Review: Vidya Balan’s Magic Makes ‘Kahaani 2’ a Worthy Successor
Vidya Balan’s ‘Kahaani 2’ is the perfect example of stellar storytelling.
Although the film is a standalone sequel, it made sense for the makers to call it ‘Kahaani 2’, trying to make the most of the goodwill of the brilliantly-crafted ‘Kahaani’. For most parts, it is a worthy successor.
At the helm of affairs is director Sujoy Ghosh, whose steely resolve to not let typical mainstream contrivances come in the way of stellar storytelling, is both reassuring and commendable. We are in a familiar universe where the ‘Kahaani''is the hero!
Vidya Balan plays Durga Rani Singh or rather Bidya, as the name gets marinated in the Bengali ethos. Anticipation and tension are built up in equal measures to give us a spectacularly intimate journey into her character.
Flashbacks are used to brilliant effect and we see in fragmented scraps of time the special bond that she forges with a little girl Mini in Kalimpong. Mini and Durga both seem to share a kind of pain and fear that is difficult to articulate and in these moments of silence the film soars.
The sinister presence of the little girl’s uncle (Jugal Hansraj) and grandmother (Amba Sanyal) and Durga’s struggle are heartbreakingly sincere. Vidya Balan gives a devastatingly touching performance making the first half phenomenally engaging.
Arjun Rampal, who till now looked best in his “Rock On” avatar, is surprisingly good. As the cop in-charge of Vidya’s case, it is his character that acts as our guide as we try to piece together the baffling kidnapping of Durga’s daughter. But it is the curse of the second half that renders this otherwise poised for greatness piece of cinema into an average affair.
The chilling efficiency with which Sujoy Ghosh has been approaching the story reaches a dead end as the “Kahaani” gobsmackingly evaporates. Predictability mars the narrative and the denouement is so utterly obvious and contrived that the film and the viewers never manage to recover from it.
Such a pity! I give it a generous 3 QUINTS OUT OF 5 and its only because of the magic of Vidya Balan.
Here’s what I thought!
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