Expectations were tremendously huge for this movie. For at least 2 years, we heard of Vidya Balan doing a Sujoy Ghosh directorial in 'City of Joy' - 'Kolkata'. The teasers & trailers of the movie were called 'Explosive' as the movie looked too different. Adding to all of these, "The Dirty Picture" made the day for Vidya Balan & grabbed her a national award along with a row of other awards like Filmfare, IIFA etc. The role for Vidya in KAHAANI is extremely challenging for her and I think no one else could have done it better. Now let's discuss the movie...
Vidya Bagchi [Vidya Balan] arrives in Kolkata from London to find her missing husband. Seven month pregnant and alone in a festive city, she begins a relentless search for her husband. With nothing to rely on, except fragments from her memories about him, all clues seem to reach a dead end when everyone tries to convince Vidya that her husband does not exist. She slowly realizes that nothing is what it seems. In a city soaked in lies, Vidya is determined to unravel the truth about her husband -- for herself and her unborn child, even at the cost her own life.
A woman on her own is the biggest challenge in the life of a lady and if she is pregnant also then nothing to say. It takes too much of courage to search for your missing husband in a totally strange city. Vidya Balan frames that woman with excessive skill and puts a landmark performance for the movie. If anyone asks about the central character of the movie then it's obviously "BIDYA.... errr VIDYA BAGCHI" and Vidya had to keep justice to that responsibility. She has been already named "Female SRK", then none has nothin' to say about her performance. Forget the skin show and sex-appeal of her from "The Dirty Picture", here comes Vidya Bagchi, the woman with guts that many male protagonists lack. Her confidence, her strong mentality, her commanding character, her vulnerability, her fury - everything makes her the 'Hero' of this movie. Way to go!
Director Sujoy Ghosh has a very innovative mind and uninhibited genuineness in his direction which has been shown in his last films like 'Jhankaar Beats', 'Home Delivery'. KAHAANI is a challenging movie as it portraits the journey of a pregnant mother searching for her husband. The concept sounds like dramatic but Sujoy skillfully handles the script and amalgamates it in a thriller format. He has shown nothing to glorify Kolkata at all but somehow Kolkata is 'dark', 'dreary' and 'mysterious' in his movie. It's very realistic.
Other roles show much hope and most of them are from Kolkata and never have been seen in other Bolly flicks. Parambrata Chatterjee (Inspector Rana) is a talented performer and you know it if you have seen many Bengali films of him. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is perfect. Dhritiman Chatterjee is still in a good shape as he is a very experienced actor. Saswata Chatterjee was awesome. I like him very much as an actor and yet he proves that he is still the star if given a Hindi picture. Hats off to him. Indraneil Sengupta was fine his hort and challenging role. Kharaj Mukherjee was superfine. Amulya Ganguly was splendid. Others like Kamalika Banerjee, Phalguni Chatterjee are fine.
Vishal-Shekhar's music is top notch. Every track is good especially "Ekla Cholo Re" and "Kahaani". Lyrics by Vishal Dadlani, Anvita Datt, Sandeep Shirodhkar work fine. Cinematography by Setu in capturing a totally different Kolkata is arresting. Costumes by Sabyasachi Mukherjee & Suchishmita Dasgupta is damn good. Editing by Namrata Rao is interesting.
On the whole, what people thought about KAHAANI was absolutely right that yes, KAHAANI is EXPLOSIVE. The different shades of a city and a pregnant mother stuck in between her husband's existence and her mental conflict, KAHAANI a story of Kolkata in a different angle. KAHAANI is a very different journey of a woman that is different only because of Vidya Balan. She made KAHAANI happen so wonderfully. Watch a different phase of 'entertainment' in this movie. Strongly Recommended.