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Here's why you SHOULD watch Shanghai!

Last updated on: June 6, 2012 12:55 IST

Image: Poster of Shanghai. Inset: Dibakar Banerjee
Dibakar Banerjee's Shanghai, starring Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin, will premiere on September 22 on Sony MAX. Here are a few reasons why you must watch the film, if you haven't already!

1. The directorial pedigree

One of the most thrilling directors in Hindi cinema, Dibakar Banerjee has so far made three very different films -- Khosla Ka Ghosla, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Love Sex Aur Dhokha -- and each is a stunner in its own right.

In an industry where most directors slip up with every other film, Banerjee has shown both a versatility and a clarity in his filmmaking, and the trailers for Shanghai show that while it is probably his most ambitious project yet in terms of subject or scale, they also show that the director looks very comfortable with the subject.

Are you looking forward to Dibakar Banerjee's latest? Tell us all about it on ZaraBol!

2. The source material

Image: Poster of Z
Speaking of which, the idea is pure gold. An adaptation of Greek writer Vassilis Vassilikos' Z -- itself made into a highly acclaimed film of the same name by Costa Gavras in 1969 -- the political thriller is a darkly satirical one, one that thrills and amuses while eventually pointing toward a bleak ending.

Banerjee's version takes the action to a porn-filmmaker, a high-ranking government official and a crusading young female journalist, among other things. The texture and flavour of the film look fascinating, and with a plot this meaty, they should have a winner just by colouring inside the lines.

3. The ensemble

Image: Poster of Shanghai
What a cast. Banerjee's last two films, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and LSD, werre remarkable in the way the director used unfamiliar faces -- and often non-actors -- in key roles, but this time the director's assembled a truly eclectic and striking ensemble.

Alongside Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi and Kalki Koechlin, there is Farooque Shaikh, Bengali cinema legend Prosenjit and Shor In The City find Pitobash Tripathy.

Prosenjit, in particular, has been cast in a critical role, and things are looking interesting for the actor's first Hindi project in several decades.

4. The rebirth of Emraan

Image: Emraan Hashmi in Shanghai
Known mostly for his work with uncle Mahesh Bhatt's productions -- and having earned himself the 'serial kisser' tag -- Hashmi's work of late has been outside his comfort zone.

He was understated in last year's The Dirty Picture, effective in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai before that, and now, with Shanghai, the actor looks to be in seriously thespian territory. The trailers gravitate towards Hashmi who -- playing the film's leading man -- has a helluva role, and is currently looking great in the part.

Those who have seen the film can't stop raving about Emraan's performance and how it'll change his career. That one shot of him running frantically with a computer in his arms is enough to have us intrigued.

5. The soundtrack

Image: Trailer of Shanghai

No, this isn't about the songs -- even though the Bharat Mata Ki Jai is excessively catchy.

The rest of Vishal-Shekhar's decidedly ordinary soundtrack hasn't inspired much applause, but the film's background score, ah, that's another matter altogether.

Scored by Mikey McCleary -- best known for the Khoya Khoya Chand and Hawa Hawaii adaptations in Shaitan, and for the retro songs he'd tweaked for Banerjee's Coca Cola ads (remember the one with Imran Khan and Kalki?) -- the background score for Shanghai is quirky, grim and genuinely intriguing.