Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Milan Luthria
Produced by Ekta Kapoor
Shobha Kapoor
Screenplay by Rajat Arora
Story by Rajat Arora
Music by Pritam Chakraborty
Cinematography Aseem Mishra
Editing by Akiv Ali
Distributed by Balaji Motion Pictures
Release date(s) 30 July 2010 (2010-07-30)
Running time 135 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR32 crore (US$6.49 million)[2]
Box office INR58 crore (US$11.76 million)[3]

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai is a 2010 Bollywood crime drama film directed by Milan Luthria and produced by Ekta Kapoor. It stars Ajay Devgan,[4] Emraan Hashmi,[5] Prachi Desai,[6] and Kangana Ranaut.[6][7] The film, produced by Balaji Telefilms, was released on 30 July 2010.



The film opens with a suicide attempt by ACP Agnel Wilson (Randeep Hooda) on the pretext of the Mumbai Blasts in 1993. When questioned, he breaks down claiming the recent events as his fault, citing that 18 years ago when he was posted as the ACP in the Mumbai crime branch, his inability to take the required action led to the rise of Shoaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi), who played a key role in these blasts. He then goes on to narrate the time in Mumbai during the 1970s, when it was ruled by smuggler Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgan), his downfall and the consequent rise of Shoaib to power.

After being hit by a flood in his hometown in Madras, Mirza arrives in Mumbai, where he starts working as a coal shoveler who smuggles gold items. Despite having a meager earning, he never fails to help the poor and needy and earns their support and respect. Gradually, he becomes the kingpin of smuggling world in Mumbai. He successfully divides the area among four gangsters peacefully, thus pinning the police in the deck and becoming the leader of Mumbai's underworld activities. Despite being a criminal, Mirza is shown to be a godfather like figure to the people and a man of principles. He is against smuggling contraband as it is against his Muslim faith.

Mirza has a crush on Bollywood actress Rehana (Kangna Ranaut) and eventually the two begin to date each other, and Sultan invests black money in her upcoming films. ACP Wilson moves to stop Rihana's films funded by Sultan. But he is tricked by Sultan and Rihana and gets framed for accepting bribe, damaging his credibility.

Meanwhile Shoaib is a very ambitious person with a very dark and daring character right from his childhood. His father, a sub-inspector in Mumbai Police, tries very hard to control him unsuccessfully. He grows up to become a notorious gangster, being frequently involved in petty robberies. Worried, Shoaib's father turns to Sultan for help to which he agrees and helps him set up an electronics shop. But Shoaib is unsatisfied, as his only ambition now is to become rich and powerful like Mirza. Shoaib's girlfriend Mumtaz (Prachi Desai) works in a local jewellery shop, which Shoaib visits often and gives her stolen jewelry. One day when a customer recognizes her necklace on Mumtaz, she decides to confront him. This enrages Shoaib who beats up the owner of the necklace and destroys his shop. He goes to Sultan to be a part of his crime ring. Seeing his potential, Sultan agrees to take him under his wing. Shoaib learns the tricks of the trade and soon becomes Sultan's trusted aide. ACP Wilson considers Shoaib's ideas and dark ambitions for quick money and power in a potential conflict to Sultan's ideals and hence foresees Shoaib causing the eventual downfall of Sultan. He even refrains from killing Sultan and Shoaib at one point. Finally when Shoaib becomes invincible, he blames himself for the catastrophe.

Meanwhile, Sultan decides to enter politics and goes to Delhi to meet the Home Minister of India, handing over his power to Shoaib. The money, unlimited power and Shoiab's unscrupulous ambitions lead him to carry out trades and acts which Sultan himself strongly condemns. He starts manufacturing illicit liquor, accepts contract killings, starts investing in drug peddling and runs extortion rackets. Finally when Sultan returns to Mumbai and finds out about Shoaib's misdeeds, he goes to meet Shoaib and slaps him for his unethical activities. This infuriates Shoaib and he plots revenge. One day while campaigning for his new party, as Sultan addresses the people on the dais, Shoaib shoots Sultan fatally, thus ending the saga of a smuggler who was loved by his people.

Agnel, who was narrating the story, admits later that Shoaib has established an empire and operates from other countries as the kingpin of Mumbai. No government or force can reach or harm him.


  • Ajay Devgan as Sultan Mirza
  • Emraan Hashmi as Shoaib Khan
  • Kangna Ranaut as Rehana
  • Prachi Desai as Mumtaz
  • Randeep Hooda as ACP Agnel Wilson
  • Avtar Gill as Home Minister
  • Naved Aslam as Patrick
  • Sanjeev Wilson as Chandru
  • Mehul Bhojak as Javed
  • Ravi Khanwilkar as Vardhan
  • Asif Basra as Sub-Inspector Hussain Khan


The film depicts the growth of the Mumbai underworld, from crime and smuggling in its early stages to its connection with international terrorism in recent times. It is believed to be loosely based on the lives of the real gangsters Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim, as the characters Sultan and Shoaib respectively.[8][9] Originally Sanjay Dutt was chosen to play the role of Haji Mastan [10] but the role went to Ajay Devgan instead.


Critical reception

The film is rated 6.0/10 on the Hindi film review aggregator website ReviewGang, indicating generally favorable reviews.[11] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN rated the film 2.5 out of 5 saying, "The film is watchable and enjoyable in parts even, but it doesn't quite pull off the retro chic tone it was going for".[12] Ians rated the movie 3.5 out of 5 saying, "Rajat Arora’s dialogues flow from the storytelling in a smooth flow of poetry and street wisdom."[13] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave it 4/5 and called it "An outstanding Cinematic experience".[14] Nikhat Kazmi of the Times Of India gave it 4/5 and stated, "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai offers you both substance and soul, even as it dabbles with a slice of reality".[15] Rediff gave it 4/5 and said, "Book your tickets now".[16]

Box office

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai managed to have a decent weekend despite starting slowly. The film picked up from Friday evening and managed to have good Saturday and Sunday collections. The approx breakdowns are 5.50 crore (Friday), 7 crore (Saturday) and 7.75 crore (Sunday) for a 20.25 crore weekend.[17] The film grossed Rs. 58 crore at the end of its ninth week, and was declared a hit by box office India.[18]

Awards and nominations

2011 Star Screen Awards


  • Star Screen Award for Best Popular Music - Pritam
6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards


  • Apsara Award for Best Screenplay – Rajat Arora
  • Apsara Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Prachi Desai


  • Apsara Award for Best Film - Balaji Motion Pictures
  • Apsara Award for Best Actor - Ajay Devgn
  • Apsara Award for Best Director - Milan Luthria
  • Apsara Award for Best Dialogue - Rajat Arora
  • Apsara Award for Best Choreography - Raju Khan for "Parda Parda"
  • Apsara Award for Best Lyrics - Irshad Kamil for "Pee Loon"
  • Apsara Award for Best Music - Pritam
  • Apsara Award for Best Playback Singer (Male) - Mohit Chauhan for "Pee Loon"
  • Apsara Award for Best Playback Singer (Female) - Tulsi Kumar for "Tum Jo Aaye"
  • Apsara Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role - Emraan Hashmi
  • Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) - Emraan Hashmi
2011 Zee Cine Awards




Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai
Soundtrack album by Pritam
Released 28 June 2010
Genre Soundtrack
Label T-Series
Pritam chronology
Khatta Meetha
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai

The film's soundtrack was released on 28 June 2010. The music is composed by Pritam and lyrics are penned by Irshad Kamil, Nilesh Mishra and Amitabh Bhattacharya. The song "Pee Loon" was selected the worst song of the year at the Golden Kela Awards.[24]

Track listing

No. Track Singers Duration
01 "Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi Mein" Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Tulsi Kumar 4:48
02 "Pee Loon" Mohit Chauhan 4:47
03 "I Am In Love" KK & Dominique Cerejo 4:47
04 "Parda" Sunidhi Chauhan & Rana Mazumder 5:23
05 "Baburao Mast Hai" Mika Singh 4:49
06 "Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi Mein" (Reprise) Rahat Fateh Ali Khan 4:45
07 "I Am In Love" Karthik 5:01
08 "Pee Loon" (Remix) Mohit Chauhan 4:50
09 "I Am In Love" (Dance Mix) KK & Dominique Cerejo 4:42


Due to the film's commercial and critical success, a sequel has been put into production. Akshay Kumar,Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor[25] have been roped in for the sequel of the film titled Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai 2.[26] Ileana D'Cruz will play the role of Mandakini.[27] The film is expected to start shooting in January 2012.[25]


  1. ^ "Once upon Time.....Runtime Wogma". http://wogma.com/movie/once-upon-time-mumbai-review\publisher=Wogma. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  2. ^ "Once Upon... has ticket counters rolling". Hindustan Times. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Once-Upon-has-ticket-counters-rolling/Article1-581555.aspx. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  3. ^ "Box Office 2010". BoxofficeIndia.com. http://boxofficeindia.com/showProd.php?itemCat=366&catName=MjAxMA==. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Ajay Devgn goes back to being a 'gangster'". Screen India. 1 October 2008. http://www.screenindia.com/news/ajay-devgan-goes-back-to-being-a-gangster/368170/. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  5. ^ Shah, Kunal M (12 March 2009). "Emraan Hashmi has his way". Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Entertainment/Bollywood/Emraan-Hashmi-has-his-way/articleshow/4248925.cms. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  6. ^ a b JHA, SUBHASH K (March 29m 2009). "Kangana to play Haji Mastan’s wife". Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Entertainment/Kangana-to-play-Haji-Mastans-wife/articleshow/4329824.cms. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  7. ^ "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai: Complete cast and crew details". Bollywood Hungama. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movies/cast/14101/index.html. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Smugglers, cabaret – 1970s era comes alive in ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai’". World Snap. 2010-10-26. http://www.worldsnap.com/news/entertainment/bollywood/smugglers-cabaret-1970s-era-comes-alive-in-once-upon-a-time-in-mumbaai-86234.html. 
  9. ^ "Movie Review – ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai'". http://www.shvoong.com/entertainment/movies/2035939-movie-review-time-mumbai/#ixzz1SXcAcA3K. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  10. ^ http://www.magnamags.com/content/view/2536/101/lang,english/
  11. ^ "Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Review". ReviewGang. http://www.reviewgang.com/movies/76-Once-Upon-A-Time-In-Mumbaai-Review. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Masand: 'Once Upon A Time...' lacks drama". CNN-IBN. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/masand-once-upon-a-time-in-mumbaai-is-watchable/127878-47-84.html. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "WorldSnap News: Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Movie Review". WorldSnap News. http://www.worldsnap.com/news/entertainment/movie-review/once-upon-a-time-review-a-throwback-to-gangsterism-in-mumbai-87063.html. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Movie Review: Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai". Bollywood Hungama. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movies/review/14101/index.html. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  15. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (29 July 2010). "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai". Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/movie-reviews/hindi/Once-Upon-A-Time-In-Mumbaai/moviereview/6233244.cms. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Buy a ticket for Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai. Now!". Rediff. http://movies.rediff.com/report/2010/jul/30/review-once-upon-a-time-in-mumbai.htm. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai First Day Business". Box office India. http://boxofficeindia.com/npages.php?page=shownews&articleid=1872&nCat=news. Retrieved 2010-08-02. 
  18. ^ "The Hit List 2010". Box Office India. http://boxofficeindia.com/npages.php?page=shownews&articleid=1899&nCat=news. Retrieved 12 August 2010. 
  19. ^ "Winners of 17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2011/01/06/6996/index.html. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  20. ^ "Winners of 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2011/01/11/7008/index.html. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  21. ^ "Nominations for 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2011/01/06/6994/index.html. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  22. ^ "Winners of Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2011/01/14/7016/index.html. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  23. ^ "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2011/01/01/6977/index.html. Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  24. ^ "Shah Rukh, Sonam named worst actors at Golden Kela Awards"
  25. ^ a b "Kareena Kapoor signed for Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai sequel". Bollywood Hungama. 27 July 2011. http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/2011/07/27/16083/index.html. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  26. ^ "Akshay Kumar signs OUATIM 2". Bhangra.org. http://www.bhangra.org/bollywoods-akshay-kumar-to-star-in-sequel-to-once-upon-a-time-in-mumbai/263001/. 
  27. ^ "Ileana to play Mandakini in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2". NDTV Movies. http://movies.ndtv.com/PhotoDetail.aspx?ID=6603&AlbumType=PG&Title=Ileana+to+play+Mandakini. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 

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