Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shanghai Hindi Movie Review

Movie Review: 'Shanghai';
Star Cast: Prosenjeet Chatterjee, Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi, Kalki Koechlin, Supriya Pathak and Farooque Shaikh;
Director: Dibakar Banerjee;

'Shanghai' is just like revisiting your daily local newspaper, full of scams, conspiracies and crime tales. In short, the movie is a slice of today's India.
Adapted from 'Z', a 1966 novel by Vassilis Vassilikos, Dibakar Banerjeer brilliantly exposes the reality behind the irony of India Shining.
The scenes are accurately daily newspaper briefs.
Set in present day nondescript shanty called Bharatnagar, it sees Dr. Ahmedi (Prosenjeet Chatterjee), a US-based professor and activist, visiting Bharatnagar to enlighten its inhabitants about 'pragati' (progress).
He opposes the transformation of the shanty town into a zany township, a la Shanghai. But he is murdered by the opposition who try to pass off his death as an accident.
After that the tale moves ahead with Shalini Sahay (Kalki Koechlin), Ahmedi's besotted student and daughter of an ex-army general who is involved in a scam, IAS Officer T.A. Krishnan (Abhay Deol), videographer Joginder Parmar (Emraan Hashmi), Ahmedia's wife Aruna (Tillotama Shome), chief minister (Supriya Patak) and her PA (Farooque Sheikh).
While the movie grips you, it's the system that gets to you.
'Why did you do commit the murder, when you knew it is wrong,' Shalini asks the murderer.
Another dialogue - 'Jeene se haraam lagta hai. Par marne se darr bhi lagta hai...' clearly shows the hunger for survival. It's a sorry state of affairs, where the common denominator is the sufferer.
There is a simplistic nature to the narrative and archetype.
The act of every character is realistic and matter-of-fact. Emraan impresses with his rustic portrayal, quite different from his usual colorful characters. Abhay Deol, as the IAS Officer, bowls over the audience with his grit and, of course, unmistakable Tamil accent. Kalki slips naturally into the character, yet again, revealing her resourcefulness.
However, what you take home is not the memories of a character well-performed, but the story.
The strength of 'Shanghai' is its tight screenplay by Urmi Juvekar and Dibakar Banerjee and the meticulous details leave no scope for arguments.
What adds to the flavor is outstanding cinematography by Nikos Andritsakis and the marvellous use of sound, both ambient and otherwise, to build up the tension in the political drama.
The controversial song 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and the item number 'Imported Kamariyaa' are well-picturised and the latter is on the way to become the next favorite numbers at all 'basti' celebrations.
Overall, it is worthy to watch once.

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