An essentially conventional loose-cannon cop story made occasionally exciting thanks to some unexpectedly lurid narrative flourishes, Mumbai Mirror feels weirdly exciting and novel despite its pompous and clichéd scenario. It's as if director Ankush Bhatt (Bhindi Baazaar) and screenwriters Ghalib Asadbhopali and Sachiin Joshi know the rote story they want to tell, but are also learning how to tell it as they go. Joshi stars as Abhijeet Patil, a cop so full of himself that he laconically exclaims "I deserve it" after winning a commendation for Best Policeman of the Year. His mantra: "Just one thing scares me—that nothing scares me." Whenever he zings somebody, his insult is accompanied by a soundtrack chorus of "He hits you, he hits you, he hits you where it hurts." Patil meets his match in Durani Shetty (Prakash Raj), a local thug who uses his girlfriend, Rani (Gihani Khan), and scads of cocaine, to get at our intrepid bad boy. Mumbai Mirror, which takes its name from the real-life newspaper, is accordingly most endearing whenever characters puff out their chests like Mickey Spillane's hard-boiled bastard children, as when Patil insists: "Love's not real. It's just an excuse for free sex, is all." The best song-and-dance numbers are also the pulpiest ones, like the nightclub scene in which money rains down on 19-year-old Khan as she sings "My booty shake. There's no way to escape." Mumbai Mirror might not be consistently exciting, but it is mostly irresistible.
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