Yet another gangster movie Mumbai Saga explores the period between mid eighties and mid nineties when Mumbai’s small scale businesses were run on the mercy of the local strong man who would take protection money from these small and roadside enterprises. The film had a theatrical release on 19 March 2021 and is now streaming on Prime.
Mumbai Saga also explores the unholy nexus between the Police-Politician and the gangster. This was a strange period as the at one hand the polititians provided protection as well as encouraged intergang rivalry as and when it deemed fit in their scheme of things. On the other hand they also ordered the police to finish off the gang in encounters when the gangs became too hot to handle for them or they grew bigger than their own shoes.
This movie is made in the same mould and style like say the ‘Shootout at Wadala’ or ‘A Shootout at Lokhandwala’ and is helmed by none other than Sanjay Gupta who is no stranger to gangsta cinema, what with his CV which includes such gems as Zinda, Kaante etc. This is a story inspired by real life events and describes the rise and fall of one Amartya Rao and his gang of lower class out of work youngsters who have nothing to loose as the future appears bleak to them on the job front and the life of gangster holds a kind of glamour with money and power.
In short it is supposed to be a story of Amar Naik, Ashwin Naik gang and their rivalry for control over the south- central Mumbai area with Arun Gawli aka Daddy. It also explores as a sub-plot the moolah that was at stake and waiting to be unlocked from the sale of the defunct and closed mill land, waiting to be converted to malls and high rise. Everyone is looking to get a piece of it and a related high profile murder of an industrialist that was perpetrated by Amartya which shook Mumbai and the echelons of both police and politics.
As far as acting goes John playing the protagonist Amartya was his usual mascular self, trying to whip up rage which does show up in his eyes once in a while and throwing about goons like a dhobi beating the pulp out of clothes. Emraan Hashmi in the role of the encounter specialist cop Savarkar (read Salaskar) is thankfully subdued and mature. Kajal Aggarwal playing Seema the gangster’s wife has given a measured performance bordering at times on the irritating.
There is a long list of veteran actors and Sanjay Gupta loyalists. Mahesh Manjrekar as bhau, Gulshan Grover as Nari Khan, Amol Gupte as Gaitonde and Suniel Shetty as Sada Anna play their parts with honesty. As for Samir Soni, he seems to be getting stereotyped in uber rich industrialist crooked mind roles as seen in the Big Bull too. It seems our directors are good at gangster sagas as they are able to bring out the story as if it was told to them in person.
– Review by PAWAN GUPTA
Cast of Mumbai Saga:
John Abraham as Amartya Rao Naik
Emraan Hashmi as Inspector Vijay Savarkar
Kajal Aggarwal as Seema Rao Naik
Rohit Roy as Jaykar Shinde
Samir Soni as Sunil Khaitan
Anjana Sukhani as Sonali Khaitan
Mahesh Manjrekar as Bhau
Prateik Babbar as Arjun Rao Naik
Suniel Shetty as Murali Shankar
Gulshan Grover as Nari Khan
Amole Gupte as Gaitonde
Akash Khurana as Sunil’s father
Credits of Mumbai Saga:
Production companies – T-Series, White Feather Films
Directed by Sanjay Gupta
Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Anuradha Gupta, Sangeeta Ahir
Written by Sanjay Gupta, Vaibhav Vishal
Screenplay by Robin Bhatt, Sanjay Gupta
Music by Amar Mohile
Cinematography by Shikhar Bhatnagar
Edited by Bunty Negi