Hindi films have had many thrillers, most of which revolve around similar plot of gangster action, and off late hardly such films have accounted to classics. Kahaani, from trailers and posters, seemed to be an off beat commercial cinema: a lady (pregnant) in search of her missing husband in a city where she finds herself lost in a labyrinth. Like that in That Girl In Yellow Boots? No. Good that it’s not. We are offered with some chilling suspense and thrills. Move on.
Vidya(Bidda) Bagchi arrives Kolkata from London in search of a man called Ornob Bagchi whom she claims as her husband. Fails to learn anything substantial about him, she is supported by a policeman Rana (Parambrata Chatterjee). Look into Vidya’s character, she seems stubborn, a fighter but somewhere you expect her as a typical Indian woman with melodrama to burst out as she grows. And she proves you wrong everytime! She is a computer programmer, fixes bugs of police database system and boils up when sees a old rugged hardcopy records at the guest house. This is a subtle way of her characterization that she is way beyond intelligent than we expect!
As soon as the story moves ahead, with its pace set to engage you and the characters infuse into the plot, you are given with many dots to connect. Solve the riddle. Say that you predicted the entire story. The movie still has things unrevealed to fool you. I bet. It’s a smart & witty tale if you ignore some doubtful flaws and get carried away.
And what makes this tale happening is the top notch direction by Sujoy Ghosh. Bringing a pool of characters into the play, using them and eliminating them eventually, keeping the pace composed and delivering thrills and shocks with moments justifies the script and contends the audience at the same time. Ghosh pays ode to his hometown – Kolkata, where the plot is based, emanates its colors time to time. Also, not to forget, his respect for R.D. Burman (remember Jhankaar Beats?) with his songs in the background. Background score with mainly Aami Shotti Bolchi in the opening credits and Ekla Chalo Re in the closing, rest are not much derived from the album. Tore Bina rhythms at the scene where Vidya is seen waiting at the door for his husband, is delightful.
Coming upon performances, characters portrayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Khan, Bob Biswas played by Saswata Chatterjee and Rana will stay with you even after you move out of the auditorium. And by now we are habitual to see Vidya Balan outperforming in each of her movies since years. So let’s just awards speak the rest! One thing is for sure, Sujoy Ghosh showed us that good films could be made with Tollywood actors, provided you have a good story and vision to narrate it.
All and all, Kahaani is a mind bender, thoughtful film that gives you from balls in mouth moments to gulp in throat! After the cult Jhankaar Beats, and many flops later, Ghosh is back in action!
Ratings: * * * */5