Mumbai has always been the muse for most filmmakers who have been intrigued by the underworld. However, for a change, we have a film which attempts to expose Gujarat’s ugly underbelly.
Set in the 80’s, the film revolves around the underworld’s nexus with politicians and the police in Gujarat. How Latif (Hameed Khan) emerged as the crime-lord and why he was revered by his followers, before being killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad police, forms the story.
We’re also told about Latif’s political networking, dominance in the bootlegging trade and association with Dawood Ibrahim.
The intention behind making this film is sincere but acting, production values and storytelling fail to make you feel invested in it. You don’t feel for the central character, unlike past films like Dayavan or Haji Mastan in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. The execution lacks the tension, pace, continuity and emotional connect required for a film of this genre.
The lead actor fails to do justice to his infamous character as he lacks screen presence. The twist in the end doesn’t evoke any reaction either.
To sum it up, you appreciate the makers for bringing this untold real-life story to celluloid. But at the end of the day, a biopic must affect you in some way, which doesn’t happen here.
Based on the Gujarat mafia of the 80’s, the film captures the rise and fall of then underworld king, gangster Abdul Latif.
The Times of India