Instantly liked the movie. Unarguably, one of the better Bollywood movies of the year. I would count "Phans gaya re Obama" and "Shor" as some of the finest products of coming of age Indian cinema.
If I may take the liberty, I perceive "Shor" as a "Dhobi Ghat" (DB) on crack. While DB is very subtle, understated and subdued, "Shor" is pulsating, vibrant, chaotic and tantalizing. Snippets of dark humor here and there, but nothing surmounting to the backdrop of Mumbai. Again, unlike DB the story lines never cross, nor do the characters inter-wine. However, the crisp editing and repeated cuts to cyclical plots make it seem that way. The film essays eleven days worth of events in the lives of three different sets of inhabitants trying to slug it out in Mumbai City leading up to the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi.
Three bootleggers (Tilak, Mandook and Ramesh) live off cheap thrills, carrying out petty crimes, and following up with debauchery in local bars. An expatriate Abhay, relocates to Mumbai to start a business. And an aspiring cricketer, Sawan, looks to make a big name for himself. It is hard to say weather these guys seek out troubles or is it the other way round. Abhay faces local turbulence in the form of street ruffians who demand protection money, and cannot seem to make the city welcoming. He wants to like it, but can't seem to like it. The cricketers' despair is to overcome the extraordinary competition by bribing the officials with money. And Tilak has a plan for future and sees his business expanding if he takes up more responsibilities.
The only common thread which resonates with the" Shor in the city" is the metamorphosis of these inhabitants. Abhay, does he what he has to do; grows out of his mainstream sophistication and grabs the bull by its horns. Sawan, disowns the loot, that he so meticulously plans, for something better than his obsession. Tilak gets a breather and walks out unscathed, as he watches the kid dance to the tune of Ganesha in full glory. Mandook and Ramesh, cannot seem to let go of their tomfoolery, which leads to their predicaments. In doing so, all of them find themselves closer to their hearts and lovers.
The music is quite good. Most of the tracks play when people are running around or riding their bikes. Then there is beautiful depiction of disorder, as the city itself morphs into a loud and tumultuous world. Edgy direction and low-key actors, excluding Tusshar Kapoor, bounce off the screen as every day folks which are very identifiable in sync with the script. Sendhil Ramamoorthy (Abhay) looks radiant and very different from his Mohindar of "Heroes". Shor is a different movie in a very real sense and a very decent watch.
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