Dibakar Banerjee's 'Shanghai' is an intense political thriller that has a tight script and commendable acting holding the plot together all along. Banerjee's plots are rooted in reality and this one explores the issue of illegal land acquisition.
An upcoming International Business Park (IBP) holds the promise of transforming a small Indian town into Shanghai. On the eve of its launch, a social activist Dr Ahmedi (Prosenjit Chatterjee), who is protesting illegal land acquisition by the multi-national company, is killed by a speeding truck. The professor's adherents believe that this was a political conspiracy, devised and executed by the state's ruling party.
Was it an accident or a premeditated murder attempt? Shalini Pearson Sahay (Kalki Kochelin) fights a lone battle to unravel the murder mystery and seeks the help of a shady porn filmmaker Jogi (Emraan Hashmi). A high-ranking bureaucrat, T.A. Krishnan (Abhay Deol) is brought in to investigate the case but the ministry doesn't really care about the evidence or the findings.
The director manages to create real characters that can make you sense and experience their frustration as they try to negotiate through a maze where there's death and threat looming large at every turning. The nexus between criminals and political parties becomes impossible to penetrate and the search for justice seems completely futile.
Banerjee gets solid performances from his lead cast Abhay, Emraan and Kalki. Prosenjit manages to impress even in his small role. With 'Shanghai' Dibakar Banerjee proves once again that he knows his craft and is here to stay.
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