And that wasn"t easy to achieve. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai took its own sweet time to get to the censors because the director was busy trying to get the texture and quality of background music from Don. Says Milan Luthria, “It wasn"t easy at all. I had a new composer Sandeep Shirodkar to do the background score. I wanted the entire smoky atmosphere, the mood of intrigue suspense tension and romance of the 1970s to come out of the music. My reference point was the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Don."
The effort to get the right music took much longer than expected. And the film went for censoring later than Milan had imagined. “But the effort was worth it," says the director proudly. An even prouder moment was when Milan"s mentor Mahesh Bhatt saw the film on Wednesday evening.
Says Milan, “Mahesh is my boss. When I saw him whistling and cheering my film I felt I had done my duty." With Haji Mastan"s adopted son and three biological daughters honing in to prevent the release of Once Upon A Time in Mumbai, producer Ekta Kapoor and director Milan Luthria have quickly followed the court directive and inserted a disclaimer to the belief that the film is a fictionalized bio-pic of Haji Mastan"s life.
The disclaimer won"t be the ordinary kind that says all the characters are fictional and any resemblance to any person living or dead is coincidental. Explains director Milan Luthria, “Our disclaimer which comes at the start of the film would actually say that it has nothing to do with Haji Mastan. We also have to put out a press statement saying none of us from the film has ever made any statement claiming our film had anything to do with Haji Mastan."
But the question is, would the disclaimer pacify Haji Mastan"s family, especially when so many of the incidents in the plot would directly remind them of their family matters?
Big B keeps making unexpected guest appearances in Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. While Ajay Devgn"s character has been admittedly designed around the Big B"s persona, a lot of the film"s mood and atmospheric effects are designed around Chandra Barot"s 1978 espionage thriller Don.