Movie: Kahaani

Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Cast: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chattopadhyay

Jagran Rating:   (Excellent)

Story line: If you go by the Bollywood formula, Sujoy Ghosh’s “Kahaani” doesn’t tick any of the boxes. It’s a thriller, a genre that Bollywood usually stays away from. It’s got a female lead, hardly any songs and no distractions in the form of a comedy or romance track.

A stark contrast to her Silk avatar, Vidya essays the role of a heavily pregnant NRI woman, Vidya Bagchi, who comes to Kolkata in search of her missing husband. She discovers very quickly that no one seems to know where he is, and there are no records to show he even came to the city. Determined not to give up, she enlists the help of a young police officer, Rana (Parambrata Chattopadhyay), scouring the narrow lanes and crowded markets of Kolkata in the hope she can find some trace of the elusive Arnab Bagchi. The deeper she digs, the more things get complicated. Till almost the last frame one can imagine the twists that the narrative has in store for the viewers.

Thumbs up:  It is a well-made film, with some great characters and powerful acting, and if you are willing to ignore some plot holes and go with the flow, this is a very satisfying watch. The brisk storytelling calls for your absolute attention but the narrative has been so gripping since start that you never lose a moment. And like any good story should boast of, the actual brilliance of Kahaani comes in its climax that shall leave you spellbound. Sujoy Ghosh shows utmost sincerity in keeping the narrative clutter-free, sans any songs or side-tracks

Ghosh also makes some great casting choices, much of the cast, except for Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Shaikh (who plays an Intelligence Bureau agent) are from Kolkata. Parambrata Chattopadhyay, who plays Rana, is endearing and the perfect foil for Balan.

The city of Kolkata is frenzied, colourful and cinematographer Setu’s camera captures that quality perfectly. Ghosh obviously knows and loves this city, he leaves no stone turned to capture the festive mood of Durga Puja celebrations.

The lovely rendition of Rabindranath Tagore’s “Ekla Chalo Re” by Amitabh Bachchan is fabulous.
Vidya Balan is, of course, brilliant, she is at once vulnerable and brave and steady, and keeps you hooked to her “Kahaani” from the word go. With “Ishqiya”, “The Dirty Picture”, and now “Kahaani”, you can be sure that Balan is the newest hero in Bollywood.

Thumbs down:  While the first half is gripping (the point when the film breaks for interval is nerve-wracking), “Kahaani” loses some steam in the second half. Except a bit lengthy second half , we are unable to find any drawback.

Kahaani is must watch…Ami Soti Bolchi

(*Bad,**Disappointing,***Average ,****Good,*****Excellent)