Dibakar Banerjee does not do that. He makes a film that makes you think. A film that makes you cringe. A film that grabs you by the balls, looks you in the eye and says, "Bugger, think. You have 400 grams of maal between your ears. Use it."
The script (by Urmi Juvekar and Dibakar Banerjee himself) crackles with intelligence and intensity. It makes a slow start but picks up speed and several seemingly disparate strands to reach a damning climax.
Shanghai is also a film studded with brilliant performances. It is easy to talk about Emraan Hashmi (whom Raja Sen has called the Best Actor of 2012, for good reason), Abhay Deol's superb Tamil accent or Kalki and Prasenjit's intensity. But it is the array of peripheral characters that raise the film to another level. Farooque Shaikh and Pitobash, for example, in small parts turn in powerhouse performances.
Like always, Dibakar Banerjee gets the nuances of small-town India perfectly just as he gets the bureaucratic machination bang-on.
Overall, Shanghai is a film that is not easy. No answers. No happy endings. No riding into the sunset. It is a film that depresses you with its content but you also feel glad there are such strong, bold voices in India. And that is why we will never become Shanghai.view less