Starring: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Naisha Khanna, Jugal Hansraj, Tota Roy Chowdhury
Directed by: Sujoy Ghosh
Produced by: Sujoy Ghosh, Jayantilal Gada
Production House: Boundscript Motion Pictures, Pen India Limited
Story by: Sujoy Ghosh, Suresh Nair
Music by: Clinton Cerejo
Duration: 119 minutes
Censor Rating: U/A
About Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh
When you come up with a sequel or even a second installment to a highly successful and critically acclaimed film like Kahaani, the expectations are already high and comparisons are inevitable. And so Bollywood buffs kept their excitement buoyant for many weeks now in anticipation of the release of Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh. Those who had watched Vidya Balan as the pregnant Bidya Bagchi in a compelling quest to find her missing husband through the streets of Kolkata during Durga puja, eagerly awaited her new avatar as Vidya Sinha a.k.a Durga Rani Singh.
Director Sujoy Ghosh is clear – Kahaani 2 is not a sequel but another story in the Kahaani series, meaning that we may look forward to more Kahaani movies in the future. True to its precedent, Kahaani 2 is also a riveting thriller with a strong woman protagonist but does not seem to hold its suspense as well as its predecessor did. The film is Vidya Balan’s first movie after Hamari Adhuri Kahani in 2015 (discounting a couple of guest appearances) and has her fans thrilled to bits.
Kahaani 2 starts with Vidya Sinha (played by Vidya Balan) living a charming but simple life with her 14 year old daughter Mini in the sleepy township of Chandannagore, a former French colony. Vidya’s life revolves around her child with whom she spends most of her time. Things take a ‘Kahaani’ turn when Mini is kidnapped and Vidya meets with an accident in the midst of her efforts to trace her daughter. Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal) is the inspector who comes to investigate her hit-and-run case, gets caught up in a far more sinister plot. As he unveils the mysteries of a comatose Vidya’s past, he plunges into a sordid story that links Vidya Sinha with Durga Rani Singh, a criminal wanted for kidnapping and murder. Is Vidya an unfortunate mother looking for her only child who is now missing or is there more to it than meets the eye? Is Mini her daughter or captive?
She is beautiful, she is powerful, she is curvaceous, she is emotive, she is a real woman. Balan is quite successful in delivering the same power-packed performance in Kahaani 2 as she did in the previous edition. Her portrayal of the simple small-town-woman-with-a-core-of-iron is starting to become her signature. Balan’s acting skills need no introduction but in this movie she does really steal the show.
Giving Balan a run for her money is Arjun Rampal. Rampal has always had women of all age groups swooning over him for many years now. He carries off his role as a capable inspector wasted in a small town very well.
Sujoy Ghosh is known for his attention to detail, for his meticulous fine-tuning of scenes, and powerful story-telling skills. While the first half of the movie is a complete entertainer, the pace slackens as the movie progresses and we start to question Ghosh’s judgment towards the end.
Clinton Cerejo’s brilliant soundtrack for Kahaani 2 comes as a surprise package. The refreshing numbers stand out in stark contrast with the dark, sombre mood of the flick. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are a bit of a letdown. Though lively and peppy, the songs are not smoothly mouthed. The three songs in Kahaani 2 carry a distinct ’80s college band Indo-western feel. They may not outlive the movie by far, though. All three songs were recorded by Hemant Baral and Yash Tiwari at The Groove Room in Mumbai.
Songs in Kahaani 2
Singer: Arijit Singh
Guitar: Sachin Mittra and Clinton Cerejo
Aur Main Khush Hoon
Singer: Ash King
Guitars & Ukelele: Clinton Cerejo
Lamhon Ke Rasgulle
Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan and Bianca Gomes
The mood and feel of Kahaani 2 is very authentic. Shot in Kalimpong, it is near perfect for a (sort of) realistic movie that keeps you glued to the silver screen. Apart from Balan’s and Rampal’s acting, the background score is a huge bonus. If you’re a thriller buff, Kahaani 2 is the movie for you.
How to kill a great Bollywood thriller? Reveal what could be its most gripping scenes in the trailer. Unlike the earlier Kahaani release that kept us on the edge till the last scene, the plot of Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh comes across as quite a guessable one. One cannot help comparing this film with Shivaay, the Ajay Devgan action film with a similar theme (and plot perhaps). Shivaay was released a few weeks ago, and so we wonder if Ghosh could have timed the film better.
Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh certainly takes off to a riveting first half. The pace, the thrill, and the direction in this part are just what one may expect from a classic. And then, somewhere around the interval, the film starts to grow lukewarm. Imposed banter is not remotely humourous and only serves to distract us from the central theme of the film – child sexual abuse. The greatest flaw one may find in Kahaani 2 is that the film does not hold its suspense half as well as the earlier flick and the thrill element is quite lost. Eminently watchable, Kahaani 2 is well worth your time and money but remains just a one-time watch movie.
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