Shanghai is a 2012 Hindi political thriller film directed by Dibakar Banerjee, starring Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi, Kalki Koechlin, Prosenjit Chatterjee, and based on the French film Z, and a novel by the same name, of Vassilis Vassilikos. On 6 June 2012, High court refused stay on the release of the film. The film received critical acclaim upon its release on 8 June 2012 with 1200 prints.Wikipedia
Shanghai is consistently watchable despite these lapses. I'm going with three-and-a-half out of five for Dibakar Banerjee’s 'Shanghai'. It’s a good film from one of Hindi cinema’s most exciting filmmakers, just not great.
Here, he is clearly on the outside. ‘Shanghai’ is a good film. Most of it is scarily plausible, sharply observed and sharply executed, except that distance which has Banerji telegraph some of his punches, making ‘Shanghai’ stop just this short of being great. But it is an important, relevant film that demands to be watched not just for what it is saying, but for how it is saying it -- angrily, fearlessly, pointing out, as a line in one of the film’s songs puts it, both the ‘gur’ and the ‘gobar’ in this, our Bharat.
Shanghai is all Dibakar, who we must lift on our shoulders with grateful pride. And we must exult in the fact that this D is never silent.
Writer-director Dibakar Banerjee and co-writer Urmi Juvekar tell this brutal story with minimal drama. There is nothing high-pitched here, except Kalki’s one-note performance.Shanghai warms up slowly, so you need to have patience — especially in the first half. But the pleasure of the film is in the details. Shanghai doesn’t provide the comfort of answers or happy endings. But it forces us to ask urgent questions. It is the best Hindi film I’ve seen this year. I strongly urge you to make time for it.
Here at long last is a Hindi film that dares to defy the conventions of its chosen genre. Shanghai is a no-frills but searing political thriller that is under-wired with intelligence and nerve, both cinematic and ideological.Shanghai draws much of its strength from a taut screenplay (Urmi Juvekar and Dibakar Banerjee) that never overplays its hand and leaves a lot to the imagination of the audience.Shanghai projects the dark, dank, redolent-with-danger innards of small-town India to absolute perfection.The film articulates a simmering rage at the sorry state of affairs in a country that is purportedly poised on the cusp of economic superpower status, but it does so neither through screechy bluster nor by means of preachy sermons.
It's gut-wrenching, it's 'Made in India', unadulterated, 100% desi maal. Hardly sasta, but tikau. Nothing imported. The story pulsates in the heartland of India. Rising from the bed of desi politics, stained with the blood of hatred, guilt and treachery.
To sum, Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai walks the thin line between mainstream and meaningful cinema, and does so beautifully. The rare, well-deserving Rs100cr film? Who cares! There’s more to cinema than box office records and opening weekend numbers; Shanghai is the perfect example. Watch.
On the whole, SHANGHAI is undeniably one of the most politically astute films ever made. It keeps you involved and concerned right from its inception to the harrowing culmination. This is not your usual Bollywood masala film, but a serious motion picture that has a voice, that makes you think, that makes a stunning impact. A must watch!
Shanghai works not just because it excels in its genre. But for the people that you see in the film – their problems, actions and the situations thrown at them which the audience can easily relate to. The gritty milieu and an equally edgy soundtrack play an important role in keeping you engaged. Also, the use of satire is evident: tragedy and comedy, death and life, exist side by side.
Banerjee engages the viewer throughout, taking him on a journey to decipher the motives of the government and the 'inquiry commission', which most know what they stand for. But amongst the bad and ugly in the film there is also the good within the system that actually shocks. What is even more shocking is that Banerjee boldly exposes the real killer but also smartly hides the fact. Something no filmmaker has had the gumption to do. That I think is Banerjee's trump card in SHANGHAI; he has banked on his ability to deceive!
It may be a long time until another Shanghai comes out. Don’t miss it.
Audience Reviews for Shanghai
'Shanghaai' by Dibakar Bannerjee is not the best Hindi film this year, not is it sharp enough to be called the director's best. And yet, it is an experience exhileratingly striking, well-made and hard hitting enough to be worth repeat viewing.
Dibakar Bannerjee's sharp understanding of the goings-on of Indian democracy is what constitutes Shanghai, his latest. A good film, it is filled with suspenseful performances of Abhay Deol, Imran Khan, Kalki Koechlin and Prosenjit Chatterjee. The beauty of the film lies in its title- it features the name of an Oriental city, but the film actually is full of India, jugaad and logic. It is the most Desi film you will see this year. The film is also the most blazing, burning bold presentation this year, so you know that when you will leave the screens, you will not be left blanked out. It's big 4 stars for 'Shanghai'. Not the best, but as enjoyabke as the one, as I may say looking at the year.