Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kahaani: Brilliant Cinematic Experience

I guess everyone has their own idea of a 'perfect film'. A film that satiates you as a viewer and you are unable to pinpoint loopholes despite using your 'critic' lens to the optimum. Sujoy Ghosh's 'Kahaani' did satiate me as a viewer, more importantly it surprised me with its absolutely novel story telling technique.

A labyrinth of characters are assiduously involved in a conspiracy drama while Kolkata enjoys generous attention as a character in itself. There are several beautiful montages of the city that are seamlessly integrated in the narrative. The Metro, glowing lights over the Howrah Bridge, black holes of never ending lanes-n-by-lanes, crisp usage of Bangla in all its pristine naturalness, the rich Durga puja festivities and the indispensable trams that are so synonymous with the city....Kahaani is a heartfelt ode to the spirit of Kolkata.

This film doesn't boast of a big Khan. The superstar of the film is its 'Kahaani' and its treatment. This is undoubtedly one of the finest story-screenplay that has emerged out of Indian cinema in recent times. Bidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) is a heavily pregnant woman in search of her missing husband. She becomes a pawn in the hands of the intelligence bureau as key witnesses are shot dead by a potbellied killer with a child-like-smile. The climax stuns you with its chilling turn-of-events.

Several Bangla actors have been given prominent roles. Parambrata Chattopadhyay, the idealistic police officer who falls in love with Bidya Bagchi boasts of an earnest appeal. The scene where the physical proximity between the two (Vidya getting information from his computer) ignites romance in the young police officer. Chattopadhyay displays minimalistic expressions thus giving the 'moment' an understated nuance. The guest house receptionist or Bob Biswas the unsuspecting assasin, Kahaani showcases several fine Bangla actors.

Vidya Balan delivers another spellbinding performance. She looks a far cry from the tempestuous Silk of her last film. There's anguish written all over her body language and yet in spite of being in a tricky situation, she manages to find fun moments with little Vishnu, Poltu or Inspector Rana. The beauty about this incredible actress is that she totally 'becomes' the character that she is meant to play. Tears, smiles, resilience...myriad facets, all conjoined in this stoic performer. The vulnerability gives way to the super strength of Durga. What a transformation!

Nawazuddin, the no nonsense Intelligence Bureau official is impressive. Amitabh Bachchan's Ekla Chalo Re is one of the highlights of the film. Clinton Cerejo's background score is special. The emphasis is on minimalistic usage of sounds to create the desired impact.

Setu's Cinematography is very creatively done. Namrata Rao's editing is first rate. Yes the film tends to meander aimlessly for some portions in the second half and it could have been tighter. Story (Sujoy Ghosh and Advaita), Screenplay (Sujoy Ghosh and Suresh Nair) and Dialogues (Sujoy Ghosh and Ritesh Shah) are the backbone of the film. Writing is consistently engrossing. Despite the serious subject, there's an underlined sense of humour that makes the film even more endearing.

Kahaani is a brilliant cinematic experience with loads of thrills-n-excitement. Don't miss it at any cost.

Star rating: ****


  1. Seems like Vidya has been very busy..as she chooses her projects carefully. I like to see that happen when actresses dont get hung up on working with personalities. :-) and hello to you too

  2. Yes Margaret, Vidya is an actress while mostly heroines like to cling to big heroes rather than discovering thmselves

  3. Hi Faridoon Sir!

    I would just like to share with you some of my thoughts, let me know whether you agree or disagree...

    Vidya has been my favourite actress since her Parineeta days. I really feel she has a great filmography with varied films like Eklavya, Heyy Babyy, Guru, Ishqiya, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Paa, Kismat Konnection, No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture and now Kahaani to her credit. To me she was the best debutant in the recent past.

    Another one to have had a near-perfect filmography is Deepika, who has always more impressed me with her choices of films than the work she actually managed to do in them. Don't get me wrong, I don't think she's a bad actress (she's just not of Vidya's caliber), but the efforts she has put in choosing to always act in very different genres is worth applauding. Even though success has - for some strange reasons at times - eluded her, her filmography also boasts of some awsome motion pictures, including Om Shanti Om, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Love Aaj Kal, Karthik Calling Karthik, Lafangey Parindey, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey and Aarakshan (which I loved personally). All Deepika needs to do is polish her acting skills, but I feel she's just getting better and better with every release.

    Anushka is someone I really expect a lot from, as she reminds me of Kajol with her freshness and spontaneity. Shraddha is also a bundle of talent waiting to explode. All both need to do is pick up the right films.

    Along with Vidya, I'm a HUGE Asin fan as well (both cater to a different segment of the audience). I love her for the person that she is, and for this "family audience" tag she carries wonderfully. I don't want her to turn into a "serious actor" doing mostly female-oriented flicks, I feel that whatever she has been doing as a "masala heroine" (in both North and South), she has been doing it to perfection, not underestimating her performance as an actor at all. I appreciate the "clean" image she vehiculates, one knows that he/she can watch an Asin film with his/her family without any discomfort, there won't be any kissing, any steamy sequence or any useless bikini act (seriously, appart from Minissha in Kidnap and Lara in Blue, there has NEVER been any explanation for the bikini act of all other heroines - recall Bebo in Tashan, Bipasha in Players, Anushka in Badmaash Company, Shruti in Luck, Ameesha in Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic, Kangna in Rascals, Deepika-Lara-Jiah in Housefull...). In short, Asin isn't the kind who compromises on her principles and I respect her a lot for that. But somehow she has not been given her due and post Ghajini she's never had any meaty or interesting role to play (personally I couldn't sit through Ready). I just hope Housefull 2 turns out to be a better film than Housefull (very average!), and that Bol Bachchan is a worthy follow-up to this absolutely brilliant film called Singham. Looking forward to your next interview with her by the way :D

  4. Now coming to Kangna, who has really let me down with both her performances and her choices of films. Post Raaz TMC, she hasn't acted in any good film (except OUATIM where she didn't have much to do anyway). I'm not very hopeful for the future either, so I'll stuck to her best films of the early part of her career - namely Gangster, Woh Lamhe, Fashion and Raaz TMC.

    I'll finish with a case that really ANGERS me - the Sonam Kapoor case. With all the respect I owe her, I really feel she has nothing to do in Bollywood. She's still here only thanks to her illustrious father, and definitely not thanks to her talent. It angers me no end because you and I both are aware of the fact that hundreds of people work day and night to eventually get that one break in the industry. This girl has already been given too many chances: 7 films, but the only one in which she (unintentionally) managed to convince me to some extent was Aisha, because she was basically just being herself in it - a completely spoilt girl (that's harsh but that's how I feel). Many debutants need only 1 opportunity to make an instant impression, but I still can't watch her after so many flicks and I genuinely feel she's taking some other potential actor's place. Yes, she is pretty and has a great fashion sense, but that doesn't make one an actor right?

    Feel free to tell me what you think!


  5. I saw the Trailer of Kahaani and it looks great, very exciting!
    Vidya is one of my favorite Actresses. She is wonderful and I can´t wait to watch this movie.

    Thank you Faridoon for your review...4 stars awesome!

  6. Yes Anonymous, Vidya is a brilliant actor and a big star now. Thats a deadly combo.

    Hope you are doing well Biaji