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Reviews & Ratings for
Shanghai More at IMDbPro »

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Index 63 reviews in total 

51 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

A challenging and rewarding film experience

Author: wazankash from Pakistan
6 June 2012

Take any of your favorite political thrillers. What you'd find is political insight and compelling suspense, seamlessly woven to demystify your flimsy notions and beliefs about that subject. While the protagonist peels the layers off falsehood, you experience the joy of veils dropping. You get more than just the solution of a mystery; a new interpretation of the event, a shocking perspective. Dibakar Banerjee's Shanghai is one such political thriller. This terrific film hits you like a hurricane and terrifies you to bits. It has an abiding effect that will haunt you even hours after you've left the theater. If you enjoy true cinema, go for SHANGHAI.. Else, better wait for SRK or FARAH KHAN's next POPCORN FLICK!! Go for SHANGHAI for Kalki Koechlin, for Emraam Hashmi,for Abhay Deol, for the Music & for everything you want from a masterpiece! And next time you end up comparing why do Bollywood standards do not reach Hollywood, stay quite! You don't deserve a word!


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36 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Insanely Brilliant !!!!

Author: Sameer Memon from Pakistan
6 June 2012

There is only one word to describe the cinematography, the set designs and the dialogues, and that is Exceptional! You don't just watch the scenes happening, you feel them. The movie is a real thrill ride. The action scenes are well pictured and the music is electronically haunting. Never, in the run time of the movie, you will get a chance to move your eyes from the screen to any other object.

The film is hardly one hour-fifty minutes long, and you wish that there was no interval. You don't need one when you are watching a crisp and thrilling film like this one! It's an engaging thriller with a political backdrop, and the performances are mind blowing. Kalki Koechlin is fabulous. Pitobash Tripathy is superb. Abhay Deol has captured the nuisances of the south Indian accent perfectly. He is restrained and strong. But the star of the show is Emraan Hashmi. It might turn out to be too intelligent for Emraan Hashmi fans who generally come to see him smooch his leading lady. So we will have to wait and see if a brilliant film like this is lapped up at the box office or not. Shanghai shocks, engages and makes a powerful statement. Dibakar lives up to the standards he has set for himself.

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27 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Start to June

Author: kumarharsh from India
9 June 2012

Just coming home after watching the movie, and I was really really impressed with... Everything. While coming back, I heard some friends say it was boring and not very good, which made me write this review:

Watch It if you are looking for some serious cinema. Definitely Watch It if you have a brain to actually THINK about what the movie is trying to say.

I've been disillusioned with Bollywood for some years now, but every year, there come some movies which are absolutely top class, which actually say something rather than throwing undercooked brainless (un)comic crap at us. Shanghai is one of the former, and nearly everything is well done in this movie.

The direction is very good and tight, the background score is very apt, the cinematography is fantastic, as is the editing. And although the story is actually not very new, revolving around the general hopelessness we associate with Indian politics and law, the way Dibakar Banerjee presents it, and the (un)happy-ending really makes it shine...

I think that the movie may probably not do extremely well in theaters because "most" Indians go for mindless comedies these days, but those who want to see a GOOD movie, This is definitely one for them.

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A Truly Well Made Film Which Belongs To The Director !!

Author: Sidharth Banerjee from India
8 June 2012

Shanghai is a delight from head to toe. Dibakar Banerjee is without a doubt my favourite bollywood director of recent times. Already it's a hell of a job matching the standards of LSD, Oye Lucky and Khosla still he manages to pull off a gritty tale with such panache which compels me to compare him with the Hollywood great Quentin Tarantino. The city of Bharat Nagar is about to have a turn of fate as the ruling government tries to convert it into an infrastructure marvel but then there's a proclaimed personnel and social activist Aahmedi played by Bengal's very own Prosenjit Chatterjee. But the ruling party has other plans for him as he is brutally injured in a hit and run case which leaves Shalini(Kalki Koechlin) to fight it out to the find the truth behind the proclaimed accident. Imran Hashmi plays Joginder Parmar who's a videographer come pornographer who has some evidence that might help things fall into place for Aahmedi. The real kick comes when Krishnan(Abhay Deol) in given the responsibility to find out the truth. What works for Shanghai is that even though so much is going around all the time there is this definite attention given to each and every detail that you are just kept glued to the screen. Plus there is the fine twist in the end as well. The scenes without any background score, a Dibakar Banerjee trend I suppose, the gritty yet amicable screenplay everything is I personally love. You actually can feel through the scenes as they pass.

The performances are exceptional be it Abhay Deol, Kalki or even Hashmi as he steps inside shoes which one would never consider to fit him. But then that's the sheer genius of Dibakar Banerjee. Still though call me greedy I expected a little tiny bit more drama. But then nothing is perfect. After 'Kahaani' it is in my opinion the second best movie I have set my eyes upon in 2012. Take A Bow Mr.Director!

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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Tarantino, step aside; we have DB!

Author: Himanshu Desai from India
8 June 2012

Dibakar Banerjee, Abhay Deol and Emraan Hashmi. There cannot be any better reason to watch this movie and well, it's worth the expectations. Shanghai, the Desi adaption of Z by Vassilis Vassilikos is a fine thriller.

First things first, you can feel the Dibakar Banerjee style in each and every frame of this around two hour movie. In first ten minutes itself, the culprits are revealed and there is no whodunit feeling in first half, but thanks to brilliantly panned screenplay (courtesy Urmi Juvekar and DB), the tension builds on in a continuum till the climax and climax pays it off.

The power of Shanghai lies in its characters and subplots. Director leaves much upon the imagination of viewers but, still it is amazing to witness such a powerful cinema with a short and simple story. Abhay, Emraan and Kalki play their milestone characters and they play with such an ease that it is impossible to picture any actors in their shoes. Prosenjit Chatterjee, though plays a cameo, makes his presence felt throughout the movie, which is incredible.

Shanghai could have been a loud political thriller with grungy background score and over the top acting, but DB chooses the path less traveled. Like his last three films he chooses his own subtle and proportionately dramatic storytelling that makes it a standalone from clichéd and crass political thrillers. In order to keep the intensity of such a mature subject, Dibakar has deliberately avoided soulful songs like Khudaya and Dua, and placed situational tracks like Bharat Mata Ki and Imported Kamariya, which is a courageous effort.

The negatives? First half takes a bit more of time to create the situations and subplots making the movie a bit drag occasionally. Apart from this, I can't find out any other loopholes in this movie.

Watch it or not? If you are a fan of "the real powerful cinema", do go for it.

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Shanghai is a raw meat marinated with slow poison.

Author: thepuccacritic from India
10 June 2012

Before I start, let me tell you that I haven't read Vassillis Vasilikov's Z and neither have I seen the Academy Award winning film by Costa-Gavras. Shanghai based on the same book, for me, comes as an original standalone in Hindi cinema by the double time National Award winner Dibakar Bannerjee.

Shanghai, is what this fictional town of Bharat Nagar will look like with the flourishing of "International Business Park (IBP)", as promised by the Chief Minister (Supriya Pathak). You can expect it to be any other political scam. Dr. Ahmedi (Prosenjit Chatterjee) who believes this project will degrade the living of the poor, lands here to set his march of opposition. Alongwith Ahmedi, comes a Katrina Kaif caricature Tina. While she is doing Imported Kamariya at the IBP (India Bana Pardes) show, Dr. Ahmedi is slayed to death by a truck. His student, Shalini Sahay (Kalki) is stubborn about the fact that it was not an accident but murder. IAS Officer T. A. Krishnan (Abhay Deol) leads the Enquiry Commission set by the CM. Meanwhile, Jogi Parmar (Emran Hashmi), a pornographer reaches an evidence material of the case.

Meeting of every two aforesaid characters is marked with playful scene like entering of a ball in the newly setup office of Krishnan between a heated discussion, or the English conversation of Jogi with Shalini.

Leisurely paced, the first half is cooked up with two songs where Bharat Mata Ki Jai is just abrupt, misled and serves no purpose to the story. That's what you wanted Mr. Producer, right? An item song and a peppy track? But what makes the direction extra-ordinary are the detailing with the arts and sound design in almost every scene. Note that sound of a crying baby in the background amidst the tensed situation when Dr. Ahmedi is admitted to the hospital. Whereas the background score in most of the parts is overdone with the same beats.

For its running time of 114 minutes, this thriller grips you leisurely with not many scenes that brings you to the edge of your seat but its raw treatment and toning , fine editing and engaging performances. Emran Hashmi stands out of the lot with his best performance of his career. You are never let to believe that you are actually watching the same Hashmi. The most experienced actor Faroque Sheikh draws every attention in his scene. Kalki plays the deepest character of the film with mild tone and louder-than-words silence. Abhay Deol is in the skin of the character of a generous officer with his Tam accent. Pitobash is almost similar as you have seen him in Shor In The City.

By the end, things resurface to the top, gets unfold, and many unanswered questions are left to you to think. Dibakar doesn't hammer you with the dark side of the political system but asks many questions. Prominently, Is India really shining? Judge yourself. But Indian Cinema is really shining with this movie at the theaters.

Though I don't account Shanghai as DB's best work (for me, it's still L.S.D.), but it is the best political thriller you could ever see.

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Decent follow up is with "Z"

Author: Karn Singh ( from Delhi
8 June 2012

I really enjoyed watching this latest Political thrillers like the west since our cinema mostly aims at only entertainment as an escape from the real life. The acting is great, the storyline is well written with adequate character development to let you get emotionally invested. The film is based on Greek writer Vassilis Vassilikos' political novel "Z" on which director Costa-Gavras also made his project titled "Z" (French) in 1969, which means "He is Alive" in a symbolic form. But SHANGHAI actually scores much higher than all the earlier political thrillers made in the country mainly due to its subtle and calm treatment of an intense plot which keeps you engrossed especially in its second half.Emraan Hashmi has shown real talent that he is much more capable of apart from smooching leading lady. If you love true cinema, go for SHANGHAI.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A brilliant subtle political thriller by Banerjee that deserves standing ovation

Author: rangdetumpy from India
9 June 2012

Some five years ego when I first saw Kosta Gavra's classic political thriller "Z" I thought it has all the ingredients to be made into Indian scenario. Even though the film is five decades old the scenarios fits into contemporary India. It digs into the political machinery and their double standards as they talk about Industrial developments. With land acquisition, truth behind special economic zone (SEZs), red-tapism, bureaucratic machinery all molded in a thriller format had everything going for Indian audience. When Dibakar Banerjee announced Shanghai which is based on the Greek novel "Z' by Vassilis Vasilikos I was thrilled. Banerjee successfully adapted the novel and used it to portray a dark of political India.

Set in fictional BharatNagar "Shanghai" starts with Dr Ahmadi , a socialist worker being bumped off as he protest against the land acquisition and warns aam-janata to look into the real motives of the politicians and industrialists. Circumstances brought in Jogi Parmer, a rustic porn film maker who falls for the gori lady and how got himself caught in the web of deceit. It is through the investigation of Ahmedi's murder the journey of unmasking of those in the system begins as we came to know about the truth behind the game of industrialization. Symbolically it reflects the rotten Indian system in a realistic fashion which will shock audience and let them think. With India being claimed as potential future super power of the world the big shots inside the system is robbing her from within at every level leading towards a greater economic divide.

Dibakar Banerjee showed immense potential in earlier three films (khosla ka ghosla, oye lucky lucky oye, LSD) and each of them he used ample dose of dark humor to bring out some prevailing problem in the society. He does the same and succeeds in "Shanghai".He has compromised less interns of story telling and kept many scenes subtle enough for further interpretation. His detailing of sequences needs to applaud. Indeed he is one of the finest story teller of the country and together with Anurag Kashyap,Vishal Bhardwaj can elevate the Indian cinema whereby getting appreciation from world audience as something meaningful yet entertaining. Teaming up with Urmi Juvekar, the duo has done a splendid job in keeping the dialogs real, subtle yet catchy. Being a thriller the happenings keep you engaged to the screen. Like Kahaani this is another taut thriller which can compete with any world cinema. Nikos Andritsakis cinematography deserves standing ovation. His usages of occasional shakes, close-ups elevate the screenplay. The sepia tone set it perfect for the rustic India. Namratha Rao's editing is top notch and she proved that Kahaani was just not one flash in the pan. Vandana Kataria's production design is effective and creates the atmosphere for a dark, thrilling ride. Atul Mongia's unique ensemble casting needs recognition. Vishal-Shekhar's music works. "Bharat mata ki jaye" is true satirical song which is helped by some brilliant choreography.

Acting wise every single person involved has given a superlative performance. Emraan Hashmi as Jogi Parmer is revelation. He proved his detractors wrong and gave a new life to himself as he joined the league of meaningful cinema. Prior to this his mass films (though huge Hits) didn't get him accolades from all section of society but this film will make people realize his potential. Abhay Deol is a superb actor and as always he is at his subtle paced. He fits into a character like chameleon and together with the choice of films he makes he is there to make some change in Indian cinema. As IAS Krishnan he has given one of his career best roles. Just check the climax when he confronts with Farooq Sheik. The scene is a marvel and deserves standing ovation. Kalki Koechlin succeeds as the disturbed foreign return Indian Shalini. Her relationship with Dr Ahmedi as well as Jogi Parmer has been portrayed sensitively. Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee excels as socialist worker Dr Ahmedi. The movie surrounds his character and in a comparatively small role he leaves his marks. Pitobash as usual is exceptional. With Shor in the city, I am Kalaam and now Shanghai he will definitely land up in more meaty roles in near future. He is a power house of talent. Veterans Farooq Sheik and Supriya Pathak were always known for their acting potential and here also they lived up to their names. Tilottoma Shome as Mrs Ahemdi fits the bill as well.

Overall Shanghai is another powerful cinema which comes out from Bollywood. In a thriller mode it raises very pertinent questions on the way the Indian political system works. The film is dark, real yet entertaining that will keep the audience (though it might not appeal to many cine-goers who loves unreal commercial cinema) engaged till the end. It is another landmark film which is to be experienced, a masterpiece. Indeed it has all the stamps that are associated with a film which has been co-produced by NFDC.

P.S : I agree with the first reviewer in IMDb with the statement that one should watch this film "And next time you end up comparing why do Bollywood standards do not reach Hollywood, stay quite! You don't deserve a word!".. Indeed I think Kosta Govra would have been proud to see this adaptation

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

It will compel you to question that Where is our country heading All thanks to Corrupt Politicians but Still Bharat Mata Ki Jai Bolo.

Author: Dhrumil Parekh from Mumbai
8 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No adjective to describe Shanghai.But i Will still try an 'Adjective' to describe it.Awesome Daunting Jittering Enigmatic Charming Terrific Intelligent Vivid Energetic is the Adjective i will use to describe it. The yardstick of watching a film is different for different people.There are some people who watch films merely for Entertainment and then there are some people who watch it to get knowledge,Awareness and for learning something new.You will like Shanghai even if your yardstick is former or later, its meant for both masses and classes.Just bit complex so masses (People who watches Films for entertainment) need to keep more attention on the screen to understand it better.You will definitely Learn many things after you watch the Movie Like- 1] How MNC's and corporates tie up with the government for getting acres of land where poor and middle class people stays to build their new institution,malls and Profit making infrastructure and how government fools the public that its a 'Development Project' for welfare of the country 2] How does scam happens in negotiation of making a tender for passing a contract 3] How does government manipulates and kills all the evidences that can bring them down etc. You may feel that you have seen all this before but the Execution by Dibakar banerjee is so intriguing and contemporary that you will get hooked to the film and will be on edge of the seat. Hats off to Dibakar banerjee for making such a awesome Political thriller which compels you to question that where is our country heading and you feel flabbergasted, shocked and also feel indignation at the corrupt state of affairs of the country.

Frankly, i went to watch the film because of Emraan hashmi but came out praising Abhay deol more, he really acts very well and you can see it in his eyes. As for Emraan hashmi, he is not bad, in fact he breaks all the stereotypes attached with him with Shanghai and shows his detractors and critics that he can act really well without foreign locations and urban clothes too.I am sure he will get all the 'Best Supporting Actor' award next year but since Dibakar banerjee is best friends with Abhay deol he gave more substantial and impressive role to Abhay. In comparison of Abhay, Emraan has bit small role but he still impresses audience and shines in the role. Kalki is repetitive but is overall okayish and looks cute and charming. Prosenjit chatterjee has a small role, sort of cameo and he excels. Faruque shaikh is superlative. Rest of the cast is perfect for their respective roles.

2 songs of the film 'Bharat mata ki Jai' and 'Morcha' are catchy and will be a rage and anthem in coming days.Background music is good too.Cinematography is top-notch and have captured the nuances and sepia-tone of small town perfectly. The writing is fantastic, though it is Inspired by 'Z' a 1969 novel but the writers have changed many important and substantial things to fit in contemporary India of 2012 for example they have changed the entire second half and have written original story for second half.The camera angles are in accordance with what the scene demands. I would not like to give away any minute details of plot and story, because it will spoil your fun and you will get the link so better you watch it and experience it yourself. Sorry if you were looking for the the plot, go to the next review.

Finally, with the running time of 1 Hour 50 mins i.e 110 Minutes this film is a well edited and crisp thriller which everyone should watch and should'NT miss if they care to see what is happening with our country and how the corrupt politicians are having the last laugh by fooling innocent people. Do watch it. Bharat mata ki Jai

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A political thriller told in a simple earthy manner. Chilling.

Author: madhupill2002-156-591749
8 June 2012

"Until and unless you step out of your comfort zone and try something new, no new grounds will be broken, no new films will be launched, no new stars will be discovered, people won't get to see new stories and our industry will not be injected with new blood," director Dibakar Banerjee recently said.

With his latest film – "Shanghai," a political thriller - he appears to be staying true to his words.

With "Shanghai," which releases today, Mr. Banerjee takes an offbeat look at the drama of coalition politics and bureaucracy in India, featuring actors Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi and Kalki Koechlin in lead roles.

Set in a fictional city called Bharatnagar –set to become the "next Shanghai" as a redevelopment project kicks off – the film starts off with the murder of a social activist who had been opposing the project. The film is an adaptation of Greek novel "Z" by writer Vassilis Vassilikos.

A high-ranking bureaucrat, played by Mr. Deol, is put in charge of the investigation and a local videographer, interpreted by Mr. Hashmi, claims to have key evidence to resolve the case.

Mr. Banerjee has for long been synonymous with films that tackle big issues without being  overly preachy. There's the 2006 comedy drama "Khosla Ka Ghosla," about one family's struggle to get their land back from a property shark, or the well-crafted black comedy about a super thief in his 2008 film "Oye Lucky Lucky Oye."  Then, with his 2010 film "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" –shot entirely on a digicam – he turned to the subject of voyeurism, honor killings and sting operations.

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