Movie Review: ‘Shanghai’ (**** Four Star)

 (By Akshat Sharma) Rarely do we find Bollywood taking a plunge into complex issues like politics. Dibakar Bannerjee with his latest offering ‘Shanghai’ shows the guts, instincts and skill as he decides to venture into the world of politics. ‘Shanghai’ is not a mellowed down depiction of  some political event that happens in the background but it is a hard hitting gut wrenching political thriller. Supported well by a battery of fine actors ‘Shanghai’ has catapulted Dibakar Bannerjee into a league of his own.

The story begins with Dr. Ahmadi (Prosenjit Chatterji) who meets an accident and the events that follow whip up emotions and passion in a town aptly named ‘Bharatnagar’  The residents this town are living in a promised land which has presence of the IBP (India Bane Pardes/ International Business Park) project that provide hope to people. The real face of this town is scarred by ‘Dengue and Malaria’ which represents the grotesque reality.

When Shalini played by Kalki Koechlin makes an entry on screen she dazzles audiences with her performance. She looks real as passionate person who can kiss and fight in the same vein.  Kalki is matched by Emraan Hashmi who plays the character named Jogi. He looks so convincing in this role that we refuse to believe that only thing to his credit till date is the tag of ‘Serial Kisser.

But the best performance comes from Abhay Deol who plays the role of an IAS Officer. Like a man character he stands firm on his ground and even in the politically charged world of Bharatnagar he is not willing to succumb to pressures and pulls. Abhay Deol’s stellar performance is the high point of this movie.

‘Shanghai’ is not a totally dark movie as it offers a glimmer of hope. The world may be corrupt and harsh realities may dampen the spirits of most enthusiastic people but in the end what matters is the strength of your character. It is amazing to find mainstream actors showing confidence in movies like this and they have certainly come up with a fantastic film.

Do not miss the movie if you believe that cinema is not only about dancing and silly entertainment.

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