Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kahaani - A movie review

When I called my friend to watch a Hindi movie, he was skeptical but played along. He did mention that he would rather watch 'A Separation'. I asked him not to insult my intelligence. I would never waste my time on a movie that is not worth my time. 'A Separation' is high on my list but I was in mood for some Indian fare.

How can one not like a movie that plays 'Tere bina jiya jaaye na'? Kahaani is all about such small details. It assumes that the viewer is intelligent, which is a big plus for Indian movies.

Kahaani is the story of a wife searching for her missing husband just like 'Roja'. But it doesn’t taper off as lamely as 'Roja' did. Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) , a computer engineer from London, frantically searches for her husband, who comes on a two week assignment to India. No one has heard of her husband - Arnab Bagchi. Not the 'National Data Center' (the project he was working on) or the guest house where he stayed. The first place she starts her search is the usual one that any common man would go to - the police and earns the sympathy of a constable, Rana. Her search leads her into an intricate web of mystery and suspense of a look-alike of her husband. Her relentless pursuit of what looks like a lost cause, in spite of being heavily pregnant, makes us want to shout to her to be more considerate to her unborn baby.

The suspense here is not built by a car chase or a series of gun-fights. It is the slow unveiling of an intricate plot which revolves the 'Intelligence Beaureau' and an incident involving a terror attack in the Kolkatta metro.

The characters are flawless. You would hate the IB deputy chief Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), whose commands are nothing but a string of swear words. You would love Rana(Parambrata Chatterjee), for being a simpleton, who takes the tram after work, telling his mother that he is on his way back home. And you are afraid when Bob , the contract killer who masquerades as a lazy insurance agent, is going to kill next.

Of course Kolkatta is an important central character. The simple beauty of the Howrah bridge as seen from the tram, the traffic, the chai chops, the yellow taxi cabs, the Chinese street food stalls, the preparation for puja and the ever beautiful Bong women (if you notice the receptionist at NDC).

Vidya is excellent - as a forlorn wife, as a frantic and pregnant woman, as an NRI who is returning back to homeland, as a South Indian adjusting to being called 'Bidya' and lastly as a beautiful actress who portrays emotions through a subtle glint in her eyes.

Every year I think there is atleast one Hindi movie that I love. Last year, it was Dhobhi Ghaat and this year Kahaani usurped it.  If all this is not enough, the throws-off-your-seat ending makes it a must-watch. 

No comments: