Whether it be Khosla ka Ghosla, Oye lucky lucky Oye or Love Sex aur Dhoka, director Dibakar Banerjee has wowed us with his ability to tell stories with his unique yet engaging style. This time, he comes with a political thriller which has been much awaited. Does it match up to our expectations?
A valiant & hard hitting effort this one, its a well made film backed by exemplary performances but just falls short somewhere.
Set in small-town India, the local government wants to redevelop the area under a project titled IBP (International Business Park). An esteemed social activist (Prosenjit Chatterjee) is protesting for the rights the locals but is mowed down by the political party in question. What the next 115 minutes deals with is Shalini Sahays(Kalki K) fight for justice. A student of his, she seeks the help of local videographer/porn filmmaker Joginder(Emraan Hashmi) & restrained yet no-nonsense IAS officer TA Krishnan(Abhay Deol) to book those at fault.
While its true that scores of Bollywood films have tackled corruption in the system, none have done so in a completely deglamorized avatar. The beauty of the film lies in the simplicity of the storytelling which is engaging yet very real.
The music by Vishal & Shekhar is strictly ok but the background score by Mikey McLeary is absolutely fantastic.
When it comes to performances, all of them shine. The star of this show, pitching in with a stellar effort is Emraan Hashmi. He truly shows his growth as an actor. Kalki too is fiery in her disturbing role & one particular scene where she beats up a truck driver is one of the best in the film. Abhay stays in character and comes into his own in the last 20 minutes of the film.
While it has plenty of plus points, it doesnt manage to land the knockout punch as parts of the film do drop. There is a lot that happens in these 2 hours and sometimes you just need it to slowdown to build the moments.
Nevertheless, Dibakar Banerjee shines yet again as he crafts a film thats haunting in a strange way. I would surely recommend all to watch this once & share your views on it. Not filmi, only real, Shanghai is surely one of the better films around.