Mumbai Mafia: Police vs The Underworld (2023) Movie Review

An interesting revelation questioning the heroic side of Mumbai Police

Mumbai, India’s financial capital, has been plagued with crime and terrorist activities for a long long time. One criminal that every Indian millennial kid heard stories about is Dawood Ibrahim, India’s most wanted gangster.

The man allegedly moved to Dubai in order to run his ‘business’ after Mumbai police issued an arrest warrant against him but there is a lot more than meets the eye for this criminal.

Almost two decades ago, Mumbai was the centre of gangster activities and the 2023 Netflix Documentary, Mumbai Mafia: Police vs The Underworld, follows the story of the city that saw one of the most heroic rises of the cops in their hunt for dangerous gangsters.

The documentary also tries to give viewers as well as the people of Mumbai a new lens to look at the cops of the city who eventually had a subsequent downfall. The documentary narrates the criminal scenario of the city where gangsters held a lot of power over the common man. From extortion to terrorism, small gangsters wreaked havoc in the lives of the people of the city.

It is also claimed that these gangsters were funded by the D-Company run by Dawood Ibrahim from wherever he was hiding out. Ibrahim’s support enabled these gangsters to control the city, with the cops being terrified of the mafia. However, things soon came to a head when the cops were given the authority to “shoot first and ask questions later”.

This meant that the Mumbai police were allowed to kill these gangsters and so began the series of encounters by cops. Things went too sour too soon for the mafia, with the Mumbai police racking up numbers in terms of their encounter counts. Cops had started competing with each other for the most number of gangsters killed.

The documentary suddenly takes a complete turn and journalists question the authenticity of the cops who were just casually racking up tens – and sometimes hundreds – of encounters with normal pistols while the gangsters were not able to get away despite using AK47s.

The documentary is an interesting watch for international viewers who want to understand what happened in Mumbai during the time of the 1993 terror attacks and how the city fought back these gangsters and terrorists. For Indians, especially Mumbaikars (People that live in Mumbai), Mumbai Mafia: Police vs The Underworld is a retelling of their past trauma when some survivors will think back on how they survived the traumatic terror attacks.

Moreover, many other survivors who witnessed the terror attacks and shootouts in person will relive their trauma as the events are retold. The idea that cops were taking undue advantage of their position to conduct criminal activities under the guise of protecting the general public is a new side to the story that this documentary has given fans.

The  film is gripping and engaging from the beginning, right to the end and it is a great one-time watch for fans of crime documentaries. The narration of this one is fast-paced and it builds the story up first in order to shock viewers with the conflict. Since the story is one that is based on real-life events, the ending of Mumbai Mafia seems unsatisfactory. With that being said though, Mumbai Mafia is definitely worth your watch.

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  • Verdict - 8.5/10

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