Movie Review: Kahaani 2 Fantastic Performances, Poor Script!

Kahaani, when it released in 2012 was a sleeper hit and a part two was eagerly awaited. This week, the wait is over and Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh got released starring Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal. Apart from Vidya Balan and Sujoy Ghosh, there is no connection to Kahaani.

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Coming to the story, ¬†Kahaani 2 has no connection with the first part apart from Vidya Balan and Sujoy Ghosh. Also, it is not a sequel to Kahaani but it is in the same line where the main protagonist Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan) is in search of her crippled daughter Mini (Tunisha Sharma). The movie starts with Vidya getting a call about her daughter being kidnapped and she hysterically runs around the lanes of a small town Chandan Nagar and within minutes she is hit by a speeding car leaving her comatose. Soon, Inderjit Singh (Arjun Rampal) is introduced as the Inspector investigating the case. A visit to the victim’s house reveals to Inderjit that she had acquired a fake identity and also her diary enlightens the fact that she had a trying life that she and her daughter Mini had survived. As Vidya’s condition sinks, she has a mysterious visitor at the hospital who tries to kill her by jabbing a syringe into her wrist. As scope for her recovery seems bleak, Inderjeet strives to get to the bottom of the affair, with or without her assistance. So, will Vidya ever be united with her daughter? Will Inderjeet detect what drove Vidya to adopt an alias? These questions are best unanswered to keep spoilers at bay.

Coming to the script, it is quite engaging in the first half. The story moves ahead at a faster pace and has you hooked with no time to think of any bloopers, however, Kahaani 2 also suffers from the curse of the second half which is quite evident in almost every movie released this year. Suddenly the entire plot is something that even a small kid can predict. However, Sujoy does a great job as a director but the screenplay lets him down.

Vidya Balan as Vidya Sinha / Durga Rani Singh is FANTASTIC. She emotes every emotion effortlessly and is a sheer pleasure to watch. This one of the best performances by Balan and might be considered for every award function that will kick start in few weeks time. Arjun Rampal surprisingly does a wonderful job. This movie has challenged the hidden actor in him and he proves that if given a right script and a director, he can definitely hit back with a great performance. Jugal Hansraj as the mean uncle does a commendable job and also a never seen before act, and every time he comes on screen you tend to hate his presence. That shows he has owned his character completely. Rest of the supporting cast also does a great job.

The editing could have been crisper in the second half as there are times when you tend to get bored with the proceedings. The music is situational and is not something you will ever listen to.

Overall, Kahaani 2 is not a better version of its predecessor, but it is still a one-time watch only for Vidya Balan.

My Verdict: **1/2

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Movie Review: Te3N – A must see thriller!

This week sees the release of one of the most exciting movies of the year – Te3n directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. After last year’s award-winning performance in Piku, Amitabh Bachchan returns with this Sujoy Ghosh produced whodunit ¬†based on a Korean movie Montage, with Kolkata being the setting once again. Does the desi version of the Korean movie make a mark? Let’s find that out.

The film starts off with a flashback event featuring Inspector Martin (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and John Roy (Amitabh Bachchan). This is then followed by the religious daily visit of John Roy to the police station to meet Inspector Sarita Sarkar (Vidya Balan), regarding the kidnapping and killing of his granddaughter Angela Roy. The story then swing back and forth between the past and the present. Amidst all this, there also exists the story of the guilt filled Inspector-turned-Priest Martin Das, the very man who was in charge of Angela Roy’s case. While the police department including Inspector Martin Das gives up totally on the Angela Roy’s case, John Roy simply refuses to do so and vows to his wheelchair ridden wife that he will not take rest until he nails the innocent Angela Roy’s dreaded kidnapper and murderer. Around 8 years later, there occurs a kidnapping of a school going kid Ronny. The mysterious part about this kidnapping is that, it is totally similar to that of Angela Roy. That’s when the trio of Father Martin, Inspector Sarita Sarkar and John Roy set out to search the masterminded smart criminal. While Father Martin and Inspector Sarita Sarkar go the legal way, John Roy, despite his old age sets out on his own to nab the criminal. What happens after that are a series of twists and turns, which ultimately leads to a shocking revelation in the end. Does John Roy fulfil the promise that he had made to his wife, do Father Martin and Inspector Sarita Sarkar become successful in nabbing the culprit and what is the shocking revelation in the end is what forms the rest of the story.

Ribhu Dasgupta has done a brilliant job in handling the tight script and the veteran actors at the same breath. He stays true to the tone and genre of the movie and therefore one might find the proceedings going a bit slower in few scenes. Performances are top-notch whether it is Amitabh Bachchan or Nawazuddin or Vidya who try to get into the skin of their respective characters.

Music is average and considering the genre one might have very less expectations. The cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is wonderful. He captures the essence of Kolkata through his camera. Editing by Gairik Sarkar could have been tighter at certain portions (but no complaints considering the mood and tone of the movie).

On the whole, Te3N is a movie that will appeal to hardcore whodunit fans!

My Verdict: ***1/2