Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shanghai (2012) - Political Thriller

I've been feeling this for last couple of years that the time has come for India to make meaningful cinema. "Shanghai" is another one of those movies which makes its point very clear in the first 20 minutes of its running time and you realize - its not for entertainment. But do we actually see all the movies only for entertainment? laugh out loud, eat something and go home happy? Always? - I dont think so. Hollywood makes so many meaningful movies which may not be enjoyed by the whole world - may not all make some 100 million dollars but will always make a point and show you the realistic side of the world as it is. I am glad finally us Indians have started making them too and you see the effect in the theater when the whole crowd walks out silently. Yes, I do find some shaking their heads in disbelief too - but there will be different opinions about everything - so no problems with that. I guess some people who should have seen something like a "Housefull 2" again than "Shanghai" to make their day - they too were present to later criticize it. Its a must watch if you like meaningful cinema - we all know its all happening right here and are helpless to do anything about it. What happens if one man with power takes a right decision and standsby it. One hell of a movie and Kudos to Dibakar to come out with one yet again.

Dibakar Banerjee (The Director) - is always a delight to watch, take any of his earlier movies for example. "Khosla Ka Ghosla" - A proper Delhi life recorded in camera - its such a fantastic movie - as many times you see - you fall in love with all the characters - they have that real time feel to them. Same can be said about his next venture "Oye Lucky Lucky Oye" based on the life of a petty thief, you actually cant help but fall in love even with a thief :) - Then you have "Love Sex and Dhokha" - entirely a different movie from all the Indian standards. Never before seen stuff. Its again the reality as it is stuff. Then you have his current movie "Shanghai" based on the corrupt Indian political system, how the lives of regular mango man get entertwined in the dirty politics that too cause of almost no fault of theirs. A real time take on real life situations happening all around us all the time. Its a story of one man who has the power and who takes a stand to use it to reveal the truth. Amazing is the word for the whole movie. Its so well done and captured the characters in camera that you are totally convinced and you do see those characters everywhere near you in real life.

Its based on a fictional town of "Bharat Nagar" which has to go on a redevelopment project by a Infrastructure Company backed by the current ruling party. The only man who can stop the redevelopment is Ahmedi (Prasenjit Chatterjee) a Socialist, cause this redevelopment will move 100's of poor families from their current location to 50 KMS away. The political party wants to make a Shanghai out of current Bharat Nagar. Ahmedi is killed in a freak road accident in front of his activists and a big crowd and it all looks and backed like a regular drunk driving accident but Ahmedi's followers believe it to be a planned murder. Kalki as one of his students / follower - walks straight out of the sets of "Shaitaan" and takes this character up, you could actually see that in her eyes and body language - she is almsot shown like a psychic dedicated to Ahmedi, who will do whatever it takes to achieve her target. Although she did good but I felt it was a little over done. From here onwards its a fight for justice by Ahmedi's wife and his followers to bring down the culprits to table and everyone knows how it works in India when it comes to justice to the deserving. On top of that when the current ruling party of the state is involved - you know - they are not going to leave any stone unturned to turn it down and make it look like an accident.

Abhay Deol (As Krishnan The Bureaucrat) who has the power and who is hell bent on doing the justice is too good. He tries his level best to get to the core of the situation and almost digs out the truth but again forced to submit himself to the ruling party and its hearty to see what he does in the end. Although for a minute I thought otherwise. I totally liked his character and the way he does everything, Its amazing how they have captured the real time character on celluloid done so well. The whole enquiry, outcome, result and pressure is all so damn real.

Imraan Hashmi (As a Pornographer) has got a role of a life time I should say. He is lovable in this one and totally does justice to his role, priceless expressions and body language - he gets my vote this year for best actor hands down. The girl who played Ahmedi's Wife is too good but in quite a short role, but I am sure she will get some attention.

The movie never gets predictable not for me atleast. its a must watch for all who love political thrillers or movies taken out of real time too. its too good and not to be missed by any one. Yes, it does not entertain you but do you actually see all the movies for entertainment only? I dont - and hence I loved it and highly recommend it to one and all.

1 comment:

Ava Suri said...

Wah Wah! Excellent Rohit. That is exactly how I felt about this movie.