With the initial promos of Kahani on the web it was evident that it would be one of those Hindi movies which would actually be Hatke. But for me the biggest question was, will it be original. Could my Bollywood finally come up with an original story as I ma beginning to get weary and sick of a flurry of shameless rip offs of foreign classics and sometimes even foreign B-grade stuff churned out in all its Indianity. Sujoy Ghosh’s previous outings didn’t paint a favorable picture either. With duds like Alladin and Home Delivery, his profile didnt provide a rosy picture as it would seem that he had lost his way somewhere post a promising start with Jhankar Beats.
With such mixed emotions I sat for the screening and within the next 2 hours what I saw made me how could I every doubted this movie. Kahaani is a visual treat from the first scene to the last. Everything about the movie feel right in the right place. It has probably one of the most original stories of the recent times, it has a wonderful ensemble cast and above all, the movie takes itself seriously and never for a second resorts to any gimmicks to increase its shock value. A potent thriller has to have a shock value but that has to come from the story and not in some over the top way. Kahaani remembers that and maintains it all throughout with aplomb.
Vidya Balan(Vidya) arrives in Kolkata during the Puja season in search of her husband Arnab who has been missing for a while. Vidya tries to find his trail but meets a dead end wherever she goes. while investigating at the Indian Information Center, she learns that her husband has a look-alike in Milind Damji, a rouge Government agent who masterminded a catastrophic attack on the metro two years back and has been missing ever since. Vidya is convinced that Milind and Arnab share more than just their facial features and believes that finding Milind will find her husband. She sets out to uncover the mist and in her attempts she is aided by Rana(Parambrata Chatterjee), a sympathetic Kolkata cop who on the way develops a soft corner for Vidya. As the two set out to uncover the mystery, they are faced with government officials, hit-men and above all the whole system who would stop at nothing to stop the duo from discovering Milind Damji. What is left to be seen is whether Vidya finds her husband or not and does all end well???
The biggest plus of Kahaani is its story. Every understanding viewer will be hooked to the narrative and the fact that everyone will try to figure out the plot and the twists and turns will further elevate their experiences. The story doesn’t reveal its cards till the end and the climax is a true shocker. Even though I could find a likeness of it to a Hollywood flick, but it was truly mesmerizing and apt for such a thrilling story. The cinematography is breathtaking. kolkata has been captured before though the lenses but it does look promising. Most of the shooting was done in south Kolkata and from what a friend of mine told me it was mostly areas around Rashbehari, Kalighat and Lake Market et all. This April I would be able to personally visit theses spots and I believe it will reinvigorate the whole experience. The Kalighat Metro station can be easily spotted in many scenes.The true essence of the Durga Puja is captured immaculately an the climax shot at the pretext of Bijoya Dashami which is symbolic of victory of good over evil gels seamlessly with the storyline. You will comprehend the meaning of this line when you see it. I wont spoil the fun.
The performances are top notch. Vidya Balan leads from the front in a role De-glamorized from her Silk Smitha and high on emotions and yet gets in the skin of the character so convincingly that one would not feel twitch even for a second. Parambroto as Rana is apt and this movie should pave the way for his foray into Bollywood in the near feature. But MY favorite character was Sashwata Chakroborty as the Hitman Bob Biswas. he has come a long way since playing Topshe in the Feluda series where he was such a endearing character. He has meta-morphed into something that is truly unique by Indian standards.
The music whatever of it is there suits the track well and the art and costumes designs are flawless.Overall Kahaani is a riveting watch and if one had to see just one movie this year, it should be Kahaani. Guys don’t miss it for anything….!!!