8 June 2012 | madhupill2002-156-591749
A political thriller told in a simple earthy manner. Chilling.
"Until and unless you step out of your comfort zone and try something new, no new grounds will be broken, no new films will be launched, no new stars will be discovered, people won't get to see new stories and our industry will not be injected with new blood," director Dibakar Banerjee recently said.
With his latest film – "Shanghai," a political thriller - he appears to be staying true to his words.
With "Shanghai," which releases today, Mr. Banerjee takes an offbeat look at the drama of coalition politics and bureaucracy in India, featuring actors Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi and Kalki Koechlin in lead roles.
Set in a fictional city called Bharatnagar –set to become the "next Shanghai" as a redevelopment project kicks off – the film starts off with the murder of a social activist who had been opposing the project. The film is an adaptation of Greek novel "Z" by writer Vassilis Vassilikos.
A high-ranking bureaucrat, played by Mr. Deol, is put in charge of the investigation and a local videographer, interpreted by Mr. Hashmi, claims to have key evidence to resolve the case.
Mr. Banerjee has for long been synonymous with films that tackle big issues without being overly preachy. There's the 2006 comedy drama "Khosla Ka Ghosla," about one family's struggle to get their land back from a property shark, or the well-crafted black comedy about a super thief in his 2008 film "Oye Lucky Lucky Oye." Then, with his 2010 film "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" –shot entirely on a digicam – he turned to the subject of voyeurism, honor killings and sting operations.