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Shanghai clocks 12 years! Watch Dibakar Banerjee's political thriller starring Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol on OTT

Shanghai's ensemble cast and unconventional narrative make for a 12-year retrospective.

Shanghai clocks 12 years! Watch Dibakar Banerjee's political thriller starring Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol on OTT

Last Updated: 10.23 AM, Jun 08, 2024


Shanghai made its big-screen debut 12 years ago. Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Kalki Koechlin, Supriya Pathak, Pitobash Tripathy, Farooq Sheikh, Anant Jog, Chinmay Mandlekar, and Tillotama Shome were among the unconventional ensemble cast in Dibakar Banerjee's 2012 political thriller. As it's been 12 years since its release, we think it's time to revisit the film on OTT, which is currently streaming on ZEE5 (OTTplay Premium), Lionsgate Play (OTTplay Premium) and Prime Video.

Shanghai inspiration and reception

Vassilis Vassilikos' Greek novel Z served as the inspiration for Shanghai, which in turn inspired the 1969 French film Z. Though it was well-received by critics upon its debut, its dismal showing at the box office led many to label it a commercial failure.


Four individuals in Shanghai, a bustling Indian metropolis, find themselves embroiled in a violent political and criminal game. The resulting societal unrest prompts the appointment of a government official to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a well-known activist. At the same time, a pitiful pornographer and a defenceless girl work together to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The film had songs composed by Vishal-Shekhar, and it was during Arijit Singh's early career stage that he sang the love ballad Duaa, which he crooned with Nandini Srikar.

Controversial promotional strategy

In a previous interview with Film Companion, Abhay revealed that Dibakar had forewarned him about the intentional publication of negative reports. The actor stated that the filmmaker literally told him, "We're going to put some false negative stories because that gets more eyeballs." Abhay added that their next step was to get a journalist with whom he had a tense relationship; as a result, all of the articles he published were critical of him. So, the actor was really angry with Dibakar, and now those stories are out there, and they're totally wrong.

He continued his justification by claiming that others have ulterior motives and have gaslighted him. He can't defend himself. The actor would only add that it's not always possible to trust what one hears. It's unfortunate that the most outspoken individuals often find their way into print, and eventually, with enough repetition, they become the truth. This does not imply that anything is true.

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