Movies

Shanghai is a boring fare

MUMBAI: Shanghai is based on Costa Gravas‘ 1969 French political thriller ‘Z‘, which was based on Vassilis Vassilikos 1966 novel of the same name.









Producers: Ajay BIjli, Sanjeev K Bijli.
Director: Dibakar Banerjee.
Cast: Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Kalki Koechlin, Farooque Shaikh, Supriya Pathak Kapoor, Anant Jog, Pitobash Tripathy, Tillotama Shom.

A dream that the local government was selling to its masses in Maharashtra, that of making Shanghai out of Mumbai, inspires the title of the film without much relevance to the theme. A ruling coalition government plans to build an international business park by destroying poor people‘s slums but, as it turns out, it is just another money making scandal involving vested interests in the ruling coalition. Alas, rather than be a paean to the classic novel and film, Shanghai is rather a dirge for them. The film and its script know not where they are going! Till the film is half way through, you don‘t even know who is on which side! To make matters worse, all secrets are open to public including who could be the real culprit.

Abhay Deol, an IAS officer, heads an ambitious project for his local government, which is called International Business Park; a project being built at the cost of settlements of poor slum dwellers by grabbing their land and resettling them miles away! The park is a prestige issue for the CM, Supriya Pathak Kapoor, and her coalition partner, Kiran Karmarkar; it is their prized trophy to win the ensuing elections. However, there is an advocate, a crusader, fighting for the cause of slum dwellers in Professor Ahmedi, a professor in the US and an author who has flown down to Mumbai from the US on a twin engine propeller airplane! Mr Ahemdi, played by Prosenjit, may be a poor man‘s idol but, from the looks of it, he is quite a debauch, in that, even as he lands in the city, he happens to have a film starlet for company. He has married one of his students and romancing yet another one, Kalki Koechlin; so much for being an idol of the poor masses.


Koechlin is a crusader standing by her professor in the US, but her father is behind bars for a Rs 400 million fraud. If he is innocent, she does not care to fight for his cause and if he is guilty, she has no status to fight against government corruption!


Prosenjit defies all bans and protests to carry on with his rally and address the slum dwellers when he is run over by a vehicle and that is where the other lead actor, Emraan Hashmi, steps in, in the same garb and character he has donned in his umpteen previous films but made to look ugly here for whatever reason. He is a street-smart tapori, a videographer covering political rallies as well as shooting porn videos. It is while shooting a promotional video for Kiran Karmarkar that he has unknowingly recorded a plan to murder Prosenjit being discussed on phone.


Prosenjit is on death bed and an inquiry commission headed by Abahy Deol is set up. His chief mentor in the bureaucracy, chief secretary, Farooque Shaikh, wants him to wrap up the investigation as a judgment error by the police. The police help is not forthcoming either since the police chief is as much a part of the murder plan as well as because some enmity he has with Deol for whatever reasons.


While the witnesses, including Pitobash Tripathy, who carried out the plan along with Anant Jog, are killed at random in road accidents, Hashmi realizes he has the proof of the plan on his computer hard disk. Deol is shocked to know who is behind these crimes, viewer is not; the suspense is hardly well guarded.


The script of Shanghai is patchy with characters poorly etched and a lot of things taken for granted or left unexplained; it is also slow paced. Direction is lacklustre; crowd scenes seem tight and look like shot in one go and used at various places in the film. Musically, the one showpiece song, Bharatmata ki jai…, is a mass number which can‘t be expected to patronise this film.


Performance wise Deol is restrained in keeping with his character. Shaikh puts up one more of his natural acts. Hashmi is good, Tripathy is excellent. Kiran Karmarkar could do with more expressions. Kalki Koechlin does not quite gel in the set up. Prosenjit‘s character is badly sketched and he is consigned into oblivion after a few scenes. Anant Jog, Tillotama Shom and Supriya Pathak are okay.


Shanghai is a badly made film which is a boring fare. Having opened to poor response, it is expected to only slide further as reports spread.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/16/pvr_0.jpg?itok=UZKfyV-h
PVR acquires minority stake in US luxury theatre chain

PVR Ltd (PVR) will acquire a minority stake in US-based luxury restaurant and theatre iPic-Gold Class Entertainment (iPic).

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/15/sunil-lulla_1.jpg?itok=sqgylncT
Eros reports higher profit margin despite fewer releases

BENGALURU: Sunil Lulla-led Eros International Media Limited (Eros) reported 21 per cent margin (on operating income) for consolidated profit after tax (PAT) for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18) as compared with 12.8 per cent margin for the corresponding quarter a last ago. The...

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/31/inox1.jpg?itok=CpHFAdho
Inox reports increase in revenue, profits for second quarter

BENGALURU: Indian cinema chain Inox Leisure Limited (Inox) has reported improved revenue and net profit after tax (PAT) for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2-18, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year (Q2-17, year ago quarter). Inox revenue from...

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/31/Grand-Challenge.jpg?itok=Eg01vsKl
1700 films received on ending violence against women film contest

NEW DELHI: Around 1700 entries from over 600 colleges have come in response to a campaign launchged earlier this year for two-minute films on generating debate and promote positive change in cultural and social norms around the value of women in India. The campaign ‘#BasAbBahutHogaya – Enough is...

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/28/TP_Aggarwal.jpg?itok=WSDOM3Rj
Reduce GST on film industry, IMPPA pleads to FM Jaitley

NEW DELHI: The Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) has urged the government to fix 5 per cent as the maximum GST rate that should be charged on all goods and services connected with the entertainment industry including entertainment tax.

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/27/pvr.jpg?itok=O3ssMyZ4
PVR reports lower numbers for second quarter

Indian entertainment and exhibition company PVR Limited (PVR) reported a slight decline in total revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2-18, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter (y-o-y). Operating profit (EBIDTA), net profit after tax (PAT) and total...

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/24/Bahubali%202_0.jpg?itok=jd72CACi
Baahubali 2 catapults Sony Max across genres and in Hindi movies genre

BENGALURU: Baahubali 2 raked in viewership for Sony Max as the channel topped Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) weekly ratings for Top 5 Hindi Movie channels - HSM (U+R) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals for week 41 of 2017 (Saturday, 7 October 2017 to Friday, 13 October 2017). Sony Max was...

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/23/Priya_Giri_Desai-David_Schwartz.jpg?itok=salialb2
Women filmmakers' northeast works to be highlighted at India fest in NY

NEW DELHI: Three films from northeast India and a special focus on films made by women filmmakers will be the highlights of the second edition of the India Kaleidoscope Film Festival (IKFF) to be held in New York next month. The festival is being presented by the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI)...

Movies Hindi
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/21/Secret%20Superstar.jpg?itok=6bQiSsgV
Secret Superstar: Patchy underdog movie riding on Aamir's fame

There have been numerous films on a protagonist going against the tide to fulfil his ambition and childhood dream. Usually, in films, such aspirants come from second rung cities, small towns or mofussil India. That adds to the sympathy or the underdog quotient as the script’s requirement.

Movies Hindi

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories