Tigers is the latest film from Bosnian director Danis Tanovic, who won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for his first film No Man’s Land back in 2002. Tigers is based on the true story of Ayan (Emraan Hashmi) a Pakistani salesman who gets a coveted job selling baby formula produced by a (thinly-disguised) multinational corporation. But when he learns that babies are dying due to misuse of the formula and the corporation is turning a blind eye, he turns whistleblower, putting himself and his family in danger.
My experience watching Shanghai (Dibakar Banerjee’s latest film, starring Emraan Hashmi, Abhay Deol, and Kalki Koechlin) on Sunday afternoon was a good example of the danger of going to see a movie without your expectations firmly in check. Since it released Friday I had been seeing a lot of praise for it on Twitter. I also made the mistake of re-watching, the day before, Costa Gavras’s 1969 movie Z based on the same novel by Vassilis Vassilikos that inspired Shanghai. It’s a very powerful film and as good as Shanghai is, it just couldn’t stand up to the comparison.
The disclaimer at the beginning of Z, which reads: “Any similarity to real events, to persons dead or living is not coincidental. It is INTENTIONAL”
[Note: this post contains spoilers for Shanghai and Z, strong language, and bullet points]