Kahaani is the latest movie of Vidya Balan to hit the silver screen. I was quite impressed by the preview, and the plot managed to intrigue me from the get-go. Yes, I admit that I am a sucker for mystery movies. However, considering that such topics aren’t really the forte of Indian cinema, I went in with some reservations. But I am happy to report that the movie totally surpassed all my expectations!!
Kahaani’s storyline though not quite novel, is very engaging. It is ably supported by a crisp and entertaining screenplay. It keeps you guessing about what is going to happen next. The movie starts with Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman from London arriving at the Kolkata airport. She hires a taxi and asks the driver to take her directly to the Kalighat police station. The perplexed driver asks her why she wants to go to a police station instead of her home or a hotel, and Vidya says “My husband is missing”. The story starts to take a grip on you right from that point.
From there on, the mystery builds as police find no evidence of her missing husband’s arrival or stay in Kolkata. What happens next? How does she get help from Rana, an assistant sub-inspector, in finding her husband? Why does her search create a flutter inside the ranks of the Intelligence Bureau, especially when she finds out about a wanted person called Milan Damji who resembles her husband? Why does Khan, an IB officer, involved in the case warn Vidya to discontinue her search and forget that anybody called Milan Damji ever existed? What is Milan Damji’s connection with the chemical attacks Kolkata metro? And more importantly, what is Vidya’s connection to it? Does she eventually find her husband? The climax shocks you when it reveals the truth about the entire case. And for that reason alone you got to watch this movie.
Vidya Balan’s performance as Vidya Bagchi is terrific! She manages to look vulnerable, yet at the same time, brave and resolute as she runs around the city with a heavily pregnant body. Parambrata Chattopadhyay as Rana is a great new discovery for Indian cinema. He has portrayed the character so realistically that you can’t help but stand by him throughout the movie. Nawazuddin Siddiqui‘s character of Khan is superb. He does a fine job of playing the brash and rude IB officer who tries to intimidate Vidya out of her search. The rest of the cast has delivered their parts almost perfectly.
I like the fact that the movie is clean and simple. There is no over dramatization. Each and every character is very believable. The story and mystery have such a genuine and decidedly Indian feel. So it doesn’t ever feel like an extrapolated version of some Hollywood mystery flick. The movie has made great use of the Durga Pooja festivities in Kolkata as a backdrop, against which the drama unfolds. Kudos to director Sujoy Ghosh for handling this topic so well!
All in all, I am certain this movie will be remembered for a long time to come. It’s certainly a shining feather in Vidya Balan’s hat!