Sujoy Ghosh directs Vidya Balan in Kahaani . Sujoy who’s had more misses than hits in his foray into Hindi Cinema directs the reigning Queen of box office fresh off of a series of best actress wins for her portrayal of Silk Smitha in Dirty Picture.
At its core Kahaani is a thriller – with a pregnant Vidya Balan looking for her husband who has gone missing. But the treatment meted to this simplistic story with a climax that John Le Carre would be proud of – is what sets this movie apart from the run of the mill thrillers.
The movie starts off with an ominously Fringe like opening – you know that you are in for a thrilling ride – every time a emotional angle of the movie could be played up and made to exaggerate Ghosh is able to hold back and let the audience feel it for themselves rather than it be shoved down their throat. This is this movies biggest USP in from my perspective.
Vidya Balan as the Lead Vidya (Biddaaa) Bagchi is phenomenal, she carries the entire weight of the movie on her very capable shoulders – something she has proved to be very adept at in the past. Every time a corny dialogue/situation threatens to rear its ugly head she manages to charm it into submission and make it believable and personal for the audience. Parambrata Chatterjee as Satyaki Sinha aka Rana is a revelation he is both earnest and clueless in a most endearing of fashion. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Khan – the Senior Officer of Information Bureau is menacing till he finds his match and then he is left just as equally dumbfounded as Rana.
The movie is littered with memorable characters that will stay with you till much later – take Bob Biswas the insurance agent – an easy target for a caricature performance but done full justice by Saswata Chatterjee (the actor whose name Google helped me look up), Agnes D’Mello the HR lady , Bishnu the “running hot water” kid.
The movie is also ticks all the boxes for me in the technical aspects. The use of background score over a mandatory song/dance number is a good choice because I could definitely see one atif aslam/Rahat Fateh Ali Khan number when Rana Leans into Vidya who is working away at a computer. Shekhar of the famed Vishal Shekhar duo and Clinton Crejo do full justice to the city of joy and bring it alive on screen through the magic of its sounds as it is waking up and as it is winding down and when it comes all out to celebrate the durga pooja. Camera work by Satyajit Pande concocts a potent potion the ingredients for which Kolkata lends freely – in particular that one shot of Kolkata panning in from a pregnant sky to the rain soaked streets had me and my friend collectively exclaim out loud!The story and Screenplay is superb with the right amount of wit and attention to detail being paid – like a very pregnant Vidya getting out of the airport carrying a red/maroon passport which is clear indication she’s arrived from London. The Editing ( and story) which I kept complaining about till the climax about how and and why Vidya and trying to find loopholes is excellent and answers all the questions even most hardened cynic (me) would have.
Vidya Balan is well on her way of proving why she is a force to be reckoned with and why she is the fourth Khan albeit more talented than all the other 3 put together.
Do not miss this movie for it is the movie that might have restored my faith back into Indian Cinema (this and Paan Singh Tomar). A Word of caution – do not miss the scene that leads you into intermission and DO NOT waste time in a queue getting pop-corn and fizzy drinks the second half blows the socks off of the first half – this in itself is a rarity.
Watch it and Watch it now.