Mumbai Mafia: Police vs. the Underworld
By Brian Costello,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Violence, dead bodies, language in true-crime docu.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive Role Models
While some consider the "encounter specialist" police officers who took on the violent crime bosses, gangsters, and terrorists who wreaked havoc on Mumbai to be heroes, their "by any means necessary" methods came under increased scrutiny, and some ended up going to prison themselves for their actions.
Movie explores the violent crime waves that rattled Mumbai throughout the '80s and '90s.
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Violence & Scariness
Archival news footage of violent altercations between "encounter specialists" and a violent criminal gang called "D-Company," including gun and AK-47 shootings, dead bodies, and blood. A terrorist bombing of the stock exchange in Mumbai. Photos of shot and killed gangsters in pools of blood. Archival news footage of rioting in Mumbai in the '90s between Hindus and Muslims. Talk of chopping off a man's fingers. Talk of gangsters committing rape.
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"F--k" used a few times.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking. Drinking in bars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mumbai Mafia: Police vs. the Underworld is a 2022 true-crime documentary that chronicles the battles between vigilante police and violent gangster-terrorists in Mumbai in the '80s and '90s. Expect a fair amount of archival news footage of dead bodies, shootings between police and gangsters, and riot footage. Talk of gangsters invading a home and raping a woman. Talk of chopping off a man's fingers. Photos of dead gangsters, with pools of blood. "F--k" used a few times. Cigarette smoking. Drinking in bars. In Hindi and English, with English subtitles.
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What's the Story?
MUMBAI MAFIA: POLICE VS THE UNDERWORLD is a true-crime documentary about the battles between police and gangsters in Mumbai, primarily in the 1980s and '90s. As crime bosses and their gangster underlings wreaked havoc in Mumbai -- running the drug and prostitution trades and also robbing citizens and invading their homes -- the police were unable to do anything about it. The most infamous gang, "D-Company" seemed to have carte blanche to do what they wanted. Enter the "encounter specialists," an elite force of police officers who were willing to stop these gangsters by any means necessary. As the encounter specialists' methods began working, the leaders of the criminal underground resorted to more extreme methods of retaliation, including bombing the Mumbai Stock Exchange. Undeterred, the encounter specialists' vigilante methods continued to work, and they became celebrities in their own right and the subject of Bollywood films. However, as the years went on, many of these officers were scrutinized, and some were even sent to prison for their questionable methods.
Is It Any Good?
This is an interesting true-crime documentary that raises age-old concerns about crime and punishment, policing and justice. Mumbai Mafia: Police vs. the Underworld chronicles the battles between elite "encounter specialists" and their take-no-prisoners approach to the terrorist-gangsters who unleashed so much violence in Mumbai in recent decades.
Archival footage is paired with more recent interviews with the former "encounter specialists" hired to stop the gangsters, the journalists who reported on it, and one of the higher-up gangsters, and the result is a full telling that addresses all sides of the issue. It's a fascinating look at a turbulent time in Mumbai, particularly for those who knew nothing about it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about true-crime documentaries like Mumbai Mafia: Police vs. the Underworld. How is this similar to and different from other true-crime documentaries you've seen?
There is some controversy in the movie as to whether or not the men who were the "encounter specialists" were heroes or not. What do you think?
What did you learn in this documentary about recent Indian history? Where could you go to learn more?
- On DVD or streaming: January 6, 2023
- Cast: Pradeep Sharma
- Director: Raaghav Dar
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: History
- Run time: 87 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
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