8 March 2012 | partopd-275-978217
The refreshing combination of Parambrata and Balan and the motley of emotions and the ease with which they exude them in "Kahaani" make for an outstanding watch.
Setu's account of Kolkata is delightedly sincere and not superfluous cinematography - the dynamic colours and the simplicity of the artless lanes of Kolkata, admiringly, have not been lost in rhetoric black and white. The same forthrightness has mirrored to a huge extent in Suresh Nair and Sujoy Ghosh's masterful and impressive narration of Bagchi's fable of lost and deeply lost until found.
Vidya Bagchi's (Vidya Balan) hunt for her lost husband Arnab Bagchi (Indraneil Sengupta) brings her down to Kolkata from London. With a seven-month old baby magnifying her power, an infinite exploration of the byways of Kolkata with the help of a local policeman Satyoki Sinha (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) begins. Disordered links and remainders of Vidya's past conversations with Arnab are her fragile hopes. Undeterred, the firewall specialist rummages through the tightly encrypted codes of the mystery, webbed by even more securely encrusted faces.
The refreshing combination of Parambrata and Balan and the motley of emotions and the ease with which they exude them in "Kahaani" make for an outstanding watch. Balan's ability to tailor her sentiments - sympathy, anger and despair - multiplies the strength of her character. The swiftness of the movie leaves no time for the audience to mentally prepare for an upcoming situation. While Vidya accepts herself as "Bidya"in the City of Joy, gifts a chocolate to the kid in the lodge and breaks the lock of National Data Centre; the contract killer Bob Biswas (Saswata Chatterjee) playfully murders people and Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) smokes out his dedication towards his work besides a mouthful of white air.
Just when a wide array of emotions are at their peak and the frantic search is riding high, Amitabh Bachhan's rendition of Tagore's famous song "Jodi tor dak shune" transfers the mood to a completely different level. The festive mood of the city, the preceding and the succeeding of it, the red of sindoor and the expressions of the idols of Durga have been phenomenally well-utlised in the movie.
Balan is a breeze of fresh air in Bollywood, which is suffering from the curves of furniture heroines and "Kahaani", another robust step after the recent "The Dirty Picture" towards reinforcing the position of heroines in a traditionally hero-driven Bollywood. The subtlety with which the soul of the city has been interlaced in the screenplay, while not losing grasp on the flow of the story even for a moment, is a testimony of effectual storytelling.
There is not a single scene in the movie where Parambrata has been overshadowed by the presence of Balan. His acting skills are distinctly sharp and flowing. Sujoy Ghosh's choice of actors for the various characters in "Kahaani" has made an immense contribution towards the kind of impact it leaves on the viewers long after they abandon the theatre.
After all, "Shotti" sounds better as "Shotti", not "Sotti".
The climax, even though prudent and reasonably well-baked, is slightly dramatic and seems to conclude the movie before clearly justifying the actions of Vidya and Satyoki, especially the latter. The momentum of the story towards the end beats its own record and the circumstances merging with the mood of the city seems to be not so much of a coincidence.
Bagchi's "Kahaani" is one of those that would define tougher standards for the forthcoming Fridays. Why on earth would you like to miss the benchmark?
Watch it. Definitely!