Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kahaani - Movie Review

Watched 'Kahaani' and enjoyed it. Finally off the list of the to-do things. Kolkata looks the same it did when I was there in 1991 and I completely loved the way the camera takes in Kolkata and those wonderful bunch of characters who are so perfect (save the obviously Bengali babus in Tamil and South Indian names and the obviously Maharashtrian agent who is cast as a UP or Bihari). But the rest are incredibly good, the cops at the cop house, the tea wallahs, the taxi wallahs, the lodges. Wonderful.

It is obviously a story that cannot be told (because it must be seen) but it grips you completely and any holes that I perceived (I did!) in the narrative must be held back till later. Enough to say that one can pack everything up, sit back and enjoy a tautly made, thriller with the most unexpected of characters and endings - and all this with no loud dhan-de-dans ringing in your ears. And to enjoy Kolkata and its people and its culture too - the Agnes's, the Satyaki's, the Chatterjee's, the Bob Biswas's, even the little kid with the running water Bishnu (who incidentally has a smile that resembles that of Dhoni). Vidya Balan in the role of a pregnant Bidya Venkatesan Bagchi (she quickly throws off the South Indian stuff) is super in the way she walks, talks and carries herself, showing the right amount of fear and apprehension and showing her spunk at every occasion it demands. Difficult role surely and perfectly delivered - can't think of anyone who could have done a better job (Meryl Streep?). My fav character in the plot remains Bob Biswas the LIC agent and my sympathies lay heavily with his boss. Must watch on the big screen for the way it is shot and the way it brings Kolkata to life - the metro, Howrah bridge, Durga puja, the trams (the car behind was priced at 35 paise in 1991 I think, 10 paise more than the car in front, owing to a bigger fan), guest houses, the little gullies, the Maidan, Camac street, Park street. On the small screen it will be a caricature. So go for it now!

Well done Sujoy Ghosh. Interesting to see the story is developed by Advaita Kala, the best selling author of the chick lit novel 'Amost Single'. I think she also co-scripted 'Anjaani Anjaana' if I am not mistaken. And if this was meant to be a tribute to Kolkata, it is a wonderful effort.

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