Ashdoc's movie review---Shanghai

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Ashdoc's movie review---Shanghai

Post by ashdoc on Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:23 am

This film is one which is on the border of parallel and commercial cinema---the pace and story of the movie is that of a commercial film but the acting and the lack of background music harks to art cinema .

In fact the film tries to straddle both sides---art and commercial cinema.....and the triumph of the director lies in the fact that it successfully combines both types of cinema . Without losing out on those aspects which will win it critical acclaim it also keeps the suspense alive and the pace fast , thus keeping the audience interested throughout .

Dr Ahmedi comes from the USA full of idealism to stop a state govt's pet project---a business park which will be built by removing the slums and shanties of people inhabiting the land earmarked for it .

Dr Ahmedi does not want the land to become another Shanghai.....
So what's the connection with Shanghai ??
For those who dont know , China's premiere port city of Shanghai was a city full of slums in the 1980s when China still practiced communism . When the Chinese govt decided to turn capitalistic , it decided that the rundown city needed a makeover . A gleaming new city was built on the former shantytowns---a city that was the envy of countries mired in socialism like India.....a city of glass towers , elegant roads , crisscrossing flyovers , shopping malls , business centers , restaurants , cafes , residential towers and whatnot . But what it hid was an ugly reality . Some 3 million ( yes , 30 lakhs ) of poor people formerly living there had been removed by brute force to the faraway countryside where they were forced to lead their uprooted lives by a brutal govt . They were forbidden to ever return to their ancestral Shanghai for fear that the presence of these poor dirty folk would make the city unclean and not only deter away foreign investors but would expose the harsh reality of the Chinese economic miracle .

But China is an exceptionally bloodstained communist dictatorship while India is a democratic nation where the poor man's voice can be heard.....or so Dr Ahmedi thinks......
How wrong can a man be ??!!
He has irked the powerful establishment which sees profits in thousands of crores endangered by his fiery speeches and his organizing of common people against the project---and pays for it with his life in the end.....

He leaves behind two women---his wife and another woman who loves him madly ( Played by Kalki Koechlin ).....and rather than the wife it is the woman in love who sets off in pursuit of those who tried to kill him . Its a pursuit which pits her against a range of powerful people and inevitably puts her own life in danger . And its only the mad passion of her love thats sustains her in a mission that would have weakened the resolve of the fainthearted......

But those who dare to help her like a video film maker who has a damning tape of those planning the murder are swiftly killed by the all-powerful establishment....and so she has to turn to an unlikely character for aid---the video film-maker's assistant , a bumbling unsophisticated character played by Emraan Hashmi . And she has to hope that Krishnan ( played by Abhay Deol ) , the officer assigned by the govt to investigate the murder of Dr Ahmedi has a little bit of conscience---so he would resist the tremendous pressure on him to close the case and find out the real culprits . Kalki and Emraan themselves are hunted down by the goons who want them dead and have run from pillar to post in dramatic chases to save their skin .

So does Kalki succeed in finding out the killers of the man she loves so much ?? And what about the task of saving the poor peoples' houses for which Dr Ahmedi sacrifices so much ?
The movie has different answers for both.....

I for one found it to be a decent watch......


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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---Shanghai

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:26 am

good movie. splendid acting by abhay deol as the madraasi [sic] bureaucrat and kalki koechelin. farooq sheikh is also doing a lot of character roles these days -- great job as kaul, krishnan's (abhay deol's) senior. deol really sunk into the character. nice to see emraan hashmi do some serious acting. a welcome to prosenjit chatterjee to bollywood (maybe this was not the first b'wood movie he's beeen cast in). not much of raciness in the film but very well made. i think i am biased towards all of abhay deol's movies. verdict 9/10.


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