Mar 9, 2012

'Kahaani' is pinnacle of storytelling!

When was the last time you saw a good thriller in Hindi Cinema? Remember, when was the last time you sat on the edge of your seat, trying to outsmart the filmmaker in the guessing game? Frankly, I do not remember to have watched any exciting Hindi thriller film in a long long time, except for may be 'A Wednesday'. It is in this regard that director Sujoy Ghosh's 'Kahaani' blows you away, quite literally. It's a terrifically written story (Kahani) that entertains, surprises and outwits you from the beginning to the end.

Set in the creatively under-tapped Kolkata (in terms of film-making), Kahaani unfolds at a stunning pace. The film keeps you hooked from the word go and does not set foot off the pedal even for a minute. Propelled by a gripping story [Sujoy Ghosh, Advaita Kala] and fascinating screenplay [Sujoy Ghosh, additional screenplay: Suresh Nair, Nikhil Vyas], Kahaani is a rare blend of human drama, suspense thriller and a socially relevant film. No, there are no preachy lectures on plight of a 7-month pregnant woman here. Rather the director underscores some pertinent points in a very subtle manner. Amidst all the high-adrenaline dark thrill/ drama and suspense, there are also some very fine moments of emotion and good quality humor [Watch out for 'Running Hot Water' sequence].

'Bidya' Bagchi [Vidya Balan] arrives in Kolkata from London to find Arnab, her missing husband. Seven month pregnant and alone in a festive city, she begins a relentless search for her husband, aided by the affable Sub-inspector Satyaki aka Rana (Parambrata Chattopadhyay). With no evidence whatsoever, except for a photograph, everyone suggests/expects Vidya to go back to London. But lies, deceit and non-cooperation further strengthen Vidya's resolve to find her husband.

Vidya Balan comes up with yet another powerful performance. She perfectly emotes the sentiments of a pregnant woman and distraught wife. From sipping a bottle of water every now and then to silently crying in the room, Vidya depicts a range of emotions with utmost ease. In fact, she goes into the skin of the character, making sure that the viewers develop a liking both for her and the yet to be born child. The actress is redefining the definition of an actress in Hindi Cinema, and deserves standing ovation for being brave, for being a complete natural.

Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Rana is terrific
Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Rana is terrific. He beautifully underplays his character, allowing Vidya to take the lead, and leaves a massive impact in the process. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as an indifferent and rude Intelligence Officer is brilliant. At times, you love him for his forthrightness and there are occasions when you loathe him for being 'strict' with Vidya. All the other supporting actors play their parts perfectly. But the most fascinating character in the film is the city of Kolkata itself! Never before has this city been captured so magnificently (and shakily) on celluloid (DoP: Setu). The madness on street, city's dark underbelly, Pujo festivity, local people, the metro, the tram, tea stalls et all make Kolkata a dominant character in the film. Usha Uthup's rendition in the opening reels is a fitting tribute to this wonderful city.

Sujoy Ghosh deserves thundering applause for conceiving and successfully executing this captivating idea called Kahaani. There is utter sincerity, genuineness and freshness in the way he amalgamates emotions with suspense. Kahaani would do wonders to his directorial career, and catapult him in the league of most talented young filmmakers.

Vishal-Shekhar's music is perfectly in sync with the mood of the film. Clinton Cerejo's background music ups the ante, and creates the perfect ambiance for a thriller. Editing is razor-sharp with every second of 120 Minutes proving to be worth your penny. In fact, Kahaani is one of those films where I tried hard to find a launa but failed. 

It is a film that gives you a sense of pride after watching. You will reminisce, ponder over and smile after coming out of the theatre.Kahaani is pinnacle of storytelling, a near flawless film that helps Hindi Cinema take giant strides.

Hugely Recommended! (Outstanding- *****)

Vidya Balan delivers another terrific performance


  1. wow! What awesome review man! I think its a must watch now!! I love Vidya Balan anyways!

  2. I had a plan (almost forced) for this movie tonight. After reading your review i think i was about to miss a really nice movie after a long time.

  3. Thank you for dropping in friends. Hope you have good time watching the film. :)

  4. I second you. Perfect movie after ages. And the way you've written the review and used your rich vocab, made me jealous. I loved this one. In fact, this is one of those reviews, where I tried hard to find a flaw but failed. :)

    Just like Kahaani, the review is perfect! :)

    Just that, five stars is far too much, in my opinion. :)

  5. Thanks! Glad that you liked the review :) Yes, I know 5 star 'looks' too much. But I believe, a film that we call as 'perfect' has to be suitably rewarded. After all, we got to spend all our 'stars' at some point of time. :)