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Once Upon a Time in Mumbai

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Movie

Year: 2010

Banner: Balaji Telefilms

Genre: Crime

Producer: Ekta Kapoor , Shobha Kapoor

Director: Milan Luthria

Cast: Ajay Devgan , Emraan Hashmi , Kangna Ranaut | See full cast and crew


The film opens with a suicide attempt by DCP 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, it was he, who was not able to take swift action during the rise of Shoaib Khan (Emraan Hashmi), who played a key role in these blasts. Wilson claimed that, if during those days in Mumbai, had he stopped the rise of Shoaib, Mumbai would not had been thrown into the carnage it was in then. He then goes on to narrate the time in Mumbai during the 1970s, when it was ruled by Sultan Mirza (Ajay Devgan), who by his sheer hard work and perseverance had become an underworld smuggler of gold, electronics and other such desirable commodities.

After being hit by a flood in his home place in Tamil Nadu, Sultan Mirza arrives in Mumbai, where he starts working in a dock as a coal shoveler who smuggles gold items in his mouth on the side. 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 who were desperately in search of gangsters fighting with each other. Despite being a person of dark activities, Sultan Mirza is shown as a godfather like figure to the people. He is shown to be a man of principles and is against smuggling contraband such as alcohol and drugs as it is against his Muslim faith as well.

Meanwhile the focus shifts on Shoaib Khan, a person who is very ambitious and wants to reach the top of the Mumbai underworld. He wants to be the 'Don' and wants to rule Mumbai. He is involved in small robberies in concerned areas of the city. In an instance, it is shown that he and his associate beat up a local man injuring him badly, they then redirect to a house. While the man and his wife nurse the injured man, Shoaib and his associate ransack the house and flee with jewelery and other household items.

Sultan Mirza has a crush on Bollywood actress Rehana (Kangna Ranaut) and eventually the two begin to date each other, causing Mirza to invest money in her upcoming films. At that time police inspector, Agnel Wilson, is given the responsibility to stop Sultan's illegal activities. Wilson targets Rehana's films and moves to stop all the films which were funded by Sultan, causing a downfall in her career. Sultan hatches a plot with Rehana and the two eventually trick Agnel in to accepting a bribe. He gets framed in presence of newspaper journalists, thus causing damage to his credibility.

As the audience returns to Shoaib, who is getting notorious day by day, it worries his father, sub-inspector Khan. Khan requests Sultan to take care of him. Sultan visits Shoaib and helps him setup an electronics shop for him. Shoaib works in the shop in the beginning but is shown to be unsatisfied, he tells his friends that he wants to be as rich and respected like Sultan and aspires to work with him. Shoaib's girl friend, Mumtaz (Prachi Desai) works in a local jewelery shop, which Shoaib visits often and gives her jewelery that he had stolen. One day, the lady whose necklace he had stolen recognizes it, and she and her husband accuse Mumtaz of being a thief. However, when they reach Shoaib's shop, she recognizes him and accuses him of stealing the necklace. In retaliation, Shoaib beats the owner of the necklace and wrecks his own shop. He goes to Sultan and asks whether he can be inducted into his crime ring. Seeing his potential, Sultan agrees and under him, Shoaib learns the tricks of the trade and soon becomes Sultan's trusted aide. He is also instrumental in killing one of the police informers who was working with Sultan under Inspector Agnel's command. Meanwhile, Sultan's business is growing day by day, as he starts smuggling gold by various means such as in ambulances and other public transport vehicles.

After his success, he goes to Delhi to meet the Home minister, asking him for help in the formation of a political party. During this time Sultan hands the power to Shoaib in Mumbai. The combination of money and over ambitiousness of Shoaib leads him to carry out trades and acts which Sultan had never done and used to condemn. He starts manufacturing illicit liquor, accepts contract killings, starts investing in drug peddling and runs extortion rackets. He grew stronger and was a feared name in Mumbai. Meanwhile Sultan returns to Mumbai and finds out the extent of Shoaib's deeds. He goes to meet Shoaib and slaps him for his unethical activities and the disrespect he had shown to Sultan' trust. This infuriates Shoaib and he plots revenge. One day while campaigning for his new party, as Sultan addresses the people on the dais, Shoaib sees the opportunity and shoots Sultan, who collapses and dies on the scene before his supporters, thus ending the saga of a smuggler who was loved by his people.

All this while 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 him or cause any harm to him. The end shows Shoaib sitting on a chair, smoking a cigarette and smiling at the night sky reflecting on his undefeated power in the underworld.

Full Cast and Crew

Ekta Kapoor ... Producer

Shobha Kapoor ... Producer

Milan Luthria ... Director

Ajay Devgan ... Sultan Mirza
Emraan Hashmi ... Shoaib Khan
Kangna Ranaut ... Rehana
Prachi Desai ... Mumtaz
Randeep Hooda ... Agnel Wilson
Naved Aslam ... Patrick

Pritam Chakraborty ... Music Director

Rajat Arora ... Story Writer

Rajat Arora ... Dialogue Writer

Rajat Arora ... Screenplay Writer

Aseem Mishra ... Cinematographer

Akiv Ali ... Editor

Nitin Chandrakant Desai ... Art Director

Abbas Ali Moghul ... Action Director

Subhash Sahu ... Sound Designer

Shobha Devi ... Publicity Designer


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Once Upon a Time in Mumbai (2010)