Cast: Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin, Imran Hashmi, Farooq Sheikh
Direction: Dibakar Banerjee … Released on 8th June,2012
What was common among the movies- Singham, Gangajal and Wanted? No, not the Khakhi uniform silly, but “One man against the corrupt political mechanism, trying to clean it”. Shanghai is on the similar line minus the khakhi uniform and attempt to set things right, till the second half at least.
A political party in Bharatnagar begins a development phase to modernize the town and generate employment. The new township IBP which is supported by a party leader and CM of the state (played by Supriya Pathak) promotes the industrial development besides her chances to win the elections. On the other hand, a messiah of the common suffering man Dr. Ahmedi (essayed by Prosenjit Chatterjee) lands from the US to oppose the IBP movement, for the farmers and land owners who would lose their lands. (Remember a similar “Nano” incident a couple of years ago?) Minutes after addressing a ralley, Dr. Ahmedi is run over by a van. While the opposition tries to shut the case terming it an accident, his supporters (including Kalki) demand an inquiry for the attempt to his murder. In walks Krishnan, an honest IAS officer with a clean record, to investigate the case. The new developments during the enquiry leave him shocked. Sandwiched between responsibility and politics, much to the audience surprise, he chooses the former towards the end of the movie.
“Kasam khoon ki khaai hai, sheher nahi Shanghaai hai” may answer your question of the reason being the name of the movie. This is what the politicians promise to make of the state, if elected. No, the film has not been shot in Shangaai, as what many expect, going by the name. The promos look promising enough to create curiosity among the audience. But what happens when you see it on the big screen? Does it still hold you till the last scene? You experience witnessing brilliant performance though the pace is not engaging but slow.
The first half of the movie is slower than the second half. The actors have portrayed their roles with great poise; even the small town goons wonderfully get noticed. Abhay Deol definitely deserves a big round of applause who has paid attention to every detail of his character. Be it his Madrasi accent, the grave expression on the face of an IAS officer during inquiry, the shock from the reality, the panicky look on being attacked, Deol outshines everybody. Kalki did not have much to offer besides her blank looks and wide open eyes. Did I miss Imraan Hashmi? Oh, he plays a porn movie cameraman and earns his living by shooting functions or selling pirated DVDs. Hashmi helps Kalki and Deol crack the case with a recorded tape. For the very first time, Hashmi grabs the lime light sans a single kissing scene! Surprised? Well, another round of applause for his complete desi make over with a pot belly and tobacco stained teeth. Farooq Sheikh plays his part like a cake walk.
The story might not be appealing; it’s been said and heard million times now. The audience is mature enough to sense the dirty political trash. Watch it for yet another intense power packed presentation by the actors. An admirable camera work and effective editing make Shanghaai flawless. Yeah flaws like Dengu Malaria do co-exist in the country, yet we are supposed to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. Isn’t it?
Kudos to Dibaker Bannerjee, for directing an outstanding movie after Khosla ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky Oye, Love Sex aur Dhokha.