SG: Yes, although it didn’t feel that long.
VB: I guess everyone expected us to make Kahaani 2 soon after the first film released. We shot Kahaani in 2010 and it released in 2012. So it is actually six years since Kahaani happened.
BOI: Kahaani is a brand now but don’t you think the flipside is that people now have huge expectations?
SG: There are lots of expectations but if you let them into your head, you won’t be able to deliver your next. Kahaani is in its place; this is a new film with new twists.
VB: I think that’s why he said we are making a completely different film and we are not trying to compare the two. The good thing is that people stopped asking questions after the trailer released. Till then, they were wondering whether it was the same Vidya Bagchhi, whether Nawazuddin Siddiqui would feature in the film, whether Sujoy would bring back Bob Biswas’s ghost, because they loved the characters.
So there were all these questions and we were wondering how we were going to tackle those questions. The moment the trailer released, people got sucked into that world and they stopped asking questions. I think that was the first positive step. Now I am honestly not feeling any pressure of Kahaani. Because of Kahaani, people have expectations from Kahaani 2 and I think that’s a good thing.
SG: I was never more scared than I was the day before the trailer released. It took us so long to get the trailer right, in the sense that we didn’t know how the audience would react, whether they would throw chappals or tomatoes at the screen.
SG: I can’t say whether it is better or not but it’s holding its own ground very well. People think the story is complex and more emotional than the first one.
VB: Thanks to social media, people are eager to tell you how they feel, which was not the case with Kahaani. You get a better sense than you did four years ago.
BOI: What was the feeling on the sets of Kahaani? And what was the feeling when you were shooting Kahaani 2?
SG: When I started Kahaani, the only person I knew was Vidya Balan, and both of us where shooting in Kolkata for the first time, shooting in a different environment. And it was exactly the same during Kahaani 2 because I didn’t repeat anyone from Kahaani except my line producer in Kolkata and Kharaj Mukherjee. Everyone else was new on the sets. It was like a reboot.
VB: Honestly, I was wondering what it would be like because both of us had changed in the last four years. And on the sets, we were both looking to each other for support. So I was wondering if it would be any different, but on the first day itself, it felt the way it did six years ago on the sets.
SG: When I went on the sets on the first day, and after watching the first shot, I knew the film was in good hands, that she would take care of the acting and half my work was done.
SG: They were not required because the kind of characters we have in this film required a certain look and feel. Since Kahaani was set in Kolkata, I needed people predominantly from Kolkata. But this story is not based in Kolkata; this one is based in other parts of West Bengal. So you have various kinds of people, from the North East, North India etc. This script demanded a different set of characters. The only character which the script demanded was Kharaj da (Mukherjee), without whom I don’t think she would have shot the film.
VB: I love him as an actor, he is so cute! First, he is a cop and there are these little things he does as an actor that are amazing. Sometimes, I watch him perform in shock. What an actor! He does it so effortlessly that his lines never sound like dialogue; it comes naturally.
SG: He can do anything on screen and get away with it.