Kahaani – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on March 9, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Sujoy Ghosh, Kushal Gada
DIRECTOR – Sujoy Ghosh
WRITER – Sujoy Ghosh, Advaita
CAST – Vidya Balan, Indraneil Sengupta, Nawazuddin Siddique
MUSIC – Vishal Shekhar
Telling a story well on celluloid is an art we lost long back. Ridiculously mislaid in gimmicks and showiness our films have been reduced to an appalling mindlessness that we are served in the name of entertainment every week. Paan Singh Tomar last week and now Kahaani both take us by the collar and compel us to accept that THIS is what story-telling and entertainment is all about.
Kahaani has a simple plot line. Vidya Bagchi, London-based software professional comes to India, specifically Kolkata, to look for her missing husband supposedly working for the National Data Centre. Heavily pregnant, Vidya is alone but determined. She meets the kind and helpful police of Kolkata (much like the local Bengali population) who provide willing assistance but the plot is soon-to-get too dangerous. Vidya’s husband resembles a wanted criminal, a very dangerous, defected spy. Suddenly, it is a case that involves the top echelons of intelligence and nothing seems like what it is anymore.
The film however, does not turn into a racy and complex political drama. It begins as a single woman’s story and remains so till the somewhat dubious end; an end which in its zeal to stun outdoes itself hence becoming untrue to its film. But Kahaani resides in its gripping narrative and the sparkling honesty to story-telling.
It is probably because of this honesty that director Sujoy Ghosh’s focus on delivering the thrills never gets diluted. He has the tightest grip on his story and knows exactly how he wants to tell it. He uses his camera to get us under the skin of the characters and peel their tensions and motivations with a seamless skill. Scenes begin from the middle and evoke that elusive dynamic realism a story like this craves. The past is woven in with the present and both carried together hand in hand till the very end.
It is probably this focus on strong story-telling that he chooses his actors with extreme care. Vidya Balan as the lone woman fighting against huge odds becomes for us the perfect actress to play the multi-layered woman with a singular quest. Nawazuddin Siddique, in his first full-fledged role as the rude and headstrong IB officer, gives us yet another stunning talent to root for. Parambrata Chattopadhyay as the young, sensitive police officer brings a freshness to the screen we have forgotten. The little children in their cameos are selected and handled with great perception and the film comes together as a product of combined skill and talent, the likes of which we rarely get to see.
Kahaani’s biggest protagonist is Kolkata, the mythical city of joy and once India’s capital of culture. The lens sees her with a warmth and belonging that we can not help but joyfully engage with it. The film has a unique and earthy music score by duo Vishal and Shekhar but most of it does not find a place in the film and it may work better that way.
With strong performances, stronger story and direction Kahaani at once becomes a gripping and lasting thriller that decries all of Bollywood’s myths in one clean sweep.