Thank your stars that in the conundrum of mindless masala potboilers, a ‘meaningful’ and ‘intelligent’ cinema comes your way in the name of KAHAANI 2.
Standing tall amidst the poor xerox copies and awful (Hollywood) adaptations, KAHAANI 2 is an intriguing and interesting film. It is mercifully devoid of any ‘formulaic’ trappings of Bollywood.
In a way, KAHAANI 2 is not a sequel of runaway-hit KAHAANI (2013). Director, Sujoy Ghosh has retained the original flavor and chutzpah in a wonderful way. So, this time, instead of (B)idya Bagchi, it is KAHAANI 2 which is heavily pregnant with sky-high expectations.
Does it deliver ??? well, almost……
With an able director in the driver’s seat, KAHAANI 2 hurtles like a fast-paced Rajdhani. Moving from one sequence to another at a lightning speed, it keeps us glued to the screen throughout. So much so that one does not watch the film but becomes a part of the film in a strange way.
Film pans out in the familiar canvas of Kolkata but slightly in its outskirts called Chandannagore. Originally a beautiful French colony of British-era but sadly neglected in today’s times. This small hamlet is as dreary & dark as the life of our Durga Rani Singh aka Vidya Balan. She is struggling to find solace and comfort in the company of her bedridden daughter, Mini. In days to come, their cosy, middle-class world is shattered with a cruel blow of fate. Vidya is accused for setting up the kidnapping and murder of her own daughter under suspicious circumstances.
But, it’s here that unlike KAHAANI where nothing happened as it seemed to, KAHAANI 2 starts suffering. In spite of many delectable twists and turns, we can eerily smell the run-of-the-mill climax from far far away with sufficient loopholes left to join the dots in a kiddish way. Hmmmm… having over-intelligent and over-exposed audience does not help any film in any way, I suppose.
Also, the mainstay of original KAHAANI, the wry, delectable humour even in most bizarre situations is sadly replaced by more somber and melancholy happenings. How we miss those endearing ‘Bong eccentricities and anecdotes’!!!
Three cheers to this ever-versatile actress – Vidya Balan
Whatever is the outcome, an actress known for having a head over her shoulders, Vidya Balan, holds the film with a scintillating performance. Transforming from an average lady-next-door to a fiery, we see a strong-willed Durga Rani Singh. Vidya takes us through a gamut of emotions with her power-packed act… as if ,at one time, Durga Rani becomes Vidya Balan and Vidya Balan becomes Durga Rani.
Though we miss charismatic Nawazuddin, Arjun Rampal does justice to his role. He plays a burdened Police Officer who is in charge of this who-done-it case. As always, easy on eyes, Arjun makes the film all the more watchable.
Little angel, Mini is her natural self…sweet girl.
Rest of the Bengali actors have given some nuanced performances that complement the film perfectly. But we surely miss our creepy Bob Biswas!!!
Music wise, KAHAANI 2 is no patch to the original but sometimes- shrill –sometimes- haunting background score keeps the mystery alive and kicking.
As it happens very rarely, its heartening to see the places like Kolkata, Kalimpong and Chandennagore come alive with a life of their own… beautiful detailing captured by the talented cinematographer and director duo.
If you forgive the mediocre second half, KAHAANI 2 is an engrossing film, provided you are going to enjoy the journey and not be bothered about the destination per se.