10 years of Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi’s Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai – What made this film truly special

By Joginder Tuteja

One of the finest gangster dramas to have come out of Bollywood, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai completes its 10 years today (30th July). The Milan Luthria directed film was a hit on its release and in fact set the path for its sequel, Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbaai Dobaara. 

The film’s core plot was inspired by the Mumbai underworld gangsters, Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim. While Ajay Devgn played the part of the veteran gangster, Emraan Hashmi stepped into the role of the protégé. Not many are aware though but to begin with, producer Ekta Kapoor had decided to rope in Sanjay Dutt for the role of the central protagonist. However that didn’t quite happen and Ajay Devgn stepped into the part. The rest is history as the actor came up with an excellent act.

That said, though the film’s shooting had started with much fanfare, there was a time when the shooting was stalled for almost 6 months. Though numerous reasons were stated around this gap, the biggest was that the period drama had gone massively over budget. At one point in time it seemed like the film may be stuck for long. However, newer plans were chartered out

There was considerable hype around the film on its release. Ekta Kapoor made sure that the film was one of the most talked about in the summer of 2010 and the well cut promo along with chartbuster songs between Ajay Devgn-Kangana Ranaut and Emraan Hashmi-Prachi Desai ensured that there was quite some interest amongst the audiences to check it out. 

The film took a good start of over 6 crores at the box office and then went on to grow well over the weekend to cross the 22 crores weekend. The word of mouth for the film was quite impressive and that ensured that the lifetime number went past the 55 crores mark, hence ensuring a clean hit tag.

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