Kahaani–Film Review

Kahaani is a brilliantly directed, website taut and tense thriller, with dollops of twists, treatment and  loads of suspense,  leaving the audience forever guessing, and lots of surprise elements that will keep you riveted to your seats.

 

Giving away the story in such a film will be criminal, but suffice to say the road (or rather the Kolkatta by-lanes) to find the missing Arnab Bagchi by his pregnant wife is very unique, intriguing and entertaining. The script is filled with both thrilling and sensitive moments, a heady blend that is often difficult to achieve, but here it’s done with a remarkable ease.

Some scenes really stay back – allow me to please narrate just one: Vidya’s closeness to the cop while doing something on his computer, and the cop’s look of growing love, and yet discomfort at this sudden closeness; it’s a small scene, a tiny look, just hung there, in between a tense moment, not overdone, not followed up even, but just allowed to linger there like a fragrant remnant after the perfumed person has passed by.  Similarly, a crucial plot-point is  innocuously thrown in a seemingly filler scene when the cop & Vidya pause awhile after following a lead.

The end-twist is a breath-taker, though I would have to see the film again to see if all the parts shown earlier justify the same; off hand, I felt a teeny weeny bit uncomfortable. Some evident clues were surely thrown in. (But as a reviewer said, you *would* want to see the film again!)

The film’s setting ( Kolkatta during Durga Puja) is very relevant and adds to the mystique and mystery and mayhem. The city is not only used as a backdrop, it is a living and breathing character that lends its own shades to the narrative.  Some Bengali quirks are wittily incorporated – like using the phonetic sound ‘B’ instead of ‘V’ (as Vidya Bagchi finds much to her exasperation, her name forever twisted to Bidya Bagchi).

The editor sharply slices the film, the cinematography is top-class and the background score garnishes the pithiness.  Sujoy Ghosh has also amusingly used some old-film songs in the background– pleasantly surprised to hear the unreleased on LP’s Kishore-da portion of ‘Tere bin jiya jaaye na’  (Ghar)

Vishal-Shekhar’s music, though not used as such in the film {except for the Kolkatta-track & Amitabh Bachchan’s Tagore rendition}, has some very interesting tunes;notable amongst them is Piya tu kaahe rootha re.

And Vidya Balan? Well, she *is* Vidya Bagchi, infusing so much life to the character, and in her performance, that one feels that her recent National Award could be easily doubled! Though, must say, all the supporting cast (all from Bengali cinema) do their part extremely well, especially Parambarat Chatterjee’s subtle portrayal of a rookie cop – a bunch of serious Hindi film debuts there! Nawazzudin gets another meaty role as the foul obscenity spewing agitated agent.  Saswat Chatterji’s Bob Biswas will go down the annals of cinematic history as an impossibly unique character – an insurance agent doubling up as unlikely contract killer.

Sujoy Ghosh (who gave two tepid films just before this – a horrible bore Home Delivery and a mildly amusing Aladin) seems to have found his groove, and slips into it easily narrating the story with vigour, verve and vengeance.

Overall – MUST WATCH.