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Kahaani Bollywood Movie Review

Who needs a Kapoor or Khan, when there's Balan!

After a series of commendable performances in movies like No One Killed Jessica, Ishqiya and The Dirty Picture, Vidya Balan establishes herself as the 'S'Hero of Indian Cinema, with her latest offering 'Kahaani.'- Another award winning performance!

A suspense-thriller at heart, Kahaani scores on the fact that it makes you feel like a kid busy solving a jig-saw puzzle. Just when you feel that you are almost there, director Sujoy Ghosh throws another surprise! And there you are astounded by the completely 'unpredictable end' of this Kahaani.

With skills of a master storyteller, the director succeeds in transporting the on-screen tension and anticipation to the audiences, who begin to play IB officers in their seats.

Kahaani is the story of a seven-months pregnant woman, Vidya Bagchi (software engineer by profession) who lands in the chaotic city of Joy in search of her husband (Arnab Bagchi), who suddenly goes missing. Well, you know this even before you watch the film. But there's a lot more than what meets the eye in this mysterious film that intrigues you scene after scene and keeps on the edge in major part of the film.

During her search for Arnab Bagchi, Vidya comes across many people and situations. It's commendable to note that not even a single character / situation is less important or not-required & each one takes the plot forward - Be it Rana, Khan, Bhaskaran, Agnes or for that matter the 'running hot water' kid.

Talking about performances, Vidya shines in intense breakdown moments as well as the lighter ones with equal ease and perfection. She is excellent playing a woman who is smart, vulnerable, depressed, determined and heavily pregnant of course! Besides, Parambrata as sub-inspector Rana and Vidya's companion can expect a Best Supporting Actor nomination for a balanced performance. We quite liked Nawazuddin Siddique's (Khan) character for remaining shrewd till the end, though performance wise he was average. However, Saswata Chaterjee, who played the devilishly terrifying bespectacled contract killer Bob Biswas for giving a hateworthy performance. Indraneil Sengupta is impressive in the challenging role. The child actors are natural.

The director deserves a pat on his back for bouncing back in full swing after giving us a dud in 2009's Aladin starring Riteish & Jaqueline. Minus one tiny snag, the script by Ghosh and Advaita Kala is gripping and entertaining thanks to the smart mix of drama, pace and fine editing.

If Kahaani is an engaging mystery on one hand - complete with chase sequence and hunting for a deciding document in a dingy office, on the other it has some well enacted and well directed emotional angles too. For instance - the equation between cop Rana (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) and Vidya is endearing or the scene where a small boy offers his prized possession - a radio to Vidya and brings a smile to her.

Even the city of Kolkata plays its part well, thanks to the director's choice of going for subtle details like yellow taxis, laid-back trams, laal-paad saris, hot luchis, dilapidated houses and festivities of Durga Puja rather than pulling in the obvious cliches like O-laiden Bong accent, Roshogulla, Mishti Doi or for that matter the iconic Howrah Bridge. Besides, sprinkling of tongue-in-cheek humour when you least expect, for instance presenting Kolkataites as 'computer challenged' or Vidya Balan being pronounced as Bidya repeatedly act as tension breakers.

Vishal- Shekhar's music amalgamates with the entire theme and setting of the movie, without overpowering performances and situations, which usually happens in suspense thrillers. The title track is like an ode to the city of Joy. However, we wish Amitabh Bachchan's 'Ekla Cholo Re' had some more screen time. But it's mesmerizing nonetheless.

On the whole, this intriguing, gripping and entertaining Kahaani by Sujoy Ghosh is a must watch! And mind you, you'll forget Vidya's Dirty act with this stellar performance!