The last thing you expect while going to watch a film is seeing an extremely racy thriller set in a city known for its lazy and languid atmosphere. And that is not the only element of surprise that this film holds in store for you. After a couple of disappointing films post Jhankaar Beats, Sujoy Ghosh finally manages to carve out his niche as a director with Kahaani. The film is about a pregnant woman who comes from London to Calcutta in search of her missing husband.
The film starts off on an extremely fast note right from the very beginning where a compartment full of people in a metro get poisoned by toxic gas in a terror attack. It manages to hold on to this pace for the maximum part of the duration after that. Though the story is well written, at certain times I felt it got a bit too intricate. Ghosh manages to introduce each and every character in an extremely detailed fashion, and though his eye for detail is appreciated, some of it is unnecessary and in fact acts as a deterrent to the flow of the film. However, the film still manages to keep you hooked on and builds up to a mind-blowing climax.
Like many movies made in the recent past (Delihi Belly, Dhobi Ghaat to name a few), the city plays a pivotal role in the plot of the story. Ghosh manages to capture all the stereotypes of Kolkata such as the trams, Victoria Memorial, hand-pulled rickshaws, Durga Puja and the heritage buildings of North Kolkata while still maintaining the charm and elegance which defines the city.
Almost everyone’s acting is top notch. Vidya Balan delivers a stunning performance, probably her best with the exception of Ishqiya. Parambrata Chattopadhyay, relatively unknown outside the realms of Tollywood, delivers yet another memorable show. But according to me, the best actor in the movie is undoubtedly Nawazuddin Siddiqui who plays a young, rough, uncouth cop with unsurpassable passion and conviction. His arrogance and rudeness is absolutely detestable, yet delightful, adding all the more flavour to this movie.
The music keeps changing according to the situation. With the peppy ‘Ami Shotti Bolchi’ on one hand, and Amitabh Bachchan’s soulful rendition of Tagore’s ‘Ekla Chalo Re’ on the other, this is one of Vishal-Shekhar’s better works for sure. Overall, the movie manages to break away from the typical Bollywood stereotype and does pretty well. It manages to restore some amount of faith in the Hindi film industry – that too, surprisingly, in exactly two hours. A must-watch film for sure.