One important positive comment about my reviews that has come from many of my friends is that there is nothing about the story which is revealed and that there are no spoilers at all. This becomes particularly relevant when one reads a review about a suspense movie: perhaps a more correct way to describe such movies could be those that want to create that aura of suspense. KAHAANI 2, the latest release of Vidya Balan belongs to this genre, just like KAHAANI which was released in 2012.
KAHAANI and KAHAANI 2 are both directed by Sujoy Ghosh, both have Kolkata as a backdrop, both have female-centric stories and both have Vidya Balan playing the female leads. The one perceptible difference is whereas KAHAANI kept you on the edge of the seat from the beginning till the end, KAHAANI 2 begins in right earnest, but loses its intensity somewhere in the middle. That is primarily because, the story in the second half looks rather contrived and the implausibility, which KAHAANI had so carefully skirted seems to enmesh KAHAANI 2.
On the performance front, all the actors do their bit; Vidya Balan, however towers over everyone. In a deglamourized role, Vidya gets under the skin of her character and gives yet another sterling performance. Arjun Rampal, playing the Kolkata cop, also does his role effortlessly, although his personality doesn’t really match the stereotype of a Kolkata cop. Perhaps Irrfan Khan could have fitted the role better! The nine year old who stole our hearts in 1983 in MASOOM, Jugal Hansraj plays a different role with not much conviction. So at the end, we have a mixture of good performance, taut direction, a story line with a number of absurd coincidences, and some fantastically real shots of Kolkata. And if expectations have been pegged high because of what we saw in KAHAANI, where does this leave the viewer? A tad disappointed, one could say. But not so disappointed so as not to look forward to KAHAANI 3. So, Sujoy, please get back to the stark realism of what you did in 2012. And while I like Vidya Balan, please cast Alia Bhatt in KAHAANI 3!!!
RATING: 3 out of 5
December 3rd, 2016