Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kahaani: A review

Am not really a fan of Vidya Balan's, yet was eagerly awaiting the launch of Kahaani. Of course, the main reason was that it was based in Kolkata, but the promos seemed very intriguing too! Err... and I have always had a huuuge crush on Parambrata ... since like for-e-ver!


Vidya Balan as V(B)idya Bagchi.
Parambrata Chatterjee as Rana / Satyaki
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Khan, IB Officer
Saswata Chatterjee as Bob Biswas
Indraneil Sengupta as Milan Damji
Abir Chatterjee as Vidya's Husband (Guest Appearance)
Dhritiman Chattopadhyay as IB Chief (Guest Appearance)

Directed by Sujoy Ghosh
Story by Sujoy Ghosh and Advaita Kala

The Plot:

The story begins with a scientist trying to create a disastrous chemical fume, and succeeding in it. Next, it’s a crowded metro rail compartment where all  the commuters inhale the poisonous gas and are killed instantly. For a moment, I thought the film would be about a chemical warfare.

Two years later, Vidya Bagchi (Balan), a pregnant woman lands at Netaji Subhash Airport in search of her husband, Arnab Bagchi who has been missing. She reaches Kalighat Police Station where she meets two police inspectors, once of them being Rana (Parambrata). The inspectors are courteous but not very helpful. The instant assumption to her story, was that her husband had knocked her up and fled. 

Rana was a bit baffled by her pregnant condition and decided to help her by driving her around, first. The exchange where Rana tells Vidya his real name and Vidya says, "Satyaki, Arjun's sarathi," .. leaves you thinking. And rightly so, you hear it again in the end of the movie .. and suddenly it will make so much more sense! 

All the clues to the case are being eliminated one by one. The Intelligence Bureau is involved and the hunt is on. Vidya and Rana are warned by the Intelligence Bureau to stay away but how long can they continue their search? Why was Arnab missing? What is his real identity? Who was Milan Damji? Will Arnab be found? These are, but a few questions that the story will answer you. Be ready to be taken on a roller-coaster ride. The story is not very very complex, but if put into words, you will actually miss out on the punch. Here, a picture is actually more interesting than a thousand words.

The scary angle:

Forget the plot for a second here, but Saswata Chatterjee as Bob Biswas scared the shit out of me. A smiling face that kills, is extremely sinister. He has been shown as an undercover LIC agent, who actually is a contract killer. He is sent a pic of his next victim via MMS and he tracks them out, shoots, and leaves with a smile. The moment when he pushes Vidya on to the metro rail track is super scary, if you look at it. In another instance, Vidya and Rana have gone to an old shut-down government office to retrieve a file in the darkness of the night, and Bob too was sent there. Exaggeration it might sound now, but I was seriously clutching my husband's hand with fear and anticipation. Having grown up seeing him as a comedy actor, this was new to me.

Instances which kept nagging me:
  • She was shown as six months pregnant. I've never been pregnant, but I know if I was in my sixth month, I wouldn't be walking around so much and so fast, however fit I might be.
  • Rana explains to Vidya that Bengalis have two names, one nick name and one good name, to which she says, "Two names, two personalities." Err...what about the pappus, and sonus and monus of the rest of India? Nick names are common all over India, Mr Ghosh, didn't you know?
  • She was there to look for her husband. She was in a strange city, pregnant and all alone. Her own life was at risk. However strong a person might be, I cannot fathom HOW she can joke around even for a minute. She must have been unnaturally strong willed.
The whistle-blowing moment:

The climax. Don't want to spoil it for you, but seriously, it was applause worthy!! Respect -  for the actors, for the screenplay and for the director. Seriously speaking, if Sujoy Ghosh can churn out more films like this, at a steady rate, he's going to be counted amongst the top Bengali directors of the yesteryears.

Just before the climax, when Vidya meets mystery man/villain Milan Gamji, they have a short altercation. and he kicks her on her tummy. Direct, hard kick. There were shrieks heard from all over the theatre, but what happened next brought the house down with claps.

I had serious doubts Parambrata will be recognised for his acting, by Bollywood. He has wonderfully underplayed his role and has been a really strong supporter. He's always been an above average actor, but in Kahaani, he has shown mature acting expected from someone much elder to him. 

You simply have to see this film, in the theatre. One funny thing that happened last night at the theatre was, we were surrounded by all Marwaaris. Only Marwaaris.How sweet and predictable! :) What was sweeter, was that during the intermission, they started discussing all the Bengali actors in the film amongst themselves, in pure Bangla!!

And yes, even 24 hours after watching the movie, I get shivers thinking what if I was in a strange land and I couldn't find Sankalp. Maybe, I'd be strong to find him, maybe not - but for now, I have turned into an extremely paranoid wife!

My rating: ****


  1. The post makes me eager to go for the movie! I will surely drop by once I hit the theatre too!
    Nicely written :)

  2. I so loved the movie, di! Watched it today with mom...even she loved it..especially the ending ;) I loved your analysis...And even I had a huge crush on Rana too...kept scratching my head for his name till the end. I think he must have acted in some hindi film too...don't know! :) Most of all, loved your review!

  3. Firstly,At 6 months pregnant, theres nothing a woman cant do unless its a complicated pregnancy!
    I joked around during labor which was about 22 hours long. Sometimes humor is the only way out. How much can one cry or yell or frown?
    Now somehow this plot took me to Roja where the girl not pregnant but had a huge communication problem.
    Wonderfully put! Now have to go and see the movie sometime.

    1. I take your word about the amount of activity one can do during pregnancy, but cant discuss further lest I disclose the climax ;)

  4. nice review. Though didn't get the marwaari connection you speak of.

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  6. Its a one kinda of movie. A woman who has lost everything in life will surely have the will V(B)idya Bagchi had.. A strong potrayal and a seat gripping movie line. This movie has inspired me in more than one way .. My take on it ..
    Nice review :)


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