Entertainment – the cure for Constipation?

Posted: June 10, 2012 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, film
Tags: , ,

….wonders filmmaker Kushan Nandy. And if you are smart and well aware of the discussions in social media platforms, you can connect the dots too.

Last night I watched Shanghai.

The entire 114 minutes of its running time, I did not flinch. Brilliantly scripted, performed and directed, it is a film where every department competes with each other to underplay. A rarity in Indian Cinema today.

I was truly entertained.

There were twenty-four people watching the Friday evening show along with me, a few had dozed off, three men sitting behind me were giggling and farting away and another gentleman was screaming and spitting into his cellphone.

Obviously they weren’t entertained.

Back home, I read the trade reports that claimed a 15% opening. The film hadn’t entertained a soul.

I was the idiot.

Indian Cinema, now almost 100 years old, the largest movie industry in the world says entertainment is the only driving factor that persuades people to go to a movie theatre.

Sad. Because porn entertains too. And you don’t need to pay for it.

Sad. Because even one of the most stressed out, autocratic, poverty-stricken countries, Iran, doesn’t say that. They go out and make A Separation instead.

Sad. Because, entertainment has a new name. Constipation-remedy.

Poverty. Corruption. Quality of Life. Our audience is stressed out, they say. They need a release. Which makes it sound a bit like constipation looking for relief.

And what hits me every Friday, in the name of this entertainment or laxative is more frightening. I see men flying at ninety-six frames per second, defying gravity. I see inane, asinine humor, which doesn’t even make my driver laugh. I see the same item number, repackaged with different breasts every time.

And all these films have not made a penny less than a 100 crores. They have obviously entertained someone, somewhere. Well, quite a few someones who belong to an India I don’t understand. These someones who have discovered laxative and named it entertainment and vice versa.

And yes, I love entertaining cinema. I love Sholay. I love Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I love Hrishikesh Mukherjee. I love Parinda. I love Paan Singh Tomar. I love the Ram Gopal Verma films which were made before the dinosaurs went extinct.

So I will go out and watch Shanghai again. I will hope it picks up. Makes money. So that more people make more Shanghais. So that I get the weekly dose of entertainment I prefer.

Because sir, I am not constipated.

Are you?

(PS – You can read his earlier post here.)

  1. vijendra rai says:

    totally agree with your thoughts….

    • nitin says:

      the cinema which i visited had the next show playing rowdy and it was a healthy crowd while ours was scanty (and that too 1d1s)….understand some part of it but still cant help feeling sad….just hoping this kind of response is not getting replicated everywhere atleast the plexes…….

  2. rajasen says:

    And even the breasts are mediocre. Sigh.

  3. deepak says:

    there you said it .totally agree

  4. “Jinhein naaz hai, Hind par wo kahaan hain…”

  5. I seriously think majority of Indian audience lacks the maturity to appreciate anything other than dumbed down comedy/action.

    I have observed this numerous times before and again it was apparent last night while watching Shanghai. In one of the most intense scenes in the movie, the one where Kalki’s character keeps hitting her maid and her husband, instead of silence, I heard roars of laughter in the posh multiplex audi. Moments like this repeated throughout the movie.

    The future of Bollywood looks extremely bleak at the moment.

  6. AB says:

    I think I needed this post. I just came back from Shanghai. I was planning to watch it on Sunday with friends. Instead, I went to watch with relatives who just wanted to chill out and watch ‘some’ movie to relax, such as other one with fancy posters. I persuaded them to come watch Shanghai, it has got all good reviews and all that.

    While I was watching the movie with all seriousness going with the tone of the movie, and chuckling in bits whenever something special happened, my company was getting uneasy in their seats. They were thinking, this is some serious kind of cinema, we should have gone to RR to laugh a bit. They passed on their judgement a bit on my mind too and as a result, I couldn’t enjoy as much I could have.

    The point I am trying to make here is that we as Indian movie watchers have been subjected with ‘entertaining’ cinema since like always. How can you expect them to all of a sudden accept reality mixed with satire? One shanghai won’t change the scene and our audience will keep liking unrealistic entertainment. Why would they see poverty frustration and good guy losing on screen when they see it daily in the life and in the mirror? Shanghai is just one attempt. We need 1000 more Shanghais, better promoted and compete in terms of money.

    I wanted to enjoy Shanghai more but couldn’t.

  7. Has the movie failed on the ‘Box office’? Time to sing ‘Hum honge kamyaab..’ like Vinod and Sudhir from ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ with Rowdy Rathore poster in the background.

    I wish and pray this deter Dibakar from making more movies. He is the BEST of the lot that we have. More power to him.

    Btw, isn’t there a way to stream the movie on the internet in a legal way, I mean by charging the customer online and showing him the movie?

    I want to watch the film but I cannot!

  8. “I wish and pray this deter Dibakar from making more movies. He is the BEST of the lot that we have. More power to him.”

    *this DOESN’T deter.


  9. sultan says:

    this movie has taken the undercurrent indian film movement to another level. Now that the scores have been settled once and for all for OLLO, LSD and KKG, dibakar banerjee has taken a vow to take it in to a further new place where the pretenders on the previous films wouldn’t be able to come along. he’s also broken the shackles of making the BEST MOVIE WITH WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT as is called by the NATIONAL FILM AWARDS. This movie easily tops the previous films of his on the sheer magnitude of the number of levels it plays on. This is also originality at its very best. Waiting for Anurag Kashyap’s GoW.

  10. sandeepan says:

    with due respect to Dibakar, the film is overrated. lots of brilliant things about it – but the whole never becomes as brilliant as its parts. for a thriller it lacks surprises & it says nothing new as social critique. even the SEZ issue (about which there is lots to talk about) – is just treated with tokenism rather than insight.

    its actually DB’s weakest film – and failed to engage me through its run. but i applaud his bravery for making it and hope he keeps making brave films that up the ante for other makers.

  11. prince shah says:


  12. Bambai Ka Babu says:

    Should I call you a chor Mister Kushan Nandy or a pseudo intellectual who doesn’t practice what he preaches and whose attempt at ‘cinema’ was this – http://yakpad10.blogspot.in/2003/06/88-antop-hill-movie-review.html
    Okay more on that later. Anyways the rest stuff below will not be targeted at you Kushan.
    Shanghai is a good film but not a great film that deserves such high end superlatives most of which many reviewers seemed to have pre-written before they began to write the actual review. Its the kind of a film which definitely gets their name in the ads or on DVD slip covers. The problem is you guys are making more harm to the film than promoting or spreading the good word about it. It is disappointing to see the so called top ranking critics becoming what Taran Adarsh is doing for third rate mindless entertainers thats – over rating those. If you laugh at Taran Unadarsh then any lay cinema lover has an equal right to laugh at your silliness.
    The super angry ranting on twitter against an obvious massy film like RR was not necessary to such an extent. I could understand that Rowdy Rathore is a pathetic film but then there were certain things post its release that made me wonder initially. But then following is the impression I get now – The way a particular twitter group of Dibakar fan boys went hammer and tongs against it to the extent of a unwanted undeserved more than obvious post here about the same last week, began showing their insecurity about Shanghai. What if RR became a bigger monstrous hit. Would it give Shanghai lesser shows? What if more people went to watch RR would those people spend a Rs.1000 plus again immediately for am off beat movie like Shanghai? So lets spread a huge anti Rowdy rant around non stop. Then after Shanghai released, lets spread the word around constantly like its the best thing happened to Indian Cinema. Let us keep Dibakar on a higher pedestal than he deserves to be so soon. Call him the best director of India and only filmmaker giving him competition is Rajkumar Hirani. Guys Hirani is making a different kind of cinema which never fails to entertain consistently right from the auto driver to Mr.Nandy’s driver to the snobbiest of Bollywood cinema watcher. Khosla Ka Ghosla was one such film that Dibakar made but post it he has not a made single film that would be redefining Indian Cinema. OLLO was a plot-less film but had terrific detailing and casting but the same critics who would rant at the lack of a plot in a massy film over looked the ‘no plot’ blunder. Naturally the film never managed to get people to the cinema halls the way KKG did. LSD was not really original and was again grossly over rated. The entire over hyped marketing by Ekta Kapoor and online propaganda by Dibakar fan boys killed the film for me.
    I have seen Shanghai and I liked it despite its prominent (and conveniently overlooked by critics) flaws. But now after reading such extreme reactions in favour of it is making me want to hate it.
    Okay I am just an average cinegoer but what if you fellas are generating the same reaction in many more like me?
    I am desperately waiting for Gangs of Wasseypur releasing on 22nd June being a big AK fan. But now I can only imagine how much Teri Meri Kahaani will be trolled on that day. Oh gosh even Brave is releasing that day. I hope it is spared at the least!

    • Aditya Mehta says:

      I totally agree with Bambai Ka Babu. Shanghai is not a bad film, but it’s not even a great movie. In fact, I went for it with reasonably high expectations and came out bored. I don’t mind slow movies that are heavy on the brain, but I certainly have a problem with flicks that bore the hell out of me.

      The way people were talking about the Shanghai, I thought it was the next Satya. Although it’s unfair to expect a Satya from every filmmaker, I really want to make more movies make me feel the way Satya did.

      Shanghai is highly overrated and I, despite being a fan of offbeat cinema, found it very boring.

      By the way, Emraan Hashmi acted very well in the movie, but his acting didn’t blow me away or anything.

      Shanghai, like Emraan in it, is good but not great.

  13. This is not so different to the rest of the world. Most of the US film-going audience would prefer to watch Transformers 4, rather than any of the smaller, independent films that we love. Remember the US woman who tried to sue the distributors of Drive, because it turned out to be too boring?

    Our school recently held a mexican film festival in Hyderabad. We were warned not to do this – people said that no one will turn up. Instead, we had a packed cinema for 6 films over 4 days, and after each screening, much of the audience stayed back to debate the films.

    India has plenty of fans of great cinema, like you and me and the thousands of people who read this blog – but that is probably not enough to support a film release over hundreds of screens.

    The mistake that filmmakers/distributors make is to blatantly ignore what we know about the taste of the cinema-going masses. Sure, films can have a serious or political message, but they have to be entertaining and fun if you want the film to be a box office hit. Ignore that and your film will struggle, even with stars attached.

    Despite the age of Indian cinema, it is still young, in terms of maturity. The intellectual growth will come as multiplexes and digital distribution continue to spread across the country – allowing smaller films in smaller theatres without the cost of prints – , and filmmakers/distributors employ more sophisticated marketing strategies than billboards and music releases to connect with niche audiences.

  14. Upasana says:

    I agree… exactly same case in Singapore.. I was surprised to know that Shanghai got released here same day as it did in India.. I was desperately waiting for the movie and watched it on friday evening third show.. through out the movie i was glued and was awestruck with everything in it.. it was poetic display of an India everyone lives in but claims not to be living in… I agree with you in watching the movie again so that we have more movies like these coming… For a poet like me it was a blissful dose of food for thought..

    • upasaana i m from singapore too,let us meet some day.for dinner.nice to know u r a poet….i am a good listener.i like listening to poems.why waste time and money on movies…if u want food for thought i can give u.i have it in my pocket.i promise to wrap it in gift paper n present it to u.

  15. I got the same experience.. people just left the theatre..i guess they did not understand the movie… I wonder whether films of the style of rowdy rathore are becoming trademark of Indian cinema..

  16. shalu says:

    Here is the review I wrote on Paan Singh Tomar for bollyspice http://bollyspice.com/38345/paan-singh-tomar-movie-review I gave it 4 stars.

    The reason for the above bit is that I knew I would be looked down upon by the lovers of quality when I say that I found Rowdy Rathore a really good fun film.

    I saw Shanghai yesterday and found it a nice film. But that is it. It was not path-breaking, not hard-hitting, not poignant. I was just a ‘nice’ attempt with zero entertainment value.

    The Indian audience is not dumb. In fact our audience is very intelligent (yes I’m including those who loved Rowdy Rathore). Give them an engaging/entertaining film like Kahaani, Paan Singh Tomar or Vicky Donor and they will make it a big success. Give them a film with a great message/intention but a boring narrative and they will reject it.

    Shanghai is going to crash from Monday – not because the audience is not intelligent enough but because the film is not good enough.

  17. While I share your disgust over degrading public taste and intellectual decadence of the so called masses, this film din’t really work for me. His trademark wit only showed up occasionally and the proceedings were all very predictable.

    DB has made a name for himself over the years form making small budget films that are profitable even if radical in format (which is a rare achievement and this is due to this profitability even the mainstream media is eager to give him positive reviews)…

    But in this case good casting and admirable details eventually do not add up to the climactic high that one would have expected from him… all politicos are crooks… don’t we know that already?

    I felt that it remained too loyal to the source Z by only changing the setting but not exploiting it much. There could have been more exploration of the impacts of SEZ & economic reforms & its pros and cons. Instead we got the same old political villains without any depth in their characters. Was it dumbed down for the same masses that are being derided here?

    It does not work as a thriller because it is too obvious… It does not work as a socio-political commentary either because it barely scratches the surface…

  18. duke says:

    this holier than thou attitude of the indie film makers and the chamcha brigade is what actually holding the whole indie cinema back, they dont have the balls to agree that they can also go wrong while making movies and hence posts like this.. Shanghai was no Paan Singh Tomar, all that same Junta screaming “content is finally King” and eulogising the revolution at the time of PST is now calling that the audience in INdia is chutiya when no body liked Shanghai…and lets talk Shanghai also, its realistic, bleak satire but who has to say that it is not compromised cinema??? What was the need for songs which have nothing to do with the story and movie.. are just poetic rants against the system. You want me to believe jogi will spout words like “gur bh hai gobar bhi, sone ki chiriya” .. what was the need to shoot a promotional video with imran and kalki romantic angle when there is nothing like that in the movie…the item song for fuck sake?? and most of all you want me the believe the asinine, unrealistic, purely commercial ending which is so removed from the tone of the whole movie.. agar realistic banana to have the balls to go the whole distance and then rant about constipated audience, you cant pander to market while writing your climax and then go on a higher plane when the audience rejects the movie as a whole..

    • Varun Varunilletan says:

      I think that song was just put in to get some of the Rowdy Rathore crowd. You, know, swaying them with the bewbs.

  19. Amit says:

    A coterie of people can declare this to be the movie-of-the-decade and celebrate among themselves. But for a majority, there is nothing in the movie which they have not seen before. Plus, in the name of going into the details, this is painfully slow. Seems DB is taking himself too seriously. Also, I think its high time I should stop trusting blindly what AK recommends. It has been a few times now that it has not worked for me, at-least. And saying that this is the best work than anything that AK/ DB has done so far is taking it too far. Of-course, people can always label that I don’t understand the movie and that is fine with me.

  20. SAdhu says:

    Bhai saheb..
    Kaunse hall mein film dekhne gaye the ?

  21. felinei says:

    a boring first half kills the film..and really there need be more sarcasm in such movies…like the charachter of ahmedi should have been ripped apart too..not just subtly but directly…the kind of double standards such ppl show by keeping ngos which churn white money from black. just his sexuality and his wifes changeover is not enuf sarcastic.martin scorseses 80s cinema had more intellectual sarcasm which entertained. And to find such stories do we really need to get inspired by Z, ull find scores of more original stories if u meet relatives of assassined reporters/opposition rabble rousers.So overall taking away nothing from the oppostion of rowdy crap from south india, this film in itself is highly superflous and flawed.Atleast to challenge a southindian copy, dont give us a bad greek copy.

  22. had never expected dibakar to fuck up so bad.i hv been his staunch supporter.i liked all his 3 past films,but this one disappointed me.now i understand why all this hype and hoopla…and anurag’s comment praising this film was about.he knew this is the worst of dibakar,so he showed his support..

    i think dibakar has lost it.every director has a creative period…and then they go downhill and become a joke for one and all.we all see what happened to rgv…even a great director like hrishikesh mukherjee made a stupid last film….jhoot bole kauaa kaate……..there was a time and age when dibakar had it,now its over.it feels sad,but one cant do anything about it.
    because i loved the man so much i would sincerely hope he stops making movies….i dont want him to become another rgv.
    it was evident that dibakar has lost it…first…from the fact he choose to copy from the west(whereas all his other films were original ideas)
    then the songs were pathetic..and unnecessary…picturization was unnatural n sucked
    the ending was certainly not that of a thriller…infact the whole movie was devoid of that thriller quality
    even as a drama ..or satire…the script and the execution were half hearted and poor
    abhay’s tamil accent sucked.kalki looked like an alien..and was lost
    the kissy boy..looked like a nautanki.
    the irritating attempts to give the whole droll drama a sense of realism…made without conviction…….irked.
    but i wud not say more.i will only say dibakar bhai…i loved ur work…no one did more than me…but now u hv lost it.pls dont make a joke of urself…i dont want the image i have of u in my heart get tarnished.the three good films u made r enuff for me ..to immortalize yu.if u…like those others from ur indie brigade care for good cinema..then pls quit it.but i guess u will not….all the talk of good cinema is a lot of trash u feed us up with……

  23. Raam T says:

    Great article, and very succinctly put. Will stand up for great cinema 100 times over mass crass crowd pleasers. Will anyone watch or refer to Housefull 2 or Ready 10, 20 or 50 years from now? Not a hope…

  24. Fatema says:

    At the risk of sounding holier-than-thou, everyone who didn’t like it, watch it again. With an open mind.

    Shanghai for me was soul-satisfying cinema after Omkara, which to me is a pitch perfect movie. DB’s outdone himself. But then we already knew, if someone can do something like this, it’s him.


  25. Ajay Nair says:

    Another friday…And comes Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai…If its a political thriller, then its without the thrills…A just about watchable film which left me unsatisfied as comparable to making love to a hot woman with strong features, but the lady in question is bad on bed.

    The film has its moments and a worthy effort, but when a cricketer hits a century and if it does not lead the team to win, then all the effort is in vain.

    Prosenjit is good in a 10 min cameo, but never did i feel he had a command on Urdu. Emraan though charming is hardly there post intermission, Farookh Shaikh shows why he is a veteran and Abhay Deol impressed me the most. But Kalki grates on the nerves with so many unsolved questions revolving around her character and its high time we dont see her in Hindi Cinema by taking a sabbatical.

    Though the author may have got a constipated audience around, mine was without the frills but they were disappointed in leaving the hall as I could overhear some discussions.

    Now coming to the hype and the way it was generated is the thing that actually scares me because it leads to an amount of feeling cheated which leads to strong reactions after getting out of the hall…Wished neither Anurag and the coterie had not overhyped the film and the critics show some credibility in making fair judgements….Sad as Dibakar had a great material on hand and it is nowhere near OLLO/KKG.

  26. Priyankar says:

    I can’t understand why there is this backlash against Shanghai, people going to the extent of saying Dibakar has lost it and he should stop making films. It might not be his best work but it is a very good, wonderfully detailed film. And please, Kahaani was way over-hyped, with ridiculously massive holes in the plot. PST had a good first half and a dragging second half, held together only by Irfan Khan’s performance. If people went to Shanghai expecting a major revelation at the end, they were bound to be disappointed. Political corruption is an age-old story. What matters is the treatment, the nuances, which I felt were captured. Whatever was so good about the movie had nothing to do with the thriller aspects of it. Also, Shanghai is not a ‘message’ film by any stretch of imagination.

  27. duke says:

    Its really sad, the chamcha brigade like Kushan is turning the indie scene into something similar to bollywood which has its own star system.. AK, Dibakar will always make great movies, Shanghai is a master piece, audience is constipated and so on..
    the truth is AK and DB and other film makers already have it so tough , they are highly individualistic film makers who are fighting to get their films funded by the mainstream and have to combine “I don’t give a fuck” attitude with some massy storytelling.. commercial failures for big budget films hurt them more than say someone like Vikram Bhatt (who finances his movies??).. cos they might have to get back to their bootstrapping ways,
    but then you can’t have it both ways, DB can’t build his cred through breezy, feel good stuff like Khosla ka Ghosla, insider docudramas like OLLO, LSD and then when given a bigger budget makes something so colorless, unoriginal and tedious like Shanghai..

    Yeh to kucch nahi hai,, just wait for the week leading upto GOW release, that hype is gonna be EPIC!! overhype karke khud ki hi gaind marwayege..

  28. Prasun Banerjee says:

    Went to Cinemax in Inorbit Pune for a Saturday 8 30 show … 70 to 80 % full … went to cinemax inspite of ESquare being just 5 mins from home since shows were full … audience seemed ok … maybe this was an exception show …

    lets also look from another angle … problem is how much can you spend on movies on a weekend … loved alien so have to see Prometheus , have a kid so have to watch Madagascar … and then there was Shanghai as well … also had a backlog from previous week (cabin in the woods and snow white) !!!

    oh and yes … loved Shanghai … though i still like Khosla and LSD more …

  29. RK says:

    agree with duke

  30. Vikas says:

    I liked (not loved) the movie but can completely understand why general audience are not liking it. The movie is very slow with a throughout gloomy tone. I understand topic was serious but then you could still have witty dialogues to compensate for that. The first half material so much potential and some well written humorous dialogues/ scenes would have bought audiences and they would have been more than willing to accept a more serious second half with an unconventional ending. Satire normally has an inherent humor/irony which was clearly missing. You have to entertain your audience and I don’t mean the Rowdy Rathore way. The problem with Dibakar is that he seems to focus to much on detailing (OLLO and Shanghai now) and not that much on dialogues and hence end up with a well staged but not that engaging scenes. He mastered both in kKG and part of LSD but failed miserably in OLLO and Shanghai. While critics love detailing (and hence mostly positive reviews) normal audience are looking for just positive engagement

    Irony is that this could have been another kahaani (in terms of collection) but the biggest irony is that we may probably lose Dibakar of KKG unless people close to him start giving him an honest feedback. Somebody needs to tell him this is an average movie and definitely not as good as it has been made out

  31. duke says:

    The “audience” liked LSD, Paan Singh Tomar, Vicky Donor and Khosla ka Ghosla , you cant bastardize the same “audience” if they reject any movie purely on content..just proves that you DONOT respect YOUR AUDIENCE in the first place..OR it proves that your real “audience” for movies like Shanghai is still very small…will help in keeping the budget in check next time..and in all this hullabaloo I still do not think Dibakar Banerjee would be worried at all.. he would have liked a weekend gross bigger than 12 Cr, but I don’t think this movie is a dud at all, it should make some profits, His cred and positive reviews have definitely helped though word of mouth is not there..His reputation as a good and important director is still intact(which I feel is more important), the movie has made a good impact by virtue of its theme which is unoriginal but honest in its portrayal.. rahi baat about commercial returns..you make a movie about money grabbing, corruption, greed, and socialism and then after release crib maaro ke “haye raam Rowdy Rathore ne meri picture se zyaada paisa banaya” .. be shameless like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ke boss maine paise kamaane ke liye Rowdy Rathore banayi..
    If movies became hits solely because of “good intent and social themes” then “Khele hum je jaan se” should have been a blockbuster..tab kisi ke conscience nahi jaaga.. but did I see the same critics shredding Ashutosh Gowariker to pieces cos he is not part of the brat pack..

  32. This was a marketing and promotion issue, not really the merits or demerits of the film. I personally feel the climax could have been explained a bit more, but that’s it, nothing else.
    People, compare this with Peepli Live. Not much different. But, remember how it was promoted? The songs, the cast, the crew and their explanations of their work done fronted by Aamir the marketeer. This had to be marketed that way with intelligent trailers that left unanswered questions. So, there was a gap. What you are seeing in lack of business is that gap in understanding by the producers.
    Also, Emraan has his image and that is of his trysts with women. A section may have been put off by the lack of that here.

  33. odshek says:

    didnt the same audience make chak de india/tzp/rdb/vicky donor/kahaani/paan singh/devd etc hit? 🙂
    shanghai was a mediocre predictable film so failed at box office, let ppl watch what they want to watch…stop complaining

  34. superman says:

    ahha and the hyneas keep on coming

    1st PST khaani and VD had nbo comptetion from RR and if they did they would have been wash out from day one .

    Why compare shanghai with khaani when former belong to diffrent genre and more unsafe than later. Khaani is overrated film with cliche twist to spoonfeed the audience in name of inttligent cinema which it was not. VD again a sex comedy and these tupe of films works just wait for Kya kool hain hum 2 . PST didnt shatter any box office records did it ? if shanghai had open slot like PST then it would have made same numbers .

    Shanghais is diffrennt than 3 because it requires audince to use their brain and need engagement not everyu thing can be spoonfed like khaani.

    SWADES didnt work same audince, ROCKET SINGH did not work with same audince and now SHANGHAI wont work

    CDI again a safe film the underdog theme same with TZP .

  35. Mara Maas says:

    I saw Shanghai in Los Angeles last Saturday with English subtitles, and loved it. Most of the other people in the theater seemed to like it also. I watched the movie “Z” again today, which was the original Oscar winning movie that Shanghai was taken from, and found it boring and slow compared to Shanghai. Shanghai has a glitter and energy from the Indian street life that carries the viewer along non-stop (except the interval) to the end. I wish more Western movie goers appreciated how good Hindi cinema can be.

  36. Prassana says:

    Very well written! Didn’t have time to watch it over the weekend. Anticipated that it would be nice but your blog definitely confirmed it. Thanks.

    P.S. keep your humor up cause it’s brilliant!

  37. chrismaelzer says:

    no doubt shanghai is a good film (but not a great film). However I say so only because all the actors from the unknown to the well known had acted flawlessly. This film according to me does not belong to the director but to ALL THE ACTORS. Each of them deserve an award!

  38. Rahul says:

    Entertainment ka matlab yeh nahi ki logon ko hasate raho. Aamir Khan says that and the whole country tunes in to watch his show. If you thought Shanghai was predictable then Satyamev is surely predictable. Yet the whole country tunes in to watch something if they just bothered to read the complete newspaper and not skipped over headlines, glossed over celebrity pictures and headed straight into cricket scores & write ups.

    Truth is the message does not matter anymore, its all about who’s saying it. This society is hollow enough to buy a product that they didn’t like the first time round but will do so again because their favourite movie star endorses it.

    Bharat Mata Ki Jai indeed.

  39. I know mine is a late entry in this debate oh how good – ok – bad Shanghai is….The best movies i have seen are the most simple too. A movie however grand or larger than life is a story telling medium period. And IMO the one line which aptly describes the movie is “The more things change the more they remain the same ” and the movie delivers the in a simple albeit underplayed sort of way. I loved the performances of Emraan Hashmi and Abhey Deol .Honestly am quite shocked to see Emraan act instead of kissing (It’s simple what he is famous for ) and IMO he stole the show from Abhay Deol. The support cast was quite good too but they could have found someone else to play Kalki’s role ,She was quite bad in this.
    The movie reminded of a Kanye West video (I know it’s a strange connection ) .The song called Power ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L53gjP-TtGE ) is a 5 minute track but the video is for 1:30 mins only,I initially thought it was a teaser but later realized that it was the full video .So dug up on it and came to know that the video is replete with visual motifs and once you know the meaning for each the video conveys a solid and quite strong message in its 1:30 mins running time than 1 hour documentary
    My point is Shanghai is quite similar , The movie is replete with visual motifs ,It’s filled instances which makes it a complete story .The problem i feel lies with the audience than the filmmaker.For an audience who is so fed on The Good Guy – The Bad Guy story ,The audience is used to things being explained to them to the last detail . That audience will find it difficult to understand a movie in which you have to connect the dots . For such an audience the movie will feel incomplete . For me ,My pain lies in watching this perfect movie in the last possible show rather than the first show (WORK ..Grrrr) . I long to see this movie again and hope he make more movies like this .I am not bashing RR ,But I hope we as an audience gets to a stage where a movie like this and Paan Singh Tomar has a splendid run along with The super – hero flicks from our Super – Stars

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