What happens when you wait for a movie is that you think it would be a stimulating and aesthetically directed along with the some handpicked actors? Expectations are high! I went through the same, as well. I have an old soul in me, when it comes to liking performers (the era of 70’s and 80’s – is preferred by me). Getting a chance to watch Farooq Sheikh, (the Noorie and Chashm-e-buddoor fame) itself is a treat for me. Plus, watching a Dibakar Banergee’s movie after witnessing some finest movies of his like Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Khosla Ka Ghosla, is also worth experiencing. Shanghai lets you closely observe what happens when people get power and they become over obsessed with that. The movie is inspired from “Z” penned by Vassilis Vassilikos.
The movie revolves around a few characters along with the political system. A political activist Dr. Ahmadi (Prosenjit Chatterjee) encounters a road accident and Shalini Sahaye (Kalki Koechlin) tries to prove it as a murder. A bureaucrat Krishnan (Abhay Deol) is in charge to take-off the case – to which no one provides him with the relevant information. A small town movie maker (part time porn movie maker as well) Jogi Pramar (Emran Hashmi) claims that he has the footage that will create a chaos for government. What happens next is a dream that everyone sees in India – Rightful justice, freedom of expression and democratic outburst.
The movie is definitely interesting and backed by some nice scenes – they could have been better for sure as the canvas was huge. At times a viewer feels that the movie is a bit slow and at places starts to get boring. But again the director grips the viewer’s attention by rolling another slide for viewer’s interest.
As far as performances are concerned they are good. They would have been a lot better if the script could be healthier in terms of dialogues and punch lines. Seniors first – Farooq Sheikh is a scene stealer. He is amazing with his convincing dialogues and double faced personality. He proves that he is still amongst the finest actors who have always treated as most under-rated actors. I, personally, would love to see him again and again. Prosenjit Chatterjee another versatile actor but not much appeared in movies (his career started back in 1990 with Aandhiyan) performed his part remarkably. He looks cool and delivers a nice performance.
Emran Hashmi, well like I mentioned earlier in Jannat 2’s movie review, has started to surprise his audiences with his performance and selection of roles. He looks disgusting, weird and a thorough porn movie maker – even portrays some perverted looks surprisingly. Abhay Deol has always selected movies which are off-beat for many and he offers great potential for showing his talent. Yet again he grips his role and performs astoundingly well. He performs his character extraordinarily; he looks soft yet authoritative, educated and mature. Kalki got a nice platform to show her talent and she impresses in few scenes too! Pitobash Tripathy as Bhaggu is getting type casted (in reference to “I am Kalam” and “Shor”). Supriya Pathak is just OK.
Some clap worthy scenes include:
1- When Emran Hashmi’s boss wants him to arrange a meeting with Kalki. Emran’s actions and expressions are amazing.
2- When Emran tries to break the ice between him and Abhay in the toilet.
3- All the scenes between Abhay Deol and Farooq Sheikh – especially the ones in the climax. Both actors have performed their best. Farooq Sheikh impresses with his expressions, wrath and helplessness whereas Abhay looks cool, confident and a thorough professional.
On the whole the movie is good for mature audiences and many individuals will even call it a drop fare. But it is an interesting watch if you have time and want to witness sensible cinema.
Rating: 7.5/10 (On the basis of performances, direction and subject).