If this film tells you one thing, it is that Emraan Hashmi is terribly underrated as an actor. I simply loved him here - when he flashes his white-yellow teeth, when he tries to impress with his unimpressive English, and specially when he portrays the angst of a helpless man at the bottom of the Pyramid. And all we used him for, till now, was puckering up.
The second reason that I am enamored with Shanghai is because it has been directed so bloody brilliantly. I have never seen such treatment in Bollywood before, as far as I can remember. The audio is cut off at the most chaotic moments, which helps viewers take in the scene without being numbed by an assault to the senses. The characters - all of them are plagued by ethical and moral dilemmas that will make you flinch. None of them has it easy.
And the final reason why I loved the movie was because of its topical setting: it blends in perfectly with almost every issue that's in the news nowadays, toppling them over to expose the dark underbelly for what it is. It treats the audience with respect, and omits the obvious. The casting is purrr-fect, and I mean it when I imply that it has been done with feline precision. I have admired Pitobash Tripathy previously in Shor, and I did so again. The rest of the actors need no introduction.
Take a bow, Dibakar Bannerjee - you just seem to be pushing the benchmark a few notches higher with each film. Keep going FTW !