Shanghai – At last Bollywood makes a political masterpiece!
Shaj Reviews: Based on the Vassilis Vassilikos novel “Z” which has already been adapted into a french political thriller Z (1969) by Costa Gavras, Shanghai is that form of art which screams of irony in every scene with the uncanny and unbelievable capture of the dirty politics and a thriller that will get into your blood and stir it like nothing else! All you have to do is, watch it closely.
The film centers around the suspense and contaminating politics following the death of Dr. Ahemdi, played by Prosenjit Chatterjee. A social worker who fights for justice against the government’s IBP project to create a Shanghai amidst the poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, over the bodies of the downtrodden and used. And as I said, the film is itself an irony, which is clearly visible from the crux of the story where Dr. Ahemdi is the central character of the film but does not portion out a screen space of measurable significance.
While Shalini, Dr Ahemdi’s ex student who shares an intimate relationship with him is an idealist who has sworn to find his murderers does not only probe for the people who did it, but those who were behind the entire assassination. Kalki Koechlin has yet given a splendid and out of the box performance for us! Personally, I love her! From the clumsy, passionate kiss to the agonized cry of despair, her role as a devoted follower, fiery, self propelled woman demanding justice is too commendable.
Investigative journalism has been defined in the most unsophisticated form making it a nothing less than a PERFECT score for a Bollywood film! Jogi played by Emraan Hashmi is a small time videographer, rustic and scruffy who works for his boss and with a goofy smile and awkward attempts on conversations tries to make a survival on the streets of Bharatnagar. His best film ever and an extraordinary performance! He, along with Shalini towards who he is greatly infatuated attempts to solve the puzzle of the doctor’s murder by joining the pieces of the political undercover plots revealing the expected but in the most astonishing manner.
What goes absolutely obtrusive and deserves an applause is the character development of Krishnan, the appointed IAS officer in the government for investigation and damage control. Abhay Deol has done an excellent job of the role. From his silent and respectable demeanor to the most intellectual side of his personality, everything played with great accuracy.
I must not come to the conclusion without mentioning Pitobash Tripathy, whose role is of an ambitious thug earning blood money in the name of the Morcha political party and is completely ignorant about his role in the political codswallop.
What more can I say, but that you must watch it. If you don’t like it, watch it again. Dibakar Banerjee has done an excellent job with his team by making one of the most non-photoshopped films in bollywood and I respect every aspect of effort gone into its making and most important, research.
PS- I love my blog. I don’t believe that I actually wanted to leave it. I might be less frequent, but I am right here!