Right from the time it was announced, Shanghai was one of the most anticipated movies of 2012. It garnered a lot of publicity mainly due to 2 reasons.1.Bringing together of a maverick director and two of the most underrated actors in modern Indian cinema.2.Movie being an adaptation of the classic novel ‘Z’. And rightfully without any surprises the film does not let you down. Infact it makes movie watching an experience mainly because of its unconventional twists and turns throughout the movie.
Shanghai takes a dig at the Indian political system in the most precarious manner.It has all the elements of an Indian society. The lower class who are made puppets, the middle class who bear the brunt of loss, the opportunists who switch sides like AB De’s legs while playing a reverse sweep, the activists who take on the Govt. and of course the bureaucrats who are sent for the clean up business. To make things even more satiric the place where the movie is set is named Bharatnagar! The movie showcases a fictitious episode in the Indian political history which talks of what happens when there is a clash of ideologies on the development of a state through urbanization. Talking about performances Abhay Deol as Tamil speaking bureaucrat is top notch. He once again shows his prowess to pull off diverse roles with maximum ease. Emraan Hashmi with blackened teeth and rugged clothes plays the role of a pornographer. Though he has less lines to mouth he does complete justice to his role. Similarly Kalki is decent with her portrayal of an activist. Director Dibakar Bannerjee has proven himself time and again with his movies like Khosla Ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and LSD and now with Shanghai he just elevates himself to a different level altogether. Specially the second half runs at lightening speed and it would be dangerous to miss even a single dialogue.
For all those who love serious intelligent cinema and who are bored with Housefulls and Rowdy Rathores, Shanghai should be your next movie to watch. One track which keeps spinning in your head even after the movie is over is the “Bharat Mata Ki”, I believe thats the impact not only the movie has on you but also that you just realized how deep we Indians have buried beneath the rubble of politics with our “chalta hai” attitude!