Kahaani (2012)

India Shemaroo DVD edition and as seen on Netflix

Text below written 2012-06-17 and 2019-01-14



Fine Bengali - Bollywood thriller, slightly Hitchcockian, where the outstanding actress Vidya Balan shines in the role as a foreigner
Indian woman searching for her missing husband in the Mega City of Kolkata, Bengal, India.
Balan at this time in 2012, was one of Bollywood's superstars and the film became a huge HIT and something people talked about.
It clocked in at a reasonable 2 hours and there were no song or dance numbers to distract from the story.
The film is a mix of Bollywood and Bengali talents, and after re-watching this film in january 2019 on Netflix i still think it's suspenseful
but maybe more mainstream and less indie in it's style than i thought when watching it the first time in the summer of 2012.
But, the main trio of actors in this film were amazing. Vidya Balan - just fantastic, for me the unknown bengali talent Parambra Chatterjee
impressed as policeman Rana and in a smaller role .... the for me in 2012 still unknown actor - The King Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Nawaz (in a scene from another epic crime story - The Gangs of Wasseypur, 2012)

The 4th actor in this film could well be Kolkata itself, the city where everyone seems to have 2 names, the regular one and a nickname,
and this fascinating Mega City gives a very atmospherical background to the happenings, and the film is shot on the streets during the
Durga Puja celebrations. A colorful chaos.

Maybe this project could be seen as a very successful mix of mentalities, the Bollywood masala grounded hindi film one with the more
artmovie orientated Bengali one, and with hindi and tamil speaking marathi actress Balan, Uttar Pradesh born but active mainly in hindi
film Nawazuddin Siddiqui with bengali director and actor Sujoy Gosh and Parambrata Chatterjee. Perhaps ....
Bollywood still carries the burden of the 1980's masala style, even though there has been a New Wave movement the last decade or so,
and the Bengali film seems, in it's spirit, to be based on the writings of the great Rabindranath Tagore

Vidya Balan

The film starts with a terror gas attack in the Kolkata subway and over a 100 people dies. 2 years later a London indian woman, Vidya Bagchi
(Balan) arrives to Kolkata in search for her husband Arnab. She's very pregnant and makes a missing persons report at the local police
station. He's a computer expert and works at the National Data Center but she hasn't heard from him in a month.
One of the policemen, Rana or Satyoki (Parambrata Chatterjee) is the one helping her in the search for the, soon to be apparent, elusive Arnab.
He hasn't worked at the Data Center, or lived at the hostel where he said he stayed, and his uncle in Thakarpur doesn't exist either.

Up in smoke, and who's Milan Damji ? Her sleuthing starts getting dangerous as the Indian Security Intelligence, with agent Khan (Nawazuddin
Siddiqui), tries to stop her investigation and a mysterious hitman starts killing everyone who ever might have known anything about it.
At first no-one takes her seriously, a heavily pregnant woman evidently dumped by her husband, waddling around like a duck on the streets of
Kolkata asking questions. But she's persistent and tough and soon they've to take her mission seriously.

This was the first time i saw my future favourite male actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and he was very fine as the bossy and somewhat choleric agent.
The Cinematography from Tamil photographer Sethu Sriram makes the city of Kolkata come alive with it's Durga Puja festivities, playing an
important role in the film. At the start of his career he was 2nd unit cameraman to the Tamil Master Mani Ratnam on his masterpiece Dil Se.
And Yes, there's a big Twist a-coming .... but beware of false Narrative (the flashbacks) aaah, you cheated us Sujoy Gosh.

The DVD was presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 5.1 or 2.0 audio. A Shemaroo logo in the low corner
Extras: Making Of featurette (9 minutes) in english, Success Party (11 minutes) in a mix of english, hinid or bengali, 4 Promo songs

 

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