Bollywood films are by far the most predictable ones in global cinema. However, if they promise to defy the done-to-death story line and bring something new, their hype amongst movie enthusiasts automatically rises.
An instance of a film that did not follow the typical Bollywood approach was Dibakar Banerjee’s Khosla Ka Ghosla, which impressed cinema enthusiasts and critics alike and blurred the fine line between the commercial Indian cinema and parallel art cinema. He followed that up by the much celebrated Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye, which even managed to grab a few Filmfare awards despite the fact that the movie had an array of new and amateur actors.
Recently, his latest offering, Shanghai, has become the talk of the town. The film, which stars Abhay Deol and the ‘serial kisser’ Emraan Hashmi, is said to be a political thriller.
Shanghai, as the name goes, may make the viewers think that the film is actually based in China or pertains to some aspect of it but that’s not the case. As the trailer reveals, the film is about an Indian city turning into Shanghai. To find out exactly how this happens, we’d have to watch the film, which is scheduled to release around the world on June 8.
What to expect?
The trailer, however, looks very promising, with beautiful shots, catchy one-liners and above all Hashmi seen in a very different role. The film also stars the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara fame Kalki Koechlin, who has a more serious role this time around unlike in ZNMD.
Shot in Maharashtra, Shanghai is based on the book Z by Greek writer Vassilis Vassilikos and the story revolves around the life of politicians and their greed for power. Keeping Banerjee’s track record in mind, the film, despite the fact that it tilts away from commerciality, has a fair chance of becoming an overnight success, creating a cult of its own in a similar way in which Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye managed to do.
Meanwhile, Hashmi has really grown as an actor and his look in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai has made him step outside the typical playboy label. Directors have loved his acting and his new get-up as a result of which the actor will again be seen in a similar avatar. Additionally, the audience has one more thing to look forward to: Deol and Hashmi in the same frame, which would be an experience in itself.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2012.
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