Yahoo Review: Kahaani 2

Cast: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Jugal Hansraj

Direction: Sujoy Ghosh

Rating: ***

A sequel inevitably carries the baggage of expectation, especially if the first part has been a huge success. Despite some good performances, Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani 2’ fails to pack the punch of its prequel. There is a massive build up of anticipation, but without a pay off.

The first half of Vidya Sinha’s (Vidya Balan) story weaves enough intrigue to keep you hooked till the interval. After the interval the plot slips into a predictable trajectory, the grip of the taut suspense loosening every now and then. As the pace slackens, you question the motives of the characters and wonder if the obvious loopholes will eventually be plugged. Alas, that never happens.

The premise is dark, disturbing and intrinsically vile. There’s nothing as distressing as the unsettling and instinctive apprehension that a six-year-old is the victim of sexual abuse. The realization that the perpetrator is a family member leaves one all the more helpless, because without concrete proof there is no way to abate or even confront the harassment. Paedophilia and the haplessness of a child to deal with it immediately piques your resentment and vies for your empathy.

The audience is also curious to know more about this woman – Durga Rani Singh aka Vidya Sinha – who emerges as the sole guardian of the harassed child. Durga carries a burden but she seems so scared by her past that it is sometimes difficult to believe that she’s completely objective about handling the issue.

While all this cumulates gradually into an engaging thriller, the motive behind the actions of the main villain in the second half – when he, for no logical reason, revisits the child victim after eight years have passed – doesn’t quite add up. This alone makes the climax simplistic and a tad contrived.

What makes this thriller watchable is the performance of the lead cast. Vidya Balan is a natural as the slightly impulsive and antsy mother, willing to go to any length to protect her daughter. The usually stoic Arjun Rampal is effective as the cop with a past, too eager to get promotion and seemingly too detached from the proceedings. It is a revelation to see Jugal Hansraj play such a convincing villain – the adorable child artiste has indeed come a long way – who is actually offensive in his suave avatar.

‘Kahaani 2’ is definitely watchable, but it lacks the shock and awe of its prequel.

Did you like the film? Share your views/comments with us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also connect with me on Twitter.