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SHANGHAI: The trend of films on small cities continues
June 9, 2012 02:00:11 PM IST By Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
The metaphor could not have been more ironic, while SHANGHAI indeed is a film that shows mirror about the manner in which the small cities are functioning in India, where rules and regulations are a prerogative vested with those who hold power, while the common man continues to fester, fret and remain frustrated. The choice of the name SHANGHAI could not have been more ironic as it is aspirational; representative of an aspiration of the common man to see his city rise to the iconic stature of SHANGHAI, but such is the stranglehold of the system that it remains more of an illusion.
It has become a trend this year to situate the films, from the new breed of directors into small cities, that gives them an opportunity to create tell-tale signs of association and belonging and SHANGHAI is one more illustrious addition to this category during 2012. Packed with powerhouse of performance from Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin and Pitobash, and adapted from Z, by the Greek writer Vassilis Vassilikos, SHANGHAI is a stark pointer to the disconnect between a shining India that is there for a very few privileged and the way in which the larger part of India is fighting to meet its daily existence.
Off-late it has been observed that the films which do not rely on foreign and exotic locales, but situate the films in small towns, have met with huge success as the elements of identification and bonding for the common man to discern it are quite easy. It is for this reason perhaps that the name of the town in SHANGHAI is indeterminate.
The reason for going to the small towns, lies in the fact that most of the successes of the recent past have been from Southern remakes, which primarily are situated in small towns. So we had a ROWDY RATHORE set up in some small town of Bihar-with admixture of Mumbai thrown in. It all had started with BODYGUARD in 2011 which was situated in Patiala. It was followed by SINGHAM, which again was situated in a small town adjoining Goa before shifting to Goa. It also needs to be pointed out that these are all films which have entered into the elite category of 100 crore plus.
Would SHANGHAI also follow in the same league? Well, Dibakar Banerjee's films have not scaled to those levels in terms of raking money, but they have created new frontiers in cinema making and this in itself is a big achievement. One thing is for sure, Dibakar Banerjee has grip on the social and political situation in small towns of the country and this could be the deciding factor in making SHANGHAI a commercial success as well!