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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A gripping thriller that succeeds at many places but yet has not so convincing climax.

Author: braddugg from India
20 September 2014

A gripping thriller that succeeds at many places but yet has not so convincing climax.

Evenutally, though it evokes many emotions it would have appealed more to me if it did not explain so many things at the end. No spoon feeding was required and I would have been happy walking out with questions in mind than being fed the answers. The cinematography and acting were top notch. The dialogues were a bit clichéd yet impressive as they went with the mood of the scene. The pace of the movie is really appreciable and so is the lengths about 2 hours.

If I would say what the movie is about, it would be OK, but if I would say what the movie shall reveal, I may well spoil the whole point. Being an ardent film lover, I would express this much, the journey is enjoyable and reveals many points of views but I felt like being deceived by the point of view of the narrator, who makes our protagonist, Vidya Bagchi into a demi goddess, alias Durga Maa.

The film was shot in real locations and has very good feel in terms of locales, where in Kolkata can be felt and smelt at places, like the Trams, the buses, the chai wallah, etc.. But why Kolkata? was this chosen because it had a metro, or because of Durga Puja and the white and red sari tradition or just getting us cut off from the now overseen Mumbai or was it because director Sujoy Ghosh was from Kolkata. I would subscribe to the last reason though. Same story, set in any other city may have been dealt differently, cause the topography, the dialect, the outlook towards life of people will change. Kudos for director in setting up the whole screenplay and spreading across the length and breadth of Kolkata.

The story is about a wife searching for her husband, and there are few very very evident flaws as I have seen. 2 years after an incident, how can a woman become pregnant or at least be seen as pregnant. If policeman can make out another policeman his agent, then what are we being driven to, a mockery of system that has honesty under the veil.

OK, I give in to the logic, to everything for nearly two hours, why was such an explanation given so elaborately explaining incident by incident and how did the policeman Rana just on fly, conclude what he said about Vidya Bagchi in climax. Question still remain, but I would have been happier if the twist was subtle and simple rather than explicative. Happy for everything but the end.

A movie that has to be watched only on the praise it accrued through, but don't feel bad if you are disappointed in the end. Expectation and tastes differ. It's 3/5 for me, a good movie till a point where the purpose of story is revealed. It was better being hidden. I would have been happier coming out with questions rather than being clarified about every tiny instance.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: Sujoy Ghosh's Triumphant Attempt at Bringing the Enchanting City of Calcutta to Life

Author: Murtaza Ali from India
3 February 2013

Kahaani is a 2012 Hindi Feature Film directed and co-written by Indian movie maker Sujoy Ghosh. By striking a delicate balance between the elements of Comedy and Tragedy—the two masks that define the Drama genre —Kahaani serves to be a quintessential Drama while simultaneously succeeding in walking the tightrope of Mystery and Suspense. Kahaani depicts the fascinating tale of a London-based IT Professional, Vidya Venkatesan-Bagchi (masterfully portrayed by Vidya Balan), in desperate pursuit of her spouse who has gone missing in the bewitching city of Calcutta (now Kolkata). In a heavily pregnant state, Vidya Bagchi arrives in Calcutta to pursue the search of her husband Arnab Bagchi—a Firewall expert who has mysteriously disappeared in his native city of Calcutta. Right from the moment Vidya Bagchi sets foot in Calcutta, a miasma of doubt and denial seems to occlude her strenuous pursuit. The apparent sympathy of the local police seems to betray simultaneously a sense of helplessness and sneer that further aggravates the torment of her abject solitude. Incapacitated by her lack of wherewithal and the fatigue of pregnancy, Vidya desperately roams about the city of Calcutta where she is greeted by the ugly realities of an ancient underworld waiting to unleash its fury. Amidst the city's perpetual hullabaloo, Vidya's only hope lies with Inspector Satyoki 'Rana' Sinha (subtly portrayed by Parambrata Chatterjee)—a local cop with a pleasing demeanor and innocent disposition. The natural affinity between Vidya and Rana soon develops into mutual bonding of trust, respect and affection as the two delve deep into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Arnab Bagchi. Kahaani's ostensibly straightforward plot has its fair share of intricacies that keeps the viewer interested until the movie's jaw- dropping climax.

With Kahaani, Vidya Balan adds yet another feather to her acting cap. Riding high on her tour de force in The Dirty Picture (2011), Balan packs yet another punch with a powerful portrayal of a bemused, pregnant woman in pursuit of her missing husband. Balan, in a bid to make up for her delayed entry into the Hindi Film Industry, seems to go from strength to strength making most of the purple patch that she has been enjoying since the success of Amitabh Bachchan starrer Paa, back in 2009. In a short career spanning just over six years, Balan has incredibly managed to conjure up a handful of larger than life portrayals: be it her chilling portrayal in Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) or her earthy portrayal in Ishqiya (2010). What makes Vidya Balan unique is her great ability to get into the skin of the characters. In an industry stricken by glamor, Vidya dauntlessly seems to tread a path of her own that's richly paying its dividend. In the process, Balan has undoubtedly succeeded in getting her name registered in an elite club of performance-driven actresses who, over the years, have done Indian Cinema proud.

In Kahaani, Sujoy Ghosh seems to have settled for a trade off between his creative aspirations and commercial compulsions. Kahaani's multi- layered plot presents a nice blend of Drama and Suspense with undercurrents of Noir. The presence of an extremely peculiar serial killer considerably spices up Kahaani's plot and adds immensely to its entertainment value. In contrast to depicting the classic caricature of a damsel in distress, Kahaani beautifully propagates the complex caricature of the beguiling city of Calcutta. Like any developed city of the world, Calcutta too seems overwhelmed by lies and liars, and ironically the only refuge seems to exist at the very epicenter of chaos. Satyajit Pande's topnotch cinematography adds great detail to the movie at different levels, and is well complemented by Vishal - Shekhar's background music. The word 'Kahaani' translates to 'A Story' in English, and Ghosh does full justice to its meaning by offering a masterclass in storytelling and managing a nice assemblage of Stage and Television actors who give memorable performances in Kahaani with special mention of Sasawata Chatterjee as Bob Biswas and Nawazuddin A. Khan. Ghosh and his dedicated team remarkably triumph in their daunting attempt to bring the enchanting city of Calcutta to life as Woody Allen had managed with the City of Love in Midnight in Paris last year.

Overall, Kahaani is a wonderful cinematic experience that certainly goes beyond the realm of entertainment. However, despite the brilliant execution the movie faces occasional slip-ups owing to some forced incorporation of gimmicks and misdirection at certain points in the plot. From the Box Office point of view, the success of Kahaani is a great testament to the fact that a movie can flourish even in the absence of aggressive marketing and promotion as long as its high on quality and has an element of uniqueness about it. Kahaani also marks the beginning of a new era in Indian Cinema where filmmakers are intelligent enough to take into account the commercial considerations and practical limitations pertaining to movie-making, but not at the expense of creative liberty. 8/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Kahaani is an Excellent Movie

Author: rohan-raj397 from United States
31 March 2012

The Story, The acting, Direction everything is Amazing . I would love to see this movie again and again. Vidya Balan is a great actress. I would say this movie has one of the best direction and script. the way it is directed is the best. no songs is also the best part of it. After a long time I saw such nice movie. with all new characters other than vidya balan it was a movie seem like everybody did good acting. hats off. no songs is also the best part of it. After a long time I saw such nice movie. I would recommend this movie for best movie. Vidya Balan should get best actress. Watch this movie. Watch it again and again. It should be sent for best movie in Oscar too.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Kahaani: A Tale of Calcutta never seen before and HOW!!

Author: thesenlady from Los Angeles, US
24 March 2012

Do you like Durga Pujo and the bengali traditions? Do you like the rounds of cheer and festivities that its surrounded with? Do you take pride in being a Bengali and love Calcutta like no one can.. Well your wishes are answered. Watch it out in- KAHAANI. The very first question that comes to mind, when one hears the title: Whose story is it? And as likely as the Protagonist Vidya Bagchi would have answered "Kya Farak parta hain" (What difference does it make?) Yes truly: It doesn't make a difference. The Storytelling, the script, the editing, the cinematography, the superb cast and the directing craftsmanship: everything fall in place like the correct pieces of puzzle, all excelling in their respective areas. The Plot in a nutshell: A severely pregnant lady named Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) comes down from London to Calcutta in search of her missing husband Arnab Bagchi who had come for a 2 month long assignment in NDC. It is however mysterious that no one has any clue of a person by the name "Arnab Bagchi" having stayed anywhere in Calcutta or having worked in NDC. The Summary: It is at this very point that Vidya Balan needs a special mention. Well, Yes! in a way it is her STORY. It is her journey through her relentless search for her husband and her determination to find out the TRUTH (albeit ALONE) when everybody else gives up on her!!! EKLA CHOLO, at this point does such a fine justice to her MISSION. It is the most auspicious occasion of Durga Puja in the city when Vidya arrives and such craftily the theme of Goddess Ma Durga and the reason of her homecoming is interwoven with Vidya's plot here. Vidya Bagchi is supported in her search by junior inspector Rana aka Satyoki Sinha whom she admiringly calls "Arjun ka Sarathi" The amazing part of the journey is that all of Vidya's dialogues and her actions keeps giving us clues and hints throughout that we are only able to zero in at the CLIMAX. But I would like to REST my Case here at this point without giving out too much of the movie plot or what happens or HOW / If Vidya Bagchi succeeds in her mission or Not? That, should be left for the audience to see and judge! All I can say from my part- that there are two Things are that are exquisite in this Tale- Calcutta and Vidya Balan.. and amazingly: in this Story THEY both gel so well. Being a Calcuttan myself (as i happen to be born in the city) I saw a different Calcutta through the lens man's glasses! Wow!! never before my CITY felt so charming, so unseen, so vibrant - the frames are awfully beautiful and only ADDS flavor to the Story telling. BOB BISWAS- It would be highly unwise and unjust if i fail to mention one BOB BISWAS in this tale. A helpless, hapless forlorn LIC agent who can never meet his targets has in him a quiet-talker cold Alter Ego..the friendly neighborhood hired assassin who is as one too able in fulfilling his MMS targets!!! The fictional character has already become Legendary with his trivial one Liner: Nomoshkar, Ek minute! and BOOOOOOM! The Job of BOB is done :D Saswata Chatterjee as BOB BISWAS has done an amazing job and this fictional character is sure to become a prominent household name like a Gabbar Singh! The Verdict: I would give it 8/10 .. 7 can undoubtedly go to Vidya Balan for showing amazing variety in her artistry.. not to mention the National Award she bagged for portraying the life of Silk Smitha in "The Dirty Picture" Acting in all these and triumphing with amazing ease only goes on to show what 'stuff' she is made up of! Kudos: The Director was right maybe while he commented that he could think of " no other" for the role. To all Bengalis: If you want to see Calcutta in a frame like never before, AND before Next time: You let an LIC Agent enter your house... Watch KAHAANI. Missing it is highly detrimental to your personal entertainment! Oh yes!!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A masterpiece...

Author: Sagar Parikh ( from India
21 March 2012

You can hardly find this kind of brilliance in a Bollywood movie. Its much more then expected. Its going to be one of the greatest movie of all time.

Talking about the story, you will find it quite ordinary if you have just read it or heard it. But actually its a kind of story that has lots of twists and turns.A story that won't let you leave your seat even in the interval. It gets more and more interesting with time. The movie has acting performance that will hold you spellbound. There are not many big names in star cast but each knows how to act well. Especially the characters of Bob Biswas (Sasawata Chatterjee) and A.Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) were brilliantly performed. Vidya Balan also gives full justice to her role.

The cinematography is fantastic. There are many good shots showing the culture of the city-Kolkata. Movie's music is different from the most of the main stream Bollywood movies, but it is perfectly matched with the pace of the movie. Its like cherry on the cake.

Its good to have suspense in the movie. But the important factor is that the revealing of suspense should be at proper time. Thats the point where most films lags behind. I have seen many beautiful plots wasted at the end in Bollywood as well as in Hollywood. But Kahaani earns extra marks here. That's what i liked most about the movie: proper timing. This makes the movie a masterpiece.

Final verdict: 9.5/10. A must watch movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A brilliant example of intelligent, thoughtful but entertaining movie

Author: Sudipto Mandal
17 March 2012

Genuine storytelling and pragmatic acting are a rarity in Bollywood and Kahaani defies the norms and could go on to change the way audience perceives movies in India. A look at the trailer would give you the feeling of that odd heart-touching story which shows a pregnant lady's struggles in a metro. I can promise you that this movie is much more than that and the exceptional cinematography aided with an intelligent screenplay gives us a winner.

The casting for the movie is spot on. Vidya Balan who is riding high on her Dirty Picture success hits the mark once again. She portrays the pregnant Vidya Bagchi who is running around the streets of Kolkata in search of her missing husband with amazing zeal. She brings in a sense of exigency as her character develops and never loses control of the situations around her. She laughs, she cries, she chases mysteries and basically she does everything in the movie portraying a wide range of emotions superbly. She's already won a National Award and may very well be in contention for another. The rest of the cast supports the protagonist well and Parambrata Chattopadhyay( Rana), who may be viewed as the male lead, as a gentle but sharp cop leaves an impression despite a powerhouse performance by Vidya. Saswata Chatterjee as the playful murderer Bob is an interesting character and justifies his role. Sidiqqui plays the ruthless top cop( Agent Khan) and is a refreshing change from the affectionate Bengali characters of the city.

Bachan's rendition of Tagore's iconic "Ekla Cholo" is elating and the rest of the score by Vishal-Shekhar duo is quite appropriate. The camera moves perfectly and captures the city and its characters well. As a movie set in realistic locations of Kolkata, Ghosh exploits the rustic warmth and Bengali charm of his City of Joy to its full. The chaos of Durga Puja, blistering streets, the rawness of the tea vendors and the metro scene stays with the viewers. Ghosh's masterful storytelling takes this melodrama to a completely different level altogether.

The film is not without loopholes like the one where the protagonist of the movie is threatened for life and almost killed in the metro but is totally unruffled and the story seems unaffected by that scene. Also, the last few minutes which justify the conclusion seemed a bit bland. All the characters in the movie miraculously present themselves at just the right place for the story to move and that looked quite unconvincing in an otherwise realistic piece of art. But the flaws get overshadowed by the flow of the movie and full credit to the director Sujoy Ghosh for giving us an enthralling and absorbing thriller. Also, kudos to the team for bringing the eastern capital Kolkata back to limelight.

Lastly, I would advise don't inquire about the movie any more as it may spoil the fun. Just go and listen to this exquisite Kahaani and you would come out saying that they still do make good movies in India. Deservedly 9/10.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Kahaani - A true masterpiece cinema which takes you to an exciting thrilling ride.

Author: pavan karguppikar from India
16 March 2012

The entire KAHAANI revolves around a single name in question. WHO IS MILAN DAMJI...?? A very exciting question in fact. I want to say here that to find an answer for this question just go and watch KAHAANI.

The movie starts with an interesting node and ends with a more interesting node. The movie leaves no stones unturned to surprise the audience every single moment. First of all Kahaani is very very well scripted movie. Kahaani is intelligently planned, executed and delivered. Shot in a crowded areas of Kokata in the event of Maa durga puja. This is where the director's job steps in.......

I must admit, What an effort from the director....!!! The director has dared to step in to the right shoes of direction. Every single scene in the movie is very dramatically shot. Throughout the movie, he is been able to create moments one after another which will keep you on the edge of your seats.

The characters are developed so well that every character will leave a lasting impression with you when you come out of the theater. Specially a small boy called BISHNU with a radio in his hand all the time is too lovable to say.

Now coming to the important part of my review, the performance by VIDYA BALAN. She is just mind-blowing actor and her performance is unforgettable. Give her the awards already. I have to say this after watching KAHAANI "Post Dilip Kumar, there was Amitabh Bacchan and then came Shah Rukh Khan. But here on there will be only Vidya Balan who will rule the Bollywood for Sure". Go on are doing a fantastic job.

Final verdict: Do not miss this movie at any cost. A must watch cinema. I bet you will start clapping in a shock at the end and come out with a smiling face. 2 big thumbs up for KAHAANI.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Best Thriller!!!

Author: Ashwin Subbarao from Bengaluru
16 March 2012

Sujoy has done a brilliant piece of work. The journey of a pregnant woman in search of her husband doesn't seem very interesting/thrilling in this sentence, but yes, the movie keeps you on your toes throughout. There is no dull moment in the whole 2hrs 20 min you spend in the theater. The beautiful Kolkata is also well captured in the movie. Stellar performance by Vidya cannot be missed.Never having been a big Vidya fan myself,this movie changes it.No doubt if she has added many fans after this movie. She is the real hero of the movie along with the beautiful city. Parambrata Chatterjee as Satyaki Sinha/Rana is also impressive.

The best Bollywood thriller movie i have watched till date.A full paisa wasool movie.A must watch.!!!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

super movie!

Author: saumyajyotibiswas
11 March 2012

I always thought there are two kinds of actors- good and bad, until, I met the third kind- The intelligent kind- good actors with a knack of interesting scripts, Vidya Balan is one such actor. Fully aware of her 'body type' Vidya, very subtly encounters the 'damsel-song- and- dance- beauty queens' of Bollywood. First with The Dirty Picture and now with Kahaani, she brilliantly managed these roles on screen which most of her contemporaries wouldn't dare to due to certain awkwardness. With Kahaani she diligently replaces the memory of her last performance with a sparkling new one. Kahaani is a jigsaw puzzle which is brilliantly let out in a perfect setting, laden with interesting, intriguing details with fine clues. Barring the climax, this thriller does enough to keep you at the edge of your seat. The high point of the film is the interval. Like an engaging sitcom thriller this one too leaves you at the peak of your anxiety level right before the interval break. Kahaani is about a pregnant woman- Vidya Venkatesan Bagchi, who is in her third trimester enters the frantic pace of Kolkata in search of her husband- Arnab Bagchi. She is a London based software engineer- a Tamilian married to a Bengali who disappears within two weeks of his visit in the City of Joy. In her quest to find her husband she befriends many people only to complete her journey, walking alone- ekla cholo re. Discussing the plot further would ruin the film completely. At times the bare minimum information is all you need. Sujoy Ghosh direction is tight but the screenplay and script is bit confusing and in conflict. But having said that, Sujoy builds enough anticipation and tension without relying too much on the background score. Post Jhankaar Beat his love for R.D Burman was quite evident in this one. Along side Vishaal & Shekhar racy soundtrack Burman's classics like Tere Bina from Ghar, Lekar Hum from Yaadon ki Baarat as well as Bangla version of Jaanejaan (Jawani Diwani) adds so much more to Kahaani and Kolkata. Apart from the in-your-face stereotype Kolkata, Ghosh Kolkata is surprisingly brewing with friendly, sympathetic inhabitants like Satyoki aka Rana (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) whose earnestness and affection towards Bida was endearing. So were the kids who'll melt your heart with their smiles. On the extreme end you have Bob Biswas (Saswata Chatterjee) who does enough to give you goose flesh. Ghosh gave Kolkata an eclectic mix in this film. On one hand you'll find stark areas, congested by lanes, the chaos, the breathlessness, a complete claustrophobic setting (almost like Aamir) on the other hand you'll witness Kolkata's beautiful architecture, soulful, enigmatic, unchanging festive setting. It's only fair to say Kolkata in Kahaani adds so much character to the film. Despite flaws Kahaani is a safe bet. The tale is rather too interesting and gripping to find flaws! Bollywood@BestMediaInfo.c

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

For me the movie scores 10/10 in every aspect.

Author: sajalroy1980 from India
11 March 2012

The movie has simply done justice to its title and the hype it had prior to release. It has been worth watching the movie. Thanks to Sujoy Ghosh for his commendable direction and to the point script. I have been always at the edges of my seat while watching the movie. Even the interval comes with a suspense. The acting of Vidya Balan is as flawless as we have seen her in "Dirty Picture" and "No One Killed Jessica". This girl seems to know well what she is upto and accordingly mold herself with each characters she is assigned to. It would be unfair not to mention the name of Parambrata Chatterjee. He has too proved his class of acting. All the characters in the film has played their part as required to the utmost excellence. For me the movie scores 10/10 in every aspect.

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