Verdict: Vidya Balan owns this creepy, edgy thriller.
When Kahaani released way back in 2012, no one expected it to be one of the highest grossers of the year. Starring Vidya Balan in the role of a pregnant woman who comes to Kolkata in search of her husband, the movie worked solely due to its watertight script and exceptional performances. The same goes for Kahaani 2, which isn't exactly a sequel, as the film is a new story altogether. It took four years for Sujoy Ghosh to come out with the movie and it seems he did spend a good amount of time writing a mother of a story (you'll get the reference of the tagline once you watch the film).
Vidya Sinha (Balan) lives in Chandan Nagar, with her kid Minny, who is disabled. The mother-daughter duo is content with their lives even though Sinha doesn't have money to replace her faulty mobile phone. She is, in fact, saving every penny to take her child to the US for her treatment, which will help her walk again. One day when returning home from work, Vidya finds out that Minny is missing, and she meets with a fatal accident while on her way to the address the kidnapper called her at. Inspector Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal) is called to investigate the case and he soon finds a resemblance between Vidya and Durga Rani Singh, a murderer who is on the run. Giving out any more details about the plot would simply spoil the film for you.
The first half of Kahaani 2 is brilliant. You wouldn't want to avert your eyes from the screen as there’s so much happening. Multiple characters are established and the non-linear narrative adds to the thrills. The interval does not come at a crucial point as Kahaani, where Bob Biswas pushes Vidya off the metro station, and that is when everything goes downhill. Since the film is a thriller, it is disappointing that you get a sense of how things will end, at least an hour before it's over.
Nevertheless, the performances manage to keep you hooked during the second half. Vidya Balan has proven to be a character actor and once again she puts up a great show. She sports not more than three outfits during the movie and there’s barely a hint of makeup on her. Balan looks the part and kudos to her for signing such films, when most actresses want to play a glamorous, quintessential Bollywood heroine. Arjun Rampal, who isn't exactly known for his acting chops, gives it his best shot and is convincing as a cop who is desperate for a promotion. Jugal Hansraj, Amba Sanyal, and the girl who plays the contract killer, manage to make an impact in their small roles.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
While many Bollywood sequels do not work for numerous reasons, Sujoy Ghosh should be given credit for taking his time and coming up with a solid script rather than dishing out a sub-par film. Unfortunately, he set the bar too high with Kahaani and that is the only reason why the second part isn't as thrilling. This doesn't mean you shouldn't watch the movie at the cinemas. Vidya Balan’s riveting performance and the dark, taut first half is enough reason for you to book your tickets for Kahaani 2 now.