64 user 33 critic

Shanghai (2012)

Prime leader of a campaign against a big government project is killed in what appears to be a road accident. An IAS officer is ordered to probe the incident and the veils of falsehood begin to drop.


Dibakar Banerjee


Vasilis Vasilikos (adapted from the novel 'Z' by), Urmi Juvekar (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Top Rated Indian Movies #237 | 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Credited cast:
Emraan Hashmi ... Jogi Parmar
Abhay Deol ... T.A. Krishnan
Prasenjit Chatterjee ... Dr. Ahmedi
Kalki Koechlin ... Shalini Sahay
Supriya Pathak ... Chief Minister Madamji
Tillotama Shome ... Mrs. Ahmedi
Anant Jog ... Jaggu
Pitobash ... Bhaggu
Farooq Shaikh ... Kaul
Ashok Pathak Ashok Pathak ... Auto Driver
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Arvind Goswami Arvind Goswami ... Agency Head
Kiran Karmarkar
Megh Pant Megh Pant ... Damle
Chandrahas Tiwari Chandrahas Tiwari ... Vinod
Scarlett Mellish Wilson ... Tina Ray


Prime leader of a campaign against a big government project is killed in what appears to be a road accident. An IAS officer is ordered to probe the incident and the veils of falsehood begin to drop.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

8 June 2012 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Szanghaj See more »


Box Office


INR 100,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

PVR Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film won critical acclaim. See more »


The scene where Dr Ahmedi lands and is giving an interview to the Journalist the scene switches to TV (showing the same interview), here it is obvious that the scene is shot at a different time since Dr Ahmedi's Beard is heavier in the TV scene plus the men standing at the back between the switch. See more »


Version of Z (1969) See more »


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User Reviews

Shanghai is a raw meat marinated with slow poison.
10 June 2012 | by thepuccacriticSee all my reviews

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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