The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has ordered the premature release of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli who was serving his life sentence in Nagpur Central Jail. In August 2012, a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court sentenced Gawli to life imprisonment for the murder of the Shiv Sena corporator in March 2008. Gangsters in Mumbai aren’t an old folks` tale. These individuals live and breathe the same air as any other citizen. Here’s a look at their lives encapsulated in the form of films. 


In ‘Daddy’, Arjun Rampal plays the role of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli. Set in the early `70s, the film shows the poor condition of mill and factory workers who slowly move towards the underworld. Three residents of Dagdi Chawl in Mumbai form a gang (B.R.A.) and soon become one of the most dreaded groups in Mumbai. Rampal is seen in the signature Maharashtrian attire and speaking with a perfect Marathi accent. 

Haseena Parkar

In ‘Haseena Parkar’, Shraddha Kapoor plays the role of the dreaded `Aapa` (as Haseena Parkar was called), who became an underworld ‘Mafia Queen’ after she was tried and persecuted because she was Dawood Ibrahim`s sister. Parkar, who had 88 cases registered against her, but was taken to court only once in her life, was rumoured to have single-handedly run her brother`s Rs.1000-crore underworld empire in the city. The film shows Haseena’s journey from a 17-year-old teenager to a 43-year-old. Shraddha underwent drastically different looks using prosthetics, body suits, and heavy make-up for this.

Shootout At Lokhandwala

In the 2007 multi-starrer action thriller `Shootout At Lokhandwala` Vivek Anand Oberoi played the role of Maya Dolas, who used to work for Dawood Ibrahim. He was killed in an encounter during the 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout. Besides Vivek`s villainous character, the movie`s music became a super hit. The song `Ganpat`, with Vivek and his gangster buddies from the movie, became a massive hit and is played at parties and discos. 

Gangubai Kathiawadi

Helmed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, `Gangubai Kathiawadi` revolves around a maiden sold by a suitor into prostitution and how she becomes a prominent and celebrated figure in the underworld and Kamathipua red-light district. Alia`s stellar performance in the film helped her bag a National Film Award. Ajay Devgn played the role of Rahim Lala based on Karim Lala, one of the famous mafia dons in Mumbai. 

Shootout at Wadala

The film is based on the book Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia by Hussain Zaidi, and the film stars John Abraham as Manya Surve. Manya was a regular student who lands in prison after he kills a gangster who attacked his brother. Manya escapes jail and forms his gang to avenge his brother`s death. The film traces his journey and how he was killed in an encounter by the Mumbai police. The encounter took place at the junction adjacent to Dr. Ambedkar College, Wadala, in 1982.

Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai

Helmed by Milan Luthria and produced by Ektaa Kapoor ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai’ also starred Prachi Desai and Randeep Hooda in pivotal roles. Set against the backdrop of the Mumbai underworld, the film garnered critical acclaim and commercial success. In the movie, Ajay portrayed the role of Sultan Mirza, a gangster, whereas Emraan played the role of Shoaib, who Sultan Mirza and his style inspired but later turned into his rival. The film is also loved for its amazing songs like ‘I am in Love’, ‘Pee Loon’, and ‘Tum Jo Aaye Zindagi Mein’.


While talking about Sanjay Dutt’s remarkable career, ‘Vaastav’ cannot be missed. Mahesh Manjrekar’s directorial debut featured Namrata Shirodkar, Sanjay Narvekar, Mohnish Behl, Paresh Rawal, Reema Lagoo, and Shivaji Satam. His critically acclaimed character of Raghu helped him win the first-ever Best Actor award at the Filmfare Awards. The film is reportedly based on Mumbai`s underworld gangster Chhota Rajan.

(With inputs from ANI)

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