Movie Review – Shanghai

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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Shanghai a movie that is definitely not for everyone and that being the reason I watched this movie. Having said that it’s not going to be a mainstream cinema it shouldn’t have been marketed the way it was marketed showing ‘Bharat mataki’ and ‘Imported Kamariya’ again and again in TV with fast editing showcasing it as a political thriller. Most of the times trailers are misleading nowadays people are making certain scenes just to put in the trailer. It’s clearly evident. Though I don’t think Dibakar Banarjee is such a director.


Sometimes I think it’d be better if like a movie a trailer could also be made without scenes containing from the movie so that it won’t spoil the suspense and people like me could watch trailers before watching the movie.

The movie is languid, not that I complain but some scenes were needlessly stretched just to showcase the details. Sometimes it adds great impact but sometimes it’s rather dumb. We know that Dibakar didn’t want Emraan to look good in the movie but just to prove that I don’t want to see close up shot of his face with stained teeth to make sure of it. He did a fantastic job be it the conversation with Abhay in washroom or the scene where he takes Kalki to his place in his scooter. Both were brilliantly done.

‘Bharat mataki’ song was awesome though I thought there wasn’t much gap between the two songs. Sarcasm couldn’t have got better. Dibakar being such a gutsy fellow used the words rhyming with ‘therimaaki’ to show how doomed our country is. It’d have been better if I had watched the movie in crowed theatre with Hindi majority audience than watching in Sathyam with people who know ‘Hindi too’. There wasn’t much applause. Talking about applause not even a single soul clapped hands during the climax when Abhay talks to the politician and walks back with camera right at the bottom.

The only scene which evoked laughter was the scene where Emraan opens the porn video instead of the recorded voice of politician. Needless to say details were amazing which we generally expect from such a class director. But the movie was made subtle in a way it was a tad too obvious which didn’t add to the flavor of the movie.

There was one character which I was interested right from the first. It’s neither Imraan nor Abhay but PithobasBanarjee. Such a charmer.Joe Pesci of Bollywood. I say this because he was awesome in Shor in the city. A movie which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even in I’m Kalam he was good but Shor in the city was brilliant especially in the bomb scene, the scene where he takes pic of a girl going by bike and during climax when he says, “saale tum gharmaebaetkarkitab pad rahae ho”. Pure raw energy that guy has. I enjoyed the opening scene where he sleeps in the temp traveler and looks at the sky. One could see how naïve he is when he goes and talks to the politicians subordinate during the meeting. I can’t help but wonder about his acting powers. All I wanted was to not see his death but it was inevitable. I felt bad for the poor guy.   

Kalki didn’t have much to do and so was ProsenjitChatterjee but he did his job perfectly in a few scenes he comes though the kissing scenes could have been better because most of the movies which featured kissing (kissing here means one which involves lips not a casual peck in the cheek) scenes in the recent times were so well choreographed. Be it a passionate kiss in Rockstar where Ranbir smacks Nargis at the corner of stage similar to Black Swan kiss or the sensual Band BaajaaBaraat kiss or the matter of fact Shor in the city kiss on the walls bordering Mumbai beach. I liked the scene where he grabbed the attention of media by going near the actress and delivering his words.

The movie lacked pace and it was not one of the movies where one gets in lieu with the mood of the characters. It didn’t happen. The songs too didn’t help much in improving the pace of the movie. AbhayDeol as Tamilian wasn’t convincing. Though I get the idea that there would be internal politics if the post is held by someone outside their territory. But I don’t want to be so harsh on Abhay his subtle performance was a treat to watch. Especially in climax. He chooses his characters wisely.

Overall the movie didn’t have the impact of Oye lucky luckyoye or KhoslakaGhosla. I still haven’t watched his movie LSD for which Dibakar in a screenwriters workshop in IIT said he watched as many as 40 porn films to make the film convincing. I’m sure he’d have done a lot of homework to do this film too. It definitely was a good film but not as outstanding as I thought it’d be.

Finally, why was it named Shanghai?


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