Movie Review: Shor In The City

The 2011 Hindi film "Shor In The City" produced by Balaji Motion Pictures is not one of those regular entertainers that Hindi cinema keeps churning out with amazing regularity and insult the intelligence of the viewers. On the contrary, "Shor In The City" is a film that keeps you totally on the edge, but at the same time is a very entertaining film. As a film, it absorbs you into its world in no time. It is slick in nature and has a lot of nervous energy and also has its share of fun moments. It actually stands out from the clutter of Hindi films because of its unconventional plot and the brilliant execution.

"Shor In The City" revolves around three stories in the midst of the noise and grunge of Mumbai. It has the gangster backdrop, without making the film dark or depressing as well as the thriller quotient that keeps you at the edge. The three stories run concurrently--the characters are not at all connected with each other, they don't cross paths and nor is the film episodic in nature. It's not like watching one character/story first, followed by the second and then the third. The beauty of the film lies in the fact that the characters do not meet till the end but there is a sense of cohesion which cannot be disowned.

"Shor In The City" revolves around three loosely interconnected stories set in the midst of the noise and soot of Mumbai during the Ganeshotsav festival. Abhay (Sendhil Ramamurthy), an NRI who is forced to come to terms with the fact that he is alone in an unwelcoming city, which he thought was home. Tilak (Tusshar Kapoor), an honest bootlegger who pulls out scams with his unruly friends Ramesh (Nikhil Dwivedi) and Mandook (Pitobash). They chance upon a rare loot on a commuter train, which opens up new, dangerous avenues for them. Sawaan Murthy (Sundeep Kishan) has one goal to enter into the Mumbai Junior Cricket team. In a city where corruption is almost a way of life, the goal comes at a price--he needs to find the money first.

The filmmakers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK deserve brownie points for their unconventional choice of the subject and most importantly for handling it so deftly. The situations in the film are simple and the tone predominantly serious, the film does offer a few laughs in patches. Direction apart, the film possesses a taut screenplay by Sita Menon, Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru which leads to an explosive, stunning, nail-biting finale. In fact, the penultimate moments are pure dynamite and any misgivings or shortcomings vanish into thin air when you watch the finale explode right there in front of your eyes. The exceptional cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is too hard to overlook and some truly wonderful dialogue. The film does not offer much scope for music nevertheless the two songs "Saibo", a romantic duet by Shreya Ghoshal and Tochi Raina and an infectious "Karma Is A Bitch" do catch your attention.

Shor In The City clearly belongs to the men while the women take a backseat. All the men: Tusshar Kapoor, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Pitobash and Sundeep shine in their respective roles. In this film, Tusshar Kapoor displays a humane side which is sure to win hearts. Pitobash is outstanding and without doubt, the new discovery of the season. Sendhil is efficient, displaying helplessness and anger with remarkable ease, while Nikhil is striking. Sundeep showcases vulnerability with natural ease. Amit Mistry is remarkable while Zakir Hussain is excellent.

Summing up, Shor In The City is a film which even the ardent moviegoer will like. It is not your standard Hindi entertainer and nor does it have the customary flippant and trivial humour, it prides itself on a certain distinctive Indian appeal with elements of adventure, thrill and drama with its understated and minimalist humour which makes it out stand out in the crowd. Too bad that this released during the IPL season which is why it went unnoticed. I would sincerely request you not to miss this one.


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