Movie Review: Shanghai (2012)

Users Rating: [ratings] ★★★☆☆
Box Office: Flop

He is acknowledged for creating high-quality cinema. Right from KHOSLA KA GHOSLA to OYE LUCKY! LUCKY OYE! to LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA, Dibakar Banerjee’s movies have been lapped up by spectators. He typically picks up avant-garde subject matters and his latest flick SHANGHAI is no exception. KHOSLA KA GHOSLA, OYE LUCKY! LUCKY OYE! and LOVE SEX AUR DHOKHA presented diverse stories. Now Dibakar presents the much-anticipated thriller SHANGHAI, which orbits in the region of gluttony and deceitfulness of politicians.

Political thrillers are a much abused genre, but it’s not frequently that movies confer us with what SHANGHAI offers: A political thriller wherein the politics seizes precedence over the thriller element. It’s more of a reality check about where India stands in the present day. In the context of the film, we have this dream of a Shanghai like city, where there is commerce, eminence, capital and the material comfort. But the reality is something else!

Enthused by a book of the 1960s, ‘Z’, by Greek writer and diplomat Vassilis Vassilikos, a Costa Gavras film, Z, was also motivated by this book in 1969. Banerjee detected remarkable similarities between the Greece in the book and the India of today, procured its rights and acclimatized the account to a metropolis in India.

A small town somewhere in India is poised to become the next ‘Shanghai’. Billions of dollars are being poured into an upcoming International Business Park.

A political activist meets with an accident in an Indian city gearing up for elections. A lone girl believes it to be a murder. A porn film maker claims to have proof that will bring the government down. A high ranking bureaucrat is brought in by the government to damage control.

SHANGHAI follows the journey of these unlikely heroes as they come together to find justice in the labyrinth of Indian democracy.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
4.5 “This is one of those rare films that is as pertinent as it is compelling.”
4.5 ” Shanghai is a classy, entertaining fare.”
4.5 “Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai walks the thin line between mainstream and meaningful cinema, and does so beautifully.”
DNA India
4.0 “SHANGHAI is undeniably one of the most politically astute films ever made.”
Bollywood Hungama
4.0 “Shanghai is all Dibakar, who we must lift on our shoulders with grateful pride.”
4.0 “SHANGHAI is his latest proof of how to enamor the viewer with a realistic plot shot within the framework of the buzz. SHANGHAI is for the discerning viewer.”
4.0 “Shanghai is a no-frills but searing political thriller that is under-wired with intelligence and nerve, both cinematic and ideological.”
NDTV Movies
3.5 “Whether Shanghai is off-beat or mainstream is debatable, but if you thrive on rustic realistic cinema, however heavy-duty – this is your pick.”
Times Of India
3.0 “Powerful Punch In A Subtle Glove.”
3.0 “Shanghai, at just being an expose may not be a complete massy affair but it does make for a compelling one time watch, especially for the outstanding performances.”
Average Reviews
Negative Reviews

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