Rating: 3/5 (Three stars)
Star cast: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Indraneil Sengupta.
What’s Good: The engaging suspense drama; the performances.
What’s Bad: The narrative style which will appeal mostly to the class audience.
Verdict: Kahaani is an engaging and entertaining movie.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch it because it’s an intelligent thriller told in a novel way.
Two years after a chemical attack in Kolkata’s metro railway system, in which 200 innocent people had perished, Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan), a pregnant woman, comes down to Kolkata to file a report for her missing husband.
While she claims that Arnab Bagchi, her software engineer-husband, had come down to Kolkata to work for the National Data Centre, and that he had stayed at a guest house in Kolkata, the police finds no evidence of her husband’s stay in Kolkata.
However, Rana (Parambrata Chattopadhyay), an assistant sub-inspector, takes interest in the case and travels with Vidya to various places in Kolkata in order to find clues that can lead them to Arnab Bagchi.
Vidya Bagchi’s search for her husband creates a flutter inside the ranks of the Intelligence Bureau, especially when she finds out about a wanted person called Milan Damji who resembles her husband. Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), an Intelligence Bureau officer, is deputed to look into the case. He warns Vidya to discontinue her search and forget that anybody called Milan Damji ever existed.
Meanwhile, persons whom Vidya had got in touch with during her search, are killed by an assailant. But Vidya is relentless. With Rana’s help, she discovers more details that link her husband’s disappearance to the elusive Milan Damji. When she confronts IB officer Khan with evidence, he reveals to Vidya that Milan Damji is a rogue special agent who was responsible for the chemical attack in the Kolkata metro. Soon, one thing leads to another and Rana and Vidya inch closer to finding Milan Damji.
Is Vidya able to find Milan Damji? Is she, through him, able to get to her husband, Arnab Bagchi? What had happened to him? Why is Rana helping Vidya? What is the involvement of the Intelligence Bureau in this whole case? The rest of the drama answers these questions.
Kahaani Review: Script Analysis
The story of Kahaani is such that it keeps the audience guessing about what is going to happen next. As such the screenplay is very engaging and entertaining. While Vidya’s character draws the audience’s sympathy, the way she goes about the search makes the audience change their opinion of her. The climax, which reveals the truth about the entire case, is shocking. Overall, the writers (story: Sujoy Ghosh, Advaita Kala; additional screenplay: Suresh Nair, Nikhil Vyas) have done a commendable job. The dialogues, by Ritesh Shah, Sutapa Sikdar and Sujoy Ghosh, are natural.
Kahaani Review: Star Performances & Direction
Vidya Balan is the life of the film. She depicts the helpless yet brave pregnant woman very realistically. Parambrata Chattopadhyay, as Rana, is a discovery. He is superb as the young cop who falls in love with Vidya. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is memorable as Khan. Indraneil Sengupta does a fine job. Saswata Chatterjee (as the assailant, Bob Biswas) is just wonderful. Darshan Jariwala, Dhritiman Chatterjee and others offer able support.
Sujoy Ghosh’s direction is very good. He makes the narrative engaging from the start to the end and extracts fine performances from his cast. However, his narrative style will appeal more to the city-based class audience. Vishal-Shekhar’s music is very good. Setu’s cinematography makes the nooks and crannies of Kolkata come alive. Production design, by Kaushik Das and Subrata Barik, is realistic.
Kahaani Review: The Last Word
On the whole, Kahaani is a very good entertainer which will pick up by word of mouth publicity.