Milan Luthria is one director who doesn’t like to repeat himself. Taking a departure from the usual fare of films on the underworld, which show the power struggle between two men, he has infused a different angle to his film this time around; that of romance. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara! (OUATIMD) which hits theaters on August 15 is about two men fighting over the same woman.
“There will be lot of romance, music like first movie. We have kept it light and humorous and the drama is of a different kind as two men are torn in their loyalties as they love the same woman,” says Milan, who was very clear from the beginning to do something unexpected. “As a filmmaker to do something or make films on the same subject would just be a moneymaking exercise,” says the director, whose last directorial venture was woman centric The Dirty Picture.
He believes the appeal of gangsters for filmmakers lies in the fact that they are not like regular guys who have a slightly predictable appeal in terms of drama. “For a gangster everything is a matter of life and death. When he falls in love it is extreme and quite passionate. It is this intensity that appeals,” explains Milan, who has made eight films in his 14-year-long career. According to Milan, his films reveals a softer side of gangsters. “So it was Ajay romancing Kangana with a fruit or Emraan singing Peeloon, one can’t typecast them as real gangsters,” says Milan, who manages to get unusual pairings together in his films; in this case that of Imran and Sonakshi.
“It is very difficult to find new combinations, we were lucky to have paired them together,” he says adding, “We needed an actress who could look good with a 30-year-old man as well as a 40-year-old. The balance is very important I think Sonakshi manages that. She has a certain kind of girl-woman appeal. Being a wholesome Indian beauty, she works as a good foil to the gangsters.”
He also remains undaunted by films like Chennai Express, which has set the box office on fire with it’s collections. “Everyone would like both films to do well. The proof of the pudding lies in the rating. People will have to watch and decide which one they want to see again and recommend to their friends. I’m just concerned when the audiences come to this eat this pudding called Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobara! Will they like it or not?” he adds. Recalling special moments from the film shooting “A lot of masti happens on the set when Akshay is around. We had just finished the first schedule of the film. It was also his birthday so he threw a big party for the entire crew. The one part that stood out for me was when he started singing his favourite song ‘Bheege Hoth Tere’, which is Emraan Hashmi’s song. It was a really bizarre moment when one Shoiab was singing the other Shoaib’s song,” says the director on a parting note.