Kahaani 2 movie review: The movie that has Vidya Balan in a starring roles wowed everyone in its first avatar years ago. This time around, it boasts Arjun Rampal, yet the film has been forced to suffer from a handicap that many movies of the whodunnit genre do – the big reveal is made too early in the film.
Kahaani 2 movie cast: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Jugal Hansraj, Naisha Singh, Tota Roychoudhary, Amba Sanyal; director: Sujoy Ghosh
Despite the name, Kahaani 2’s story has nothing to do with the 2012 film that took audiences by storm. Vidya returns this time as Durga Rani Singh – a seemingly devoted mother whose daughter Mini has been kidnapped. After meeting with an accident, she goes into a coma and this brings sub-inspector Inderjeet Singh, played by Arjun, to the scene and he starts to poke around in Durga’s past. Inder is something of a failed cop who’s dealing with his own problems of having lost out on a promotion after having fumbled up an earlier case – reminiscent of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s character in director Sujoy Ghosh’s earlier venture Te3n.
From there, the film takes, if possible, an even darker turn, but all the suspense that Kahaani 2 builds up in the first half, it undermines in the second and it turns into more of a cat-and-mouse game between Durga and Inder. The only reason you stick around is for Vidya and Arjun’s stellar performances.
Ghosh is to be commended on many fronts. Firstly, the issue of child abuse is handled with extreme sensitivity and yet presented in a way to make audiences feel the trauma. The other highlight is Ghosh’s choice to take a break from the big cities and set the film in the remote town of Chandannagar. The unfamiliar locales, though at times quite scenic, help build up a sense of eeriness. While the second half is predictable, the direction is kept tight and the climactic scene in an abandoned house will keep you on the edge of your seat. For those expecting a shocking ending like the original Kahaani, this one might disappoint somewhat, but the film’s creepy cinematography, tight first act and brilliant performances more than make up for it.