KAHAANI – My thoughts

Well-made suspense thrillers are a rarity in Bollywood. So when one comes along, make sure you catch it!

Kahaani, appropriately titled tells one good story. The story of Vidya Bagchi, a heavily pregnant software engineer who has landed in Kolkata all the way from London in search of her missing husband. But she is told that he hasn’t been at the guest house he claimed to have stayed in or worked at the National Data Centre where he was supposed to.  In her arduous journey she comes across a slew of characters from a helpful young cop to a rude, stern intel chief, a crazy sociopath killer and some loveable kids. Slowly she has to entangle a web of conspiracies, espionage, murders, corruption and deceit to reach her husband. Who may or may not exist. To reveal anymore of the plot would be giving away spoilers as this movie relies heavily on some well constructed twists and turns in the plot.

Playing like a complex jigsaw puzzle, this kahaani peels off its layers beautifully keeping you engaged at every moment all the way till its climax which really knocks it out of the park.

Vidya Balan is really on a golden run at the moment. After playing a larger than life character in The Dirty Picture, she does a fab job as an everyday woman in desperate search of her husband. She executes the balance between grit, desperation and vulnerability so well, that you not only root for her but feel for her as well. She is superbly supported by an outstanding ensemble of actors – Parambrata Chatopadhyay as the lovable and helpful cop Rana, Nawazuddin Siddiqui terrific as the foul-mouthed, angry intelligence cop Khan but my favourite was Saswata Chaterjee as Bob the deranged assassin, right out of a Dexter episode. It was really refreshing to see authentic Bengali actors essaying roles instead of the usual Bollywood faces with exaggerated accents.

In times where we have film-makers shooting abroad for picturesque locales, here’s a movie that has never made better use of its location. The city of Kolkotta is no less than the star of this movie. Its vibrant colors, cacophonic sounds and many moods captured beautifully by Setu are the perfect setting for this twister of a tale. And boy do they really come alive during the haunting Durga Puja. Sujoy Ghosh and Advaita Kala’s script keeps you engaged throughout the run letting you enjoy this jigsaw puzzle of a movie without getting too gimmicky.

We often complain about not getting anything new or top quality in Bollywood. Well, here’s a movie that offers both. It’s refreshingly different and matches any good suspense thriller that’s come out of Hollywood. Films tell a story and you don’t wanna miss this gem of a Kahaani!

My score: 8 on 10

  • Kahaani
  • Running time: 115 mins approx
  • Starring: Vidya Balan
  • Directed by: Sujoy Gosh
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2 thoughts on “KAHAANI – My thoughts

  1. Nice review! I made some of the same points in mine – esp re suspense thrillers in Bollywood (I really hope Kahaani encourages more filmmakers to explore this genre) and keeping it local, re Kolkata. I think basing it in Kolkata, along with the pitch-perfect localized casting really did wonders for the tonality of the film.

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