Monday 12 March 2012

Kahaani [2012]

Kahaani is a taut and engaging mystery thriller (a genre that still remains relatively underutilized in Indian cinema), and it is director Sujoy Ghosh’s loving ode to the city of Calcutta. Vidya Balan, perhaps the best actress in mainstream Hindi cinema at the moment, has put in yet another memorable performance (right after her stellar act in Ishqiya and Dirty Picture) as a heavily pregnant lady who has come down to the city to search for her husband who, it seems, has vanished into thin air and who no one seems to have ever seen or heard of. In this quest she finds an ally in the form of a young and sympathetic policeman (Parambrato Chatterjee) who finds himself falling for her. Ghosh has put in all the popular iconographies that define Calcutta to an outsider while capturing the myriad sights and sounds of the multi-faceted city – consequently, though they might seem tad stereotypical at times, it still was great to savour even for a thoroughbred Calcuttan like me. The script also veers at time despite its overall witty and efficient nature, but, on the whole, this is a competently executed thriller where all the departments – right from cinematography and sound design to editing – have complemented each other very well to present an enjoyable final package. The one aspect that absolutely stood out for me in it, however, was, the fabulous performance by Saswata Chatterjee, an excellent actor with superb comic timing, whose turn as Bob Biswas would easily rank as one of the most memorable ‘against the type’ castings in recent memory. Noteworthy turns have also been put in by Kharaj Mukherjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Language: Hindi/Bengali
Country: India

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