Expectations can be a strong barrier. We want Salman Khan to be a Dabangg and Shah Rukh Khan to be a Raj. Very few successfully break the mould. Sujoy Ghosh is in a similar predicament. His last film Kahaani defines him. He has big shoes, though his own, to step into. Watching Kahaani 2, I couldn’t help but feel the pressure Sujoy must have had directing this film. Kahaani was a film that came without expectations, the audience were caught off-guard by a unique story and the climax was totally unanticipated.
In Kahaani 2, we expect to be surprised and wait for unexpected turns to catch us off-guard. We know there will be a twist in the end like Kahaani. Sujoy knows the audience expectations and tries hard to meet it. The twists are a few too many, the background score is a little too loud and the climax a little too forced. It can be tough to surprise an audience waiting to be surprised.
Kahaani 2 starts off with Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan) as a harried single mom with a handicapped daughter. The daughter is kidnapped and mother lands up in hospital. Suspense starts building when the police inspector (Arjun Rampal) recognizes Vidya as another person. The background of the story is smartly revealed through jottings in Vidya’s diary. Rest of the story is about a mother’s fight to get her daughter back. Kahaani 2 is a standalone story not related to the previous film.
Vidya Balan is in great form. This role is right up her alley. She brings out the angst of a mother whose child has been kidnapped. She makes you empathize with her and when she is on screen, you can’t help but watch. Arjun Rampal provides good support but this is Vidya Balan’s show all the way. Manini Chadha, as Arjun Rampal’s wife impresses in her brief role.
Like his previous film, Kahaani 2 too has an authentic feel. The streets of Chandan Nagar, Calcutta and Kalimpong have been beautifully captured. The songs are blended in nicely in the proceedings. Sujoy is a fine story-teller and he should not be confined by the success of Kahaani. He is the person who made the likeable Jhankaar Beats, a film in a very different genre.
On its own, Kahaani 2 is a very watchable film. It engages, entertains and wraps up nicely. However, the format follows the previous film, and the viewer waits for that punch that is never delivered. There’s no duplicity to Vidya’s character. The climax is in fact, predictable and does not match up to that of Kahaani. The film still keeps you glued to your seat even if you may not be biting your nails.
Rating : 3/5
Starring: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Manini Chadha
Director: Sujoy Ghosh