Movie: Shanghai

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin

Director: Dibakar Banerjee

Jagran Rating: Good

Story Line: Now much awaited movie Shanghai has hit the theater on Friday. Shanghai movie is a basically political thriller and viewers will witness the sensuous socialism and capitalism ideologies with a strong concept.

Shanghai is a dark earthy film; it’s a drama played over and over again in front of us in the 9 pm news, these are characters we are acquainted with. Dibakar only presents the logistics behind the lies and the motive behind the machination.

This political drama intertwines the lives of Shalini Sahay (Kalki), dropout from an American university, videographer Joginder Parmar (Emraan) and IAS officer Krishnan, through a single event of the public murder of Dr Ahmedi, an activist opposing a government project to build a ‘progressive’ business park by displacing an entire slum population. Kalki, crazily in love with her ex-professor Ahmedi, takes it upon herself to fight for justice. Events unfold in a way that reveals in sharp-focus our hypocrisy as a society, our moral dilemmas with corruption and our flawed vision of progress.

Dibakar excels at this of course. He revels in our tawdry lower middle class excesses, the gudh and the gobar, but above all our obsession with worship – Kalki’s hero-worship of her professor, Bhaggu’s blind devotion to his political leaders, and Krishnan’s following of his aspirations. He also deftly brings out on a platform issues like displacement and disparity that are rarely seen in our films. At times though, the film does appear disjointed and scenes seem lined up all in a hurry.

Thumbs Up: Shanghai is a serious motion picture that has a voice, unlike the typical and usual masala movies. Abhay is his usual restrained self, but you can tell the super-fine Madrasi accent he’s worked on so diligently.

Emraan, of course, is the jack-in-the-box. He jumps at you with his character’s smalltown swagger and uncouth charm. It would have been easy for him to lay it on thick, but he doesn’t. Instead he underplays and a little into the film, the lustful Lothario turns loveable. Shanghai walks the thin line between mainstream and meaningful cinema, and does so beautifully. Dibakar succeeds in keeping us engrossed throughout the film.

Thumbs Down: After watching this movie we unable to find any flaws in it and it meant for serious cinema lovers.

Shanghai has definitely taken the bollywood movie regime to a step further with its offbeat subject and excellent show of direction and acting. Its truly a worth watch.


(*Bad,**Disappointing,***Average ,****Good,*****Excellent)

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