|Hindi Movie Reviews|
Shanghai is Dibakar Banerjee latest offering. In just a matter of little time, he has become one of the premier film directors in the country, and has developed quite a cult following amongst die-hard film buffs. The film is a political thriller. The Indian film industry has made quite a few political thrillers but only a handful of them have really hit the mark. Dibakar will be hoping that Shanghai is one of them. The film also has Emraan Hashmi in a role like never before. There is a buzz that his performance will shock everyone. Let' s see how the story plays out...
Bharat Nagar is a sleepy town where a massive developmental project called IBP is about to start. It will disperse all the current residents to another location, while big building projects will come up in places of their homes. Dr. Ahmedi (Prosenjit Chaterjee) is a well known social activist who is opposing this project tooth and nail. He is supported by his former students and one of them is Shalini Sahay (Kalki Koelchin). Shalini lives nearby and her maid asks her to tell Dr. Ahmedi to leave town as his life is in danger. Shalini does it but Ahmedi is unperturbed by the threat. He holds a meeting and right after the meeting, he gets run over by a large tempo. The driver (Anant Jog) gets caught but claims to be drunk, his accomplice (Pitobash Tripathy) gets away. The police are also in cahoots with the conspirators.
Dr. Ahmedi is in the ICU and Shalini sets out to find the truth behind the attack. She comes across Jogi Parmar (Emraan Hashmi), who is a videographer but also secretly makes porn films to make a living. He also shoots videos for the in-power political party. He is present outside Dr. Ahmedi' s speech location and has catches quite a few people on tape. There is also another tape which can nail the conspirators but Jogi' s business partner ends up dead because of that tape.
Meanwhile, a commission is set up to probe the attack on the Dr. Ahmedi. It is headed by principal secretary Kaul (Farooq Sheikh) and the vice-chairman IAS officer T.A. Krishnan (Abhay Deol) who are also a part of the project. Kaul tells Krishnan to only blow up some dust and bury the matter. However, Krishnan is as honest as they come and does a thorough investigation. He finds out that people from IBP are involved and the rot goes even deeper than he had imagined. Shalini and Jogi get the incriminating tape to him and a big shock is in store for him. What will Krishnan do? Will Ahmedi get justice? And what will happen to the people of Bharat Nagar.?
Shanghai is the Dibakar Banerjee' s best directorial venture till date. The film will shock you with the most realistic depiction of corruption in these so called developmental projects. The film is as real as it gets and will definitely make you uncomfortable.
The story is brilliant. It is loosely based on a book by Greek writer Vassilis Vassilokos written in the 1960s. The screenplay is superb. This film gives due credit to the intelligence of the audience. There is not one portion in the film where the audience is spoon fed anything. They are forced to watch what all is happening. Blink and you might miss an important revelation. The pace is also good. The film is not stretched needlessly. The film ends in two hours flat. The ending is also realistic. Hats off the screen writers for being gutsy.
Dibakar Banerjee is the real star of the film. He controls the story so well, and the little mannerisms he has made imbibed in all characters makes the audience connect with each one of them. His narrative is daring and refuses to sugar coat some harsh realities. He also gets superb performances from all the actors. He has captured the small town really well and the camera is brilliantly made into a character of the whole story. Dibakar Banerjee has stepped away completely from comedy in this film. He truly is the star of the film.
Emraan Hashmi can act. He previoulsy has done a few decent roles but never any worth taking note of his acting talent. His character has many shades. There are times where you will hate him and there are times where you will love him. That is the biggest achievement for any actor. He can expect a few best actor nominations this year. Abhay Deol does any role with ease. This role is no different. Though the character is poker faced most of the times, his actions in the film carry the story forward. In the end, he ends up being the hero and yet there is no triumph. After a point, you forget the difference between IAS officer Krishnan and Abhay Deol.
Kalki also a does a good job. She excels in tragic roles and does the same here as well. Pitobash impresses with the small role that he has. He fits like a glove into the role of a political party member/goon. Farooq Sheikh is solid as ever. You cannot imagine anyone else playing the role of the ever-hungry stooge Kaul. The supporting cast are also good.
The music is good. The song "Imported Kamariya" is used cleverly in the film while "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" has a deeper meaning to it if you listen carefully. There is absolutely no background score , and honestly, it is not even required. Silence is scariest sound of all. The cinematography is superb. The camera work literally takes you inside the film and you feel you are part of it. The editing is edgy. It is one of those rare film where both technical and creative aspects come together.
The production value of Shanghai is good. The dusty town is well created. Shanghai was promoted quite well before the release. Therefore, the film will have a good opening. However, there are many people who will not understand the film and might even hate it for its in-your-face reality. Ours is the country where films like Ra. One and Bodyguard make more than 100 crores at the box-office, while films like Shanghai struggle to find an audience. What else to say other than Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
Verdict: Shanghai will appeal to a certain audience while audiences looking for masala and song and dance routines will stay away.
Reviewed by: Harshal Anand
Ajay Bijli, Dibakar Banerjee, Sanjeev K. Bijli, Priya Shreedharan
Shanghai Reviews by Twitter Users:
YourMoneySite reviewed on 2012-06-11 at 10:04:48Z
Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Shanghai’, which hit theatres on Friday, has got a mixed review by critics.
Exhumation reviewed on 2012-06-11 at 08:35:29Z
Hi. This movie sucks. Bye.
Exhumation reviewed on 2012-06-11 at 05:18:31Z
I' m saying it openly now. Shanghai is a bore of movie.
nilanjan chakrabarti reviewed on 2012-06-11 at 04:09:11Z
Awesome movie, and a great review.
amodini reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 20:20:40Z
Movie Review : Shanghai: Rating : 4/5 Genre : Drama Year : 2012 Running time : 1 hours 55 minutes
Suchitra Rathore reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 14:18:14Z
@krnx Tht ws a wonderfl review of Shanghai by u in Mumbai Mirror. Watched t movie tday. It ws as u said. Simply fabulous.
UdaipurTimes reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 13:44:41Z
[Movie Review] Shanghai: A Ruthless Political Pit
Virinder Villkhoo reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 11:28:51Z
Movie review: Shanghai -- The RAY OF HOPE... for a better tomorrow.
Maneck reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 11:23:34Z
Shanghai - Progress has a price and every Indian should pay it
IndiaBoll reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 10:09:09Z
Abhay Deol' s Shanghai Gets Rave Reviews From Film Critics: It is the best Hindi film I' ve seen this year.
Sailesh Ghelani reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 08:54:31Z
Shanghai Movie review– A hard-hitting watch for cinema lovers
aasif.choudhary reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 08:25:25Z
‘Shanghai’ movie review: A caustic, incisive political thriller!
ASSWIN reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 08:03:58Z
Shanghai is good, but definitely not great...
TSA Solutions reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 04:38:32Z
SHANGHAI an enthralling film
he boy me reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 04:27:09Z
Movie Shanghai Review: Perfect depiction of how Sarkari Officers, Politicians work in tandem to fool society. Well done on that.
he boy me reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 04:24:34Z
Movie Shanghai Review: The movie keeps you hoooked - the main criteria for any movie to work. Many would want a more filmy ending :)
he boy me reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 04:21:55Z
Movie Shanghai Review: Based on a novel Z by Vassilis Vassilikos, the story is 100% fit for Todays Politician/Babu/Criminal nexus
he boy me reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 04:20:48Z
Movie Shanghai Review: Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin - give stellar performances. Farooq Sheikh is good in his small role.
he boy me reviewed on 2012-06-10 at 04:17:58Z
Movie Shanghai Review: Duration: 1 Hr 50 Mins, Fairly ' Engaging Movie' , Ends rather Abruptly. Good Performances. Only 1 Song. 
TWT POLITICAL reviewed on 2012-06-09 at 20:57:02Z
' Shanghai' movie review: A caustic, incisive political thriller!: Dibakar Banerjee and his incisive take on Indi...
Shashank Agarwal reviewed on 2012-06-09 at 19:31:38Z
SHANGHAI an engaging and enlightening thriller
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