Sujoy Ghosh's 'Kahaani' is such a compelling watch that it makes it difficult for the audience to sit back and relax. The tight script manages to keep the viewer's hooked till the end and the climax has a payoff that's completely worth the wait.
The premise is simple: Vidya Bagchi's (Vidya Balan) husband who had come to Kolkata on a short assignment has suddenly gone missing. A pregnant Vidya comes down from London to find Arnab Bagchi, who seems to have either disappeared or never made the trip in the first place. The way a simple search story unfolds, weaving a complex conspiracy is most intriguing.
The storytelling is taut and the momentum builds to a grand climax, the pace not slacking even for a moment. The possibilities are infinite: Did Arnab Bagchi just desert his pregnant wife? Are the police trying to somehow cover up his Kolkata visit? Does Arnab Bagchi exist or has he given his naïve wife a false identity? Is it possible that he has gone missing because he was mistaken for someone else? Or is there something wrong with Vidya?
Needless to say Vidya gives a power packed performance: her relentless search for her husband, the way she manages to get Rana's compassion (Parambrata Chatterjee) and persuades him to help her, the frustrating moments when the search seems to have reached a dead end, her fearless quest for her husband even when she realizes that her life is under threat; she seems to have got each expression, each nuance spot on. The conviction with which she essays this role is commendable.
Each character in this film, no matter how short the role, makes their presence felt; whether it is the compassionate police officer Rana, the ruthless and manipulative top cop Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), the child characters or the weird contract-killer.
Sujoy Ghosh has managed to weave together a compelling 'Kahaani'. My only little criticism is that the elaborate explanation at the end was unnecessary. I would have loved to have an open-ended conclusion that would entrust the audience to draw some inferences of its own.
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