Cast: Abhay deol, Pitobash Tripathy, Kalki Koelchin, Emraan hashmi, Prosenjit Chatterjee.
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Length: 1.50 hours approximately.
Adapted from Vissili Vassilikos “Z”, SHANGHAI directed by Dibakar Banerjee is a film that only ends up trying to be different. Gallop it or not, it is deathly slow and very boring post-intermission when the episodes slide down very discordantly and the story hardly moves! Packed in a fictional place called “Bharat Nagar” the film has variety of character and each has his own job to do in this town. If we look at the brighter side of this exhaustingly pedestrian political thriller, there’s some very well handled scene just when the film opens. But maintaining the pace and remaining inside the topic is something what SHANGHAI never peeped at.
To be very frank, the scenes aren’t quite unique or the plot which takes too much time to come on point also has some loop holes. The proceedings get stretched and the momentum never quite takes its flight. The execution is way too different but very inefficient because there are several things happen in this place and each story is displayed alternatively. Thus without the part is completed, the director jumps on the second and then third, and then comes back to first. Consistency is imbalanced and complexity reaches heights. The director assumes as if the viewers knows everything about what the film is all about, and doesn’t even care to explain before he begins.
Bleary and strictly average first half makes up for few hiccups, but later on the story never takes a notch ahead post intermission. In an already drowning film, the things become worsen when you will see the end- point where SHANGHAI could’ve scored some marks. One wonders, why the director maintained so much of gap between each dialogue. One remains disgusted to see the dialogue coming after a long gap. The editing is one of the major culprit.
The two songs- “Bharat mata” and “Imported Kamariya” are good on ears. The former one is very catchy and well choreographed. The script has its share of highs and lows, its just that Banerjee failed to explore the highs in a flourishing way! The cinematography is good because the place is completely fictional and the atmosphere is still to be created.
Emraan Hashmi does a good job and has some good dialogues to deliver. Abhay Deol is saddled with a weak role, though he puts him up well in his role. Kalki’s character becomes more of a caricature because the weird material written for her. Pitobash is superb, though he has very less to do.
SHANGHAI lacks poignancy and also lacks staunch execution. It bores to death and demands too much of endurance which one really cannot insure. It had a game changing topic, but its just a lost opportunity. Desperate attempt, but sadly its colossally disappointing! We surely could have got much better out of this.
Rating- 1.5/5 (Poor)