Banner: Boundscript Motion Pictures, Pen India
Producers: Sujoy Ghosh, Kushal Kantilal Gada, Dhaval Jayantilal Gada, Aksshay Jayantilal Gada
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Cast: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Jugal Hasraj, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Amba Sanyal, Naisha Khanna, Tunisha Sharma, Manini Chadha,Kharaj Mukherjee
Writer: Sujoy Ghosh (screenplay, story & dialogue), Ritesh Shah (dialogue), Suresh Nair (story)
Music: Clinton Cerejo
When you have a critically acclaimed director like Sujoy Ghosh, an actress like Vidya Balan, who portrays complex characters with seamless ease, and a sequel to the 2012 hit thriller Kahaani, there’s nothing more you could ask for. Kahaani 2 is not only impressive, it is a story that showcases an incredible journey of a woman.
Apart from the three winning elements mentioned above, the film also scores on its factual substance in the screenplay which is presented with conviction on the silver screen. But once in the auditorium, refrain from comparisons with Kahaani and you will leave very pleased.
The film starts in Chandra Nagar, West Bengal, where Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan) lives with her paralysed daughter Mini (Tunisha Sharma). When Mini gets kidnapped, Vidya is in shock and begins to look for her frantically. But a car accident puts Vidya into a coma.
Police Sub-Inspector Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal), who is investigating the case, not only realises that he knows Vidya Sinha personally, but also learns that she is in fact Durga Rani Singh, who is wanted in a kidnapping and murder case in Kalimpong. Inderjeet soon finds a diary in Vidya’s house, where she has recorded events that happened years ago. How the film unfolds further forms the crux of the story.
Directorially, Ghosh has done his homework very thoroughly. From the foundation of his story to character sketch of his actors, Ghosh executes each layer of the screenplay flawlessly. Cinematography by debutant Tapan Tushar Basu is spectacular. His camerawork lends the narrative a perfect visual. What also makes the film stand out is the performances, which are of a consistently high standard. Editing by Namrata Rao is taut, especially the first half of the film.
Many scenes not only hold delicate emotions but also deftly weave suspense into the story. Among those that impress are the one where Inder finds Vidya’s diary; Durga’s interaction with Mini in school; when Durga talks to Mini and Mohit enters; Inder and his senior inspector sequences; and Durga’s first meeting with Mohit and when he meets her in the market place and threatens her. Ghosh smartly carves out a niche screenplay and, as a director, holds his narration firm throughout.
The production values are absolutely top-notch. Indeed, this film is a perfect marriage between screenplay and locations. Costumes are apt. Dialogue not only makes Rani’s story realistic but also brings out the essence of the screenplay. Background score is one of the strongest aspects of the narration. With a runtime of 130 minutes, there is rarely a dull moment in the first half of the film. Post-interval, the film starts at snail’s pace but soon the narrative picks up. However, the climax is a little weak.
Performance-wise, there is a certain charm that each character possesses, which is highlighted thanks to the conviction of the actors. Vidya Balan plays her role with a simple yet powerful magnetism. She is the backbone of the narrative and coveys this through her act. She also has a knack of grasping the smallest details of her character.
Arjun Rampal’s performance is a perfect blend of confidence and subtlety. Jugal Hasraj is fantastic. Tota Roy Chowdhury gets into the skin of his character and impresses. Amba Sanyal is terrific. Naisha Khanna reflects the gullibility and innocence of her part exceptionally well. Tunisha Sharma does justice to her role. Manini Chadha is good. Kharaj Mukherjee is fabulous in his act. The rest of the cast supports well.
Verdict: A film NOT to be missed!