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Bidya is back
Dec 02, 2016 09:22 AM 1493 Views





Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare - Alfred Hitchcock


When it comes to whodunit films, it is a tightrope walk for a filmmaker all along the way. It usually begins with a startling crime after which the director introduces all the usual suspects to the audience. As the movie progresses, there is a gradual buildup making the audience realise that there is more than what meets the eye. If the pace slackens at any point, interest is lost. The piece de resistance is the climax where everything must fall in place satisfactorily while taking the audience completely off guard. One misstep here and the film will fall flat. No wonder that the finest whodunits are the ones with a memorable climax. From Hitchcock's PSYCHO to David Fincher's SE7EN and Manoj N. Shyamalan's SIXTH SENSE to Martin Scorsese's SHUTTER ISLAND, all are shining examples of clever writing. Closer home in Bollywood, whodunits are a rarity. The last good one was a good four years ago. KAHAANI. By the same director-actor team of Ghosh & Balan. Can they recreate the same magic once again?


Firstly, KAHAANI 2 is not a sequel in the sense that it is not really about the enigmatic protagonist from the first part,'Bidya' Yes, the film revolves completely around Vidya Balan this time around too and no, she does not disappoint. At the heart of KAHAANI 2 is the poignant relationship between a mother and her troubled child. On another level it is the story of a cop hunting for an elusive criminal and finally there is the third story of the tumultous childhood of Vidya Balan's character. To say anything more would be spoiling the fun for a viewer. The problem with KAHAANI 2 is that all these three parts do not come together as a whole. As seamlessly as they should have. Especially the second half which focuses more on the vengeful protagonist is not as effective. But there is still a lot to love about the film. The pre interval portions are so stirring that you will probably be nervously fidgeting with your smartphone till the second half starts.

One must applaud director Sujoy Ghosh for writing a fabulous script which works well for most parts of the film. Yes, the Arjun Rampal track does not quite resonate the way a Nawaz did in the first part. And the novelty value of using Kolkata as a character which worked so well in the first part wears thin in KAHAANI 2. The background score done by Clinton Cerejo(who drew rave reviews for his work in the first one too) is relentless keeping the audience interested even when the onscreen drama wanes. Tapan Basu a veteran lensman when it comes to ad films makes his debut as cinematographer with Kahaani 2 and shows that he belongs here. At a shade over two hours, the film moves at a pace that barely slackens throughout.

Among the supporting actors, Sujoy brings back the quirky cop who was so charming in the first part especially when he mutters'Bidya'. Jugal Hansraj who is seen on the big screen after a long time is surprisingly good in a role that is in contrast to his'goody boy' image in Hindi films. Arjun Rampal usually suits roles that need him to be this silent, strong and what is in Mumbaiyya language called'Khadoos' And he does full justice to the cop act though it is one dimensional. The lifeline of KAHAANI 2 is Vidya Balan. In a mysterious yet meaty role, she gamely carries the whole film on the strength of her performance and for most parts, it works. From a caring, sensitive mother to a woman with a torrid past and finally as a hell-hath-no-fury woman in the end she nails each shade of her character. After a few wrong choice of roles, this one impresses. Welcome back Miss Balan.

Sujoy Ghosh's career has been a mixed bag. He followed up a charming JHANKAAR BEATS with duds like ALADDIN and HOME DELIVERY before KAHAANI(2012) In between that one and KAHAANI 2, he made the brilliant short, AHALYA. The only reason that KAHAANI 2 underwhelms is because Sujoy tries too hard to surpass KAHAANI and it shows. This is true for the audience as well who must try and refrain from incessantly comparing this one to the first part. Easier said than done, though. Watch KAHAANI 2 as a stand alone film and it still is one of the better films of the year. For there are more highs here and less lows. Must watch once.

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