After enjoying a week of having no Netflix expiration (which is seemingly rare), I came upon a few more movies that will be disappearing from Netflix soon (again). I did check out another one before this and I should write that review but its been a while since I’ve reviewed a foreign movie and I was in the mood for it 🙂
This is an Indian thriller called Kahaani. I remember another blogger (was it you, Meera?) had told me about it a while back and I never got around to it. Man, did I miss out?
Lets check out a little synopsis.
Director & writer: Sujoy Ghosh
Cast: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee, Indraneil Sengupta, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
A few weeks ago, Arnab Bagchi goes to Kolkata for a work project at the National Data Centre. After 2 weeks, he vanishes. Concerned about his well-being, his pregnant wife Vidya Bagchi travels from London to Kolkata to report him as a missing person. After reaching many dead ends, one young cop Rana agrees to help her as she hunts down trail after trail leading them to realize that there’s a lot of people going out of their way to make sure she doesn’t get her hands on the information.
I’ve been pretty blessed that I’ve seen mostly good or simply entertaining Indian movies. Sure, they are kind of peculiar because any sort of genre just can find a reason to break out in song and dance. Raavan is one that comes to mind. I’m not even sure if I reviewed it. It was like this action drama or something. Imagine the anti-hero (of sorts) supposedly to be all bad ass gets all dancing around and then acting all aggressive and emotionless the next scene. Anyways, we’re not here to talk about that. This is the first Indian flick that I’ve seen that does not have any singing or dancing. Its through and through a thriller and an exceptional one at that.
For an Indian movie bordering the 2 hour mark, it keeps a really good pace. There are moments where if you pay enough attention to certain details, you might actually catch the twist they are setting up for but I only caught a fraction of the twist, meaning I knew where it was headed but I didn’t quite pinpoint it. Its pretty refreshing to have that experience. It was an intense experience as I watched this. I was literally at the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next, where the trail would go and thinking thinking thinking. Those brain juices were just pumping non-stop. There aren’t just one twist. It starts off with a little deception that turns out to be just one point that you have to keep remembering. If you caught it, then you will get where this movie is trying to go.
Other than a well-paced story and clever twists, Kahaani benefits from a group of powerful performances. The main character, Vidya Bagchi played by Vidya Balan is an actress I haven’t seen before. Her performance as a pregnant woman trying to hold it together while she searches for her husband and jumping into some pretty intense situations made her into something of a memorable character. She drives the movies in every direction that it needs to go. Supporting her are some pretty great roles. Well, because I can’t spell these actual actor names properly, I’ll just go right ahead and use the character names. First one to really light up to screen in an antagonistic way is the very rude Intelligence Bureau office, Mr. Khan. Oh goodness, this guy literally made me believe that he’s part of this plot and he’s got this hidden agenda and I wanted to beat him up because it was just so mean. See, but thats his role so hey, good job for that. Not everyone can be the good cop, Rana who you know is totally falling in love with someone he shouldn’t be (aka Vidya).
Another rather smaller role because the screen time isn’t that much is this retired or in hiding National Data Centre Colonel Badpai. There was this moment where he goes all intense and gives the ultimatum of how he would only get out of retirement if certain circumstances were met. That scene was epic. It was so short but held so much details that would either determine whether you’d get the final twist or not 😉 While the dude in the photo above was pretty creepy also seeing as his role kind of needed him to be scary/creepy/weird depending on the situation. He was a great match.
I’m saying way too much (if you want to check this out). I’m going to shut up about it.
Point is: Kahaani is a very good thriller: great performances, awesome pacing and good twists 🙂 I think the bonus here goes to some of the really sweet music in the background during some parts. Its not singing or dancing but does remind us of what culture we are watching, but I enjoyed it. It reminded me of the whole 90s Hong Kong pop era matched with the movie theme songs and that was a pretty sweet feeling.
Have you seen Kahaani? Do you watch Indian cinema?