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Kahaani (2012)

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A pregnant woman's search for her missing husband takes her from London to Kolkata, but everyone she questions denies having ever met him.

Director:

Sujoy Ghosh

Writers:

Sujoy Ghosh (dialogue), Sujoy Ghosh (screenplay) | 6 more credits »
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Top Rated Indian Movies #59 | 16 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Vidya Balan ... Vidya Venkatesan-Bagchi
Parambrata Chatterjee ... Inspector Satyaki Sinha aka Rana (as Parambrata Chattopadhyay)
Indraneil Sengupta ... Arnab Bagchi / Milan Damji
Nawazuddin Siddiqui ... Mr. Khan
Dhritiman Chatterjee Dhritiman Chatterjee ... Bhaskaran
Saswata Chatterjee ... Bob Biswas
Darshan Jariwala ... Retd. Colonel Bajpai
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sk. Azad Ahmed Sk. Azad Ahmed ... Drunk at Monalisa
Masood Akhtar Masood Akhtar ... Rasik Tyagi
Mohd. Faiz Alam Mohd. Faiz Alam ... Bob's Boss
Roshni Ali Roshni Ali ... Student
Anindya Pulak Banerjee Anindya Pulak Banerjee ... Bimal
Kamalika Banerjee ... Receptionist
Dibyendu Bardhan Dibyendu Bardhan ... Police Inspector
Paresh Bhowmick Paresh Bhowmick ... Drunk at Monalisa (as Paresh Bhowmik)
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Storyline

Kolkata is abuzz with the preparations for the annual Durga Puja festival, as seven months pregnant Vidya Bagchi steps off the airplane from London. Her first stop is the local police station to file a missing person report. Weeks ago, her husband Arnab arrived in India for a job assignment. The first two weeks, they talked daily on the phone, and then without explanation, his calls stopped. Everywhere Vidya turns, no one can remember Arnab. There is no trace of him at the guest house or his workplace. But Vidya will not give up her search. Somewhere in Kolkata she will discover the dangerous truth. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A mother of a story

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi | Bengali | English

Release Date:

9 March 2012 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

A sztori See more »

Filming Locations:

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$270,081, 11 March 2012

Gross USA:

$1,035,953, 4 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yashraj productions had shown interest in producing the film.But wanted Sujoy Ghosh to sign three film contract. See more »

Goofs

When Satyaki says his name, Vidya replies, "Satyaki - Arjun ka sarthi (Satyaki - Arjun's charioteer)." However in the epic Mahabharata, Satyaki is Krishna's charioteer and Sri Krishna is Arjun's charioteer. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Blacklist: Frederick Barnes (No. 47) (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Aaj Ki Raat
additional background music
courtesy of Super Cassettes Industries Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The refreshing combination of Parambrata and Balan and the motley of emotions and the ease with which they exude them in "Kahaani" make for an outstanding watch.
8 March 2012 | by partopd-275-978217See all my reviews

Setu's account of Kolkata is delightedly sincere and not superfluous cinematography - the dynamic colours and the simplicity of the artless lanes of Kolkata, admiringly, have not been lost in rhetoric black and white. The same forthrightness has mirrored to a huge extent in Suresh Nair and Sujoy Ghosh's masterful and impressive narration of Bagchi's fable of lost and deeply lost until found.

Vidya Bagchi's (Vidya Balan) hunt for her lost husband Arnab Bagchi (Indraneil Sengupta) brings her down to Kolkata from London. With a seven-month old baby magnifying her power, an infinite exploration of the byways of Kolkata with the help of a local policeman Satyoki Sinha (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) begins. Disordered links and remainders of Vidya's past conversations with Arnab are her fragile hopes. Undeterred, the firewall specialist rummages through the tightly encrypted codes of the mystery, webbed by even more securely encrusted faces.

The refreshing combination of Parambrata and Balan and the motley of emotions and the ease with which they exude them in "Kahaani" make for an outstanding watch. Balan's ability to tailor her sentiments - sympathy, anger and despair - multiplies the strength of her character. The swiftness of the movie leaves no time for the audience to mentally prepare for an upcoming situation. While Vidya accepts herself as "Bidya"in the City of Joy, gifts a chocolate to the kid in the lodge and breaks the lock of National Data Centre; the contract killer Bob Biswas (Saswata Chatterjee) playfully murders people and Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) smokes out his dedication towards his work besides a mouthful of white air.

Just when a wide array of emotions are at their peak and the frantic search is riding high, Amitabh Bachhan's rendition of Tagore's famous song "Jodi tor dak shune" transfers the mood to a completely different level. The festive mood of the city, the preceding and the succeeding of it, the red of sindoor and the expressions of the idols of Durga have been phenomenally well-utlised in the movie.

Balan is a breeze of fresh air in Bollywood, which is suffering from the curves of furniture heroines and "Kahaani", another robust step after the recent "The Dirty Picture" towards reinforcing the position of heroines in a traditionally hero-driven Bollywood. The subtlety with which the soul of the city has been interlaced in the screenplay, while not losing grasp on the flow of the story even for a moment, is a testimony of effectual storytelling.

There is not a single scene in the movie where Parambrata has been overshadowed by the presence of Balan. His acting skills are distinctly sharp and flowing. Sujoy Ghosh's choice of actors for the various characters in "Kahaani" has made an immense contribution towards the kind of impact it leaves on the viewers long after they abandon the theatre.

After all, "Shotti" sounds better as "Shotti", not "Sotti".

The climax, even though prudent and reasonably well-baked, is slightly dramatic and seems to conclude the movie before clearly justifying the actions of Vidya and Satyoki, especially the latter. The momentum of the story towards the end beats its own record and the circumstances merging with the mood of the city seems to be not so much of a coincidence.

Bagchi's "Kahaani" is one of those that would define tougher standards for the forthcoming Fridays. Why on earth would you like to miss the benchmark?

Watch it. Definitely!


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