“This is a political thriller that truly looks at how politics – basically levers of power exercised remotely in hallowed chambers of the governing class – effects our lives in a very direct and fundamental manner without us being aware of it,” says Dibakar in his official notes, inter alia answering the fundamental question posed to fiction: ‘Why should I care?’
“The suave, elite, seemingly benign governing class takes decisions essentially that benefits and perpetuates its own interests, while deeply hurting and disenfranchising the urban poor. And instead of focusing on sentimental petty jealousies and family feuds, the film tries to shine a hard light on the real reasons behind why India is going a certain way.”
Dibakar’s previous films - particularly his last outing, Love Sex and Dhoka - have been characterized by a gritty, noir-ish treatment, and the director says that will be true of Shanghai as well. The treatment will be realistic, and aimed at focusing on the grimness of the urban nightmare that is modern India, he says in his notes.
These are tall promises, from a director who in the past has delivered beyond promise - and that fact alone builds expectations of Shanghai to a very high pitch. By releasing the film in the midst of the IPL season, when big production houses are “market savvy” enough to hold back their offerings, the director is basically placing his bets on what should be, but very infrequently is, the central tenet of his profession: Tell a good story, and they will come.
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