Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shanghai - Movie Review

Watched the 1969 movie 'Z' a year ago and found it really interesting. The murder of a leftist leader and how the government tries to cover up was well shown. Shanghai is an adaptation of the novel by the same name by Vasillis Vasillikos and its amazing how perfectly it fits in even today. In fact I liked 'Shanghai' better - something about the context I suppose.

A leftist leader Ahmadi is coming to a state capital to protest against the land acquisition for a SEZ. His old student and girl friend Shalini who resides in the town and who helps his movement gets a warning that he will be killed if he comes to the city. Soon after his speech he in a small hall, in full public view, he is mowed down by a mini truck by a drunken driver and goes into coma. The police claim they did their best. The CM orders an enquiry and appoints a young, idealistic IAS officer Krishnan to head the enquiry. Krishnan uncovers enough to find that there is more to it than meets the eye. But when he finally gets his hand on some footage that links the chief suspect, the opposition leader Deshji with the government, he finds that he cannot wash his hands off. Bodies keep dropping as the opposition tries to eliminate evidence but  Shalini with the help of photographer Jogi Parmar give him enough evidence to topple the government and get a full blown investigation ordered. Enough to get Ahmadi's wife installed as the next CM. The last shot is ironic - the truck driver who mowed down Ahmadi is shown driving the dozer that begins the razing of the Bharat Nagar village which Ahmadi was trying to protect from the SEZ.

Dibakar Banerjee is a wonderful director and I love his films. I would have loved watching this on screen. Brilliant stuff from Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi, Kalki, Farooque Shaikh. For those who enjoy political thrillers and a racy style of story telling, a must watch. Go get the DVD.

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