Run Time:140 mins
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Director Sujoy Ghosh has pulled off one of the most gripping openings scenes in a Hindi film to kick off his mystery Kahaani 2.
He doesn’t waste a minute as he draws us into the ordinary lives of Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan) and her daughter, Mini, and turns their world upside down.
In a matter of minutes you are invested in their lives and the sheer pace of the events that follow leaves you breathless, in a good way.
Since it’s a mystery, a tight lid will be kept on the story in this review.
But it’s one of the rare films that tackle a sensitive subject with gumption and grace. A scene in which a dowdy Balan confronts the perpetrator and his allies who are complicit in the cover-up of an unspeakable crime is worth applauding.
Balan doesn’t hold back and takes them down. She doesn’t shy away from addressing issues that are often brushed under the carpet. Her vulnerability and her quiet strength is underlined in those scenes.
The Indian National Award-winning actress, who plays a mother on the run who is accused of murdering and kidnapping of a minor, puts in a compelling performance. Her fear, her angst and her protectiveness towards her daughter is beautifully captured. While there’s no doubt in a viewer’s mind about her innocence, it’s wonderful that Balan has the charisma and the gravitas to keep everyone hooked until the last second.
Some of the twists in the second half may seem predictable, but it’s buoyed by some fantastic performances.
Arjun Rampal as a middle-level police officer is thoroughly engaging. He’s on Balan’s trail, and his quest to find the truth about her past is played out handsomely.
But there’s a coincidence in the film that’s hard to believe.
Still, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this dark thriller.
Also, watch out for director Ghosh’s finesse in bringing out the middle-class milieu of West Bengal.
Don’t miss it
Kahaani 2 is currently showing in the UAE.