Right after the success of The Dirty Picture, Ekta Kapoor had coined Vidya Balan as Vidya Balan Khan for carrying an entire film on her shoulders and making it a success. Well, her words may have been true for sure as the actress seems to be enjoying a blockbuster hero status within the industry and when you have a film that starts with flaunting just Vidya Balan in the cast credits you know it's not an overstatement. Riding high on the success of The Dirty Picture, Vidya once again comes with an intense thriller Kahaani. Whether this one too clicks with the mass or not remains to be seen.
Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) gets down to Kolkata from London in a bid to find her missing husband Arnab Bagchi who was working in India on an assignment. Arnab disappears without a trace and his existence gets questioned at every doorstep Vidya goes. With no support from cops or the people from the organisation where he worked, how Vidya keeps picking up cues that take her closer to her husband is what follows through the rest of the plot.
Kahaani has a clear one line plot - a woman in search of her missing husband. And the filmmaker has promoted that well enough in the promos itself. So it becomes really important to maintain the attention of the audience and keep the thrill quotient high. Sujoy Ghosh excels in both the departments.
Right from the moment Vidya Bagchi lands in Kolkata and the cabbies fight among each other at the sight of a seeming customer, the city grips you. The backdrop of festival blends perfectly with the nail biting suspense that runs throughout the film.
The screenplay is smart and the pace of the story is quick. On a frank note, the proceedings, despite being thrilling, follow a same graph and tend to get monotonous but right then, Sujoy blows your mind with a completely unexpected twist. It's the quality of an excellent filmmaker to catch his audience unaware and Sujoy rises to that stature.
Another key element in Kahaani is its casting. Except for Vidya Balan, the rest of the cast is either new or fairly unknown in the industry. But that doesn't make them average. Each and every actor excels in the film and fits the role to the T! A special mention of Nawazuddin Siddiqui who does an outstanding job as the crude and stern intelligence officer Ayaz Khan. Even Parambatta Chattopadhyay as Rana is an affable character though his romantic slant was completely unnecessary and avoidable.
Vidya Balan, once again, takes the entire film on her own shoulders and delivers yet another brilliant performance. Her postures that of a pregnant woman are near perfect.
Background score as well as the cinematography deserves to be lauded too. The songs Aami Shotti Bolchi and Ekto Cholo Re blend well with the goings-on onscreen.
To sum it up, Kahaani lives up to its expectation and comes across as a potent example of intelligent cinema. A definite watch.