A movie like Shanghai can easily be cited as one which is ahead of its time. In each of his previous outings, Dibakar Banerjee has brought out issues that have remained right in our midst and yet we always chose to turn blind eyes and deaf ears to it until that day when it reached our doorsteps. Be it the illegal land-grabbing of Khosla Ka Ghosla or the thievery which is so very prominent in urban Delhi in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye!!! and finally the three shocking stories about love, sex and betrayal taken straight out of issues from honor killings in UP and mms scandals in Delhi , shockingly portrayed in Love Sex Aur Dhoka. So when Shanghai came round the corner, my expectations soared. After sitting through this mesmerizing piece of movie making all I can say now is “Dibakar, Yeh Dil Mange More”.
The story is an adaptation of a novel ‘Z’ about the political assassination of a mass leader. Shanghai is such an apt adaptation that it will give you a feeling of being there and having seen that constantly and yet the greatest strength of Dibakar’s direction lies in the fat that no one can guess what is about to come next. The novel has been adapted to perfection to suit the Indian conditions. The scenarios, the characters and even the setting is just harrowing-ly real.
There are plenty of thrills to keep you engrossed but it isn’t one of those thrillers which jumps out at you. It takes it’s time to set in and gradually grows on you. The bollywood-ish entertainment values are a bit on the lower side here as you may presume but we do have an item number in “imported kamariya”, which should raise a few beats. Watch out for the song “Bharat mata ki jay…”, I have never before seen a song with such lyrics being choreographed in a way that it is. Its just insane.
If you have not grabbed a ticket for this one, then do so at the earliest. Going by the trends in business, Shanghai will not last long in theaters and it would be a pity if you missed it.
Rating: 4/5 (4 out of 5 Stars)