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A political thriller told in a simple earthy manner. Chilling.
"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.
An average movies with some action and comedy.
Jayasurya performed above average. Movie has some action sequences with all major Malayalam side actors. The director tried story and major guidance for actors.
Comedy is just like any typical Malayalam films. So scenes are casted like director is taken the day off and just instructed the actors who are more less experienced to act scenes. Film is mixed with Tamil sets to create a cross border story line like other such Tamil-Malayalam story line.
It would have been narrated in a different way with cut short on lengthy dialogues at times felt very boring. Talents of veteran actors like Saikumar and Sudduque are less used.
Some places the movie lacks the continual flow of story like the script is done at the set itself.
The film toys with some interesting ideas here and there but none of it really works. The characters for instance look like they have been cut out of cardboard and there is a lifeless feel to them throughout. And more important, the film never quite recovers from a monotony that kills the life of its proceedings.
Nallavan tries hard to be a romantic tale and isn't it distressing then that the romance is absent? There is no attempt to provide some fresh insight into a formulaic story and this is the reason why it ends up being a lot more banal and a lot less perceptive than its makers apparently assume it to be.