Mumbai Mafia: Police vs the Underworld 2023 Movie Review
Mumbai’s glitter and grime come to the fore in this gripping documentary that captures the extent of organised crime in the city in the 80s and the 90s. A time when the underworld had the city under its grip spelling fear and terror. Speaking to key talking heads like former police officers Pradeep Sharma, Ravindra Angre, former police additional commissioner – A A Khan, Shyam Kishore, an ex D company member, the documentary goes into the inner workings of the D-gang. From how Dawood Ibrahim rose to the top of his game by eliminating his rivals to how the D-company operated on a massive scale by having almost 25000 people on its payroll. And also how the D-company spread its tentacles into smuggling, extortion, murders, gambling, and even cricket corruption and the movie business. Crime journalists and writers Minty Tejpal, Hussain Zaidi and Puja Changoiwala add their perspectives, real life experiences and voice to this in-depth documentary.
Digging into realms of research and archival footage, ‘Mumbai Mafia’ brings us the real life happenings and media clippings of police shoot-outs which have fuelled the subject of many Bollywood movies like Shootout at Lokhandwala among others which lead to the killings of dreaded gangsters Maya Dolas and Dawood’s aide, Dilip Buwa. However, the major turning point comes with the 92-93 riots and the subsequent ’93 Mumbai blasts, when to bring Dawood’s gang under control the police are given a free reign. A move that leads to major shuffles in the Mumbai police and also shapes the making of Mumbai’s most well-known encounter specialists, Pradeep Sharma, Vijay Salaskar, Ravindra Angre.
As the cops take it upon themselves to clean up the city and shake the foundation of the D-company in the city, there is a fall-out and aftermath that follows.
Directors Francis Longhurst and Raaghav Dar tell it like it is – using first person narratives and archival footage to piece together a compelling documentary. The intriguing background music (Rishi Rish) and gritty, grainy re-dramatisations of certain portions, bring alive the 80s and 90s feel. However, in an attempt to cover many aspects, the documentary also spreads itself too thin in parts, leaving some threads mid-way and making the narrative uneven. For years, the underbelly and underworld of Mumbai has lured many filmmakers to explore the subject and with ‘Mumbai Mafia – Police vs the Underworld’ the makers do manage to bring out some of the chilling and riveting stories behind ‘ the organised crime capital of the country’.