Cast: Abhay Deol. Emraan Hashmi, Kalki Koechlin, Prosanjeet Chaterjee, Pitobhash
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Since his stepping in the direction arena, Dibakar Banerjee has always been acknowledge for his outstanding cine sagas. Be it his debut flick Khosla Ka Ghosla, or Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! or his last release Love Sex Aur Dhokha.
Banerjee’s movies had always been garlanded with accolades, and Shanghai is no exception to it. Shanghai the cine saga depicting crime-politics nexus and red tapism of bureaucracy, owns a good quantity of Hatt Ke factor to mesmerise the serious moviegoers.
Plot / Synopsis:
Reportedly based upon the book of 1960s, ‘Z’, by Greek writer Vassilis Vassilikos, Shanghaai is a story about political tug of war based upon the plot of Capitalism Vs Socialism , where some self centered politicians try to obtrude their mean political aspirations upon the common man, on the name of expansion and development.
Though the plot seems to be quit outdated but the flow of the script and smooth link up makes it a good story to act upon.
The story of Shanghai revolves around a small town Bharatpur, where the biggies from the political aisles try to enforce their mean politico-economic aspirations, by relocating a slum named and its residents and creating a business park at its place.
The fishy motives of political crooks face a thorough opposition from a social activist Dr Ahmadi [played by Prosenjit Chatterjee] and the a few residents of the slum.
As the story proceeds, Dr Ahmadi meet with an accident which is initially believed to be a drunk and drive case, but one of Ahmadi’s disciple Shalini (played by Kalki Koechlin) insists upon, incident’s being a cold blooded murder leading to a political turmoil.
Being a high profile case government immediately swings into damage control exercises, and sets up an inquire commission lead by a high profile bureaucrat T.A Krishnan( played by Abhay Deol).
The story further takes a twist, when a porn film maker Jogi [Emraan Hashmi] claims to have proof about political biggies involvement in the crime. As the story continues, it unfurls the mysteries of corruption, nepotism, and red-tapism prevailing in political system and bureaucracy and reveals how Krishnan, Jogi and Shalini deal with it.
Screenplay of Shanghaai is simply dauntless, with excellent camera work and near to life cinematography.
Throughout the movie onscreen spices, including sequence shifts and frame transition appear so real that it makes one feel, as if they have been captured with a conscious intent of making it a near to life experience for the audience.
A well complementing background score, again makes audience affiliate to the substance depicted on the screen. Direction of Dibakar had been stupendous throughout the movie which has further pushed the benchmark to a level higher then his previous masterpieces.
By his performance in Shanghai as a high profile bureaucrat of southern origin, Abhay again has proved his incomparable capability of getting into the soul of any and every of character. In the movie Abhay not only well carried the persona of bureaucrat, but also exhibited his dexterity in mouthing the southern dialect with utmost excellence.
Divorced from his earlier appearances, Emraan is seen in altogether in a new avatar of a small time videographer, who don’t mind shooting the porn stuff to make the both ends meet. With plump looks and stained tooth, Emraan exceptionally showcased the character of a small town videographer.
Kalki who is been presented as a disciple of Dr Ahmadi (Prosenjit) was just satisfactory in the movie. Despite her best efforts, Kalki failed to woo the fans and could have been better in the movie.
Pitobhash’s performance again was a satisfactory, but at times his repeated appearance on screen looked unwanted which could have been reduced.
In the music department Shanghai don’t have much to offer, track Bharat Mata Ki Jai is worth listening, whereas Imported Kamaria is completely passable. As far as background score is concerned then it deserves a special mention for going exceptionally well with the onscreen art.
On the whole Shanghai owns a good amount of uniqueness as compared to the previous cine flicks knitted on the similar plot. Despite having a simple script the sorcerous depiction by Dibakar Banerjee, and outstanding performances of protagonists, makes it a movie worth a watch.
Through out the course Shanghai keeps audience’s gaze glued to the screen. Though this is not a typical masala movie to offer some raw action or comedy punches but it owns a good amount of substance which makes it a perfect piece of art for serious movie goers.