'Kahaani 2' - Movie Review

Updated: Dec 15, 2016, 10:45 IST | Mayank Shekhar |

Vidya Balan shines in 'Kahaani 2', a thriller set in a sleepy town called Chandannagar, off Kolkata -- effectively capturing the Bong milieu; art-directed, and shot like a slightly dystopian dream

Kahaani 2 Movie Review
Vidya Balan in 'Kahaani 2'

'Kahaani 2'
U/A; Crime, Thriller
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Actors: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal
Rating: 3  and a half stars

The uniformly dark, grim and grainy texture of this film, and a slightly pacey background score kicking in right from the first scene, provides you an adequate sense of anticipation, soon as you block your seat in the theatre.

And I don't mean this in a 'Run Lola Run' music-video kinda way. But more like, as an audience, you perennially wish to know what happens next. So the set-up is sorted. Which, given this film's genre (a suspense-thriller), is half the battle won anyway.

The other half being the pay-off, or twist, or kahaani (story), as it were. And even if some people may have several problems, and far too many question marks hanging in their head, over what lies beneath (I certainly did), there's the inherent issue with writing about a film like this. Well, you simply cannot discuss/write about them. It'll kill the fun for everyone else.

Suffice it to know, for background's sake—as with Sujoy Ghosh's 'Kahaani' (this franchise's sleeper-hit prequel), there is a woman in search of something. In the first part, it was her missing husband. Here, it's her missing, wheelchair borne daughter. The woman, who we're not sure is Vidya Sinha as she claims to be, or Durga Rani Singh, whose identity she's perhaps concealing, meets with an accident, and is in coma. A cop, much invested in the case, investigates from here on.

How is he ever going to find out anything in such a situation? How about a tell-all diary, yo! Frankly I haven't quite ever understood this business of maintaining a diary. What kinda person reveals their deepest, darkest secrets, and practically everything they'd want no one to know via journal entries in a book, just so someone can discover and regale in it some day? It is nevertheless a fine and simple device to get into flashbacks of stories, in films for sure.

It certainly lends much depth to the character of Vidya/Durga. Vidya Balan plays this central role. Yup, she's been going through a downtime at the movies lately. Frankly I'm just intrigued by the idea of Vidya. In some ways, her personal journey is a Mumbai version of Shah Rukh Khan's—urban, educated middle-class (from Chembur), studied at Xavier's, climbed up the ladder from television to films, and basically cracked the latter by being smart with choice of roles, becoming possibly the only female star at the turn of this decade, with 'The Dirty Picture' (2011), 'No One Killed Jessica' (2011), and 'Kahaani' (2012), of course.

You can tell there's much at stake for her here. And? Well, devastated, pared down to the skin, she totally frickin' champions this robust part. Arjun Rampal as the under-stated cop is surprisingly competent as well.

So what do we have here? A thriller set in a sleepy town called Chandannagar, off Kolkata—effectively capturing the Bong milieu; art-directed, and shot like a slightly dystopian dream. A mystery that unravels by the minute, without a moment to pause for breath, much less blink, which is saying a whole lot for a movie that's still 2 hours plus.

How do I put it better than a fellow passenger in my lift who went, "Picture baandhke rakhti hai," which is Hindi for "keeps you glued to your seat." Visually, both seem terrible situations to be in. In the context of this film, terrific!

Watch the trailer of 'Kahaani 2'

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