Kahaani, starring Vidya Balan in the lead, is a riveting thriller that grabs hold of you within the first 5 minutes, and doesn't let go till the end credits roll.
A heavily pregnant Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) arrives in Kolkata from the UK in search of her missing husband, Arnab. She lands up at Kalighat Police Station, where a young inspector Satyoki aka Rana (Parambrata Chatterjee) helps her in her search. The problems start when people start to deny that Arnab Bagchi ever existed......
To say any more would risk giving the story away, and this is one Kahaani that should be experienced in the cinema. As mentioned earlier, this is a taut thriller, that thankfully makes sense for the most part, and doesn't sacrifice logic for the sake of plot twists a la Abbas Mustan.
Performance wise, this is Vidya Balan's film all the way. Balan makes you forget a certain character called Silk, and immediately involves you in the search for her husband. She is ably supported by Bengali actor Parambrata Chatterjee, who gives a confident, understated performance, never trying to steal the show from Balan. The supporting cast are made up from actors from the Bengali film industry, rather than force fitting the stock Bollywood character actors into the film, and this benefits the film hugely. Saswata Chatterjee gives a very effective performance as insurance agent Bob Biswas, who also has another part time job. Indraneil Sengupta, Kharaj Mukherjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee and Darshan Jariwala all pitch in convincing acts. Abir Chatterjee is likeable in a special appearance .
The editing is tight, as is required for a thriller, and Vishal Shekhar's music is well used in the film. A special mention for the use of Hindi and Bengali R.D. Burman songs in the background - another nod to the Boss from Ghosh after Jhankaar Beats. Cinematography brings out the best of the locations around the city of joy.
Kahaani works big time because of a convincing screenplay, stellar performances, and solid direction.
Thank you Sujoy Ghosh - for giving us a thriller that doesn't treat us like we're stupid, for giving us a film that is truly different, and for displaying my city, the real Kolkata, to a national and international audience in a way that only a true Bengali could. Now hopefully non-Bengalis will realise that Devdas is not an accurate representation of Bangali-aana.