122 Min | Drama – Mystery – Thriller | March 2012
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Starring: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee
Kahaani Review: Kahaani is essentially the story of a heavily pregnant London based Tamil woman’s search for her missing Bengali husband in Kolkata, underplayed exuberantly by Vidya Balan. The supporting cast comprises of a helpful cop Parambrata, a selfish detective – Siddiqui, an eccentric life insurance agent – Saswata, and a bhadralok Police officer – Khwaraj, and last but not the least, of a 300+ year old city – Kolkata seeped in the throes of celebrating the mother of all festivals – Durga Puja. Kahaani unfolds like the pages of a gripping novel by Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes and is shot like that of an Alfred Hitchcock or a Satyajit Ray. Using real people, places, and situations to underline the nuances of the story is a task that’s handled brilliantly by director Sujoy Ghosh whose recent claim to shame – an abysmal Aladdin, or a horrendous Home Delivery shall soon be forgotten just as Madhur Bhandarkar’s debut dud was.
In addition to the sterling performances and the plot of Kahaani is the terrific technical support. Be it Amitabh Bacchan’s rendition of Tagore’s ‘Ekla Chalo Re’, the background songs (mostly of RD Burman), playing innocently as the characters travel the length and breadth of the city, the costumes by Sabyasachi, the ‘just right and yet dramatic’ background score, the non-condescending cinematography that captures the city as if it were a character, and the supreme screenplay with a spattering of real Bengali, act as just the right spices to turn this into a delicious dish, that’s both exotic as well as commonplace.
There is not a single scene in the movie where Parambrata has been overshadowed by the presence of Balan. His acting skills are distinctly sharp and flowing. Sujoy Ghosh’s choice of actors for the various characters in “Kahaani” has made an immense contribution towards the kind of impact it leaves on the viewers long after they abandon the theatre. The climax, even though prudent and reasonably well-baked, is slightly dramatic and seems to conclude the movie before clearly justifying the actions of Vidya and Satyoki, especially the latter. The momentum of the story towards the end beats its own record and the circumstances merging with the mood of the city seems to be not so much of a coincidence. Watch Kahaani to experience something so satiating, you would surely ask for more.