not go OTT, some level of exaggeration is necessary to enhance the viewing experience. Farhan Akhtar has been grossly miscast as a Dawood Ibrahim type character. Several notorious murders which the don was alleged to have committed, are not in the movie. The music by Sajid-Wajid was average. The ending did leave us unsatisfied. Besides the action scenes are not enough to quench our thirst for gore & neither does the film have enough punchlines.
It is a movie worth a watch, but is not in the league of Satya, Vaastav or Company. But do watch it for Arjun Rampal’s performance. It is easily his best till date.
Our Rating ***/5