It’s rare that I review a Hindi movie on this blog. It’s not that I don’t see Hindi movies, I do, but so very often I have very little to say.
Most of the movies I have seen in the past couple of years have been overly stylized, and with very little story.
For example (and I know I am in the minority here), I saw Zindagi na Milegi Dobaara, right in the middle of the hype, and I was a bit puzzled.
I mean, yes the cinematography was brilliant, the songs very nice, and Spain is fabulous. But when I had to comment on the story, I didn’t have anything to say. It was boring actually. I think a Globetrekker episode on Spain was more entertaining than this dull, predictable story of three rich lads driving through Spain.
Basically, that’s why I have left off reviewing Hindi movies on my blog. Very rarely do I have anything to say, and when I do, it seems me and popular opinion point to two very different directions, making me question my judgement, and wonder whether I am now too old and jaded to enjoy Bollywood movies any more.
However, last month, I had the pleasure of seeing Kahaani, and after the longest time, I was absolutely engrossed in a movie.
Here are some high points:
A pregnant woman travels from UK to Kolkata in search of her missing husband.
I don’t really want to say anything more than that because each twist and turn in the movie was a pleasant surprise for me, and I would hate to spoil that experience for anyone else yet to watch.
I thought the story was incredibly strong and kept me interested for the duration of the movie. The start is shaky true, and doesn’t exactly match up to the conclusion at the end, but overall the plot got two thumbs up from me.
OMG. Vidya Balan rocks. She really lived her role, and her every movement, her every gesture was so true to life. And she was simply luminous. I just couldn’t take my eyes off her.
The supporting cast is really strong too. Most of them are from Bengali cinema and apart from coming up with some impressive realistic acting, they also add tons of local flavor.
I particularly was impressed with Parambrata Chatterjee, Saswata Chatterjee (one of the most chilling characters I have come across), and Nawazuddin Siddiqui who as always turns in a fabulous performance.
The Setting of Kolkata
I’ve never been there, but I tend to enjoy most movies set in Kolkata – movies such as Parineeta and Devdas come to mind. I love how Kolkata looks in the movies, the accents of the people, just the atmosphere is so lovely and so unique.
Kahaani is no different doing full justice to the place. Unlike Devdas and Parineeta though, the focus is on a modern-day middle-class depiction – neither overly fancy, nor poverty ridden slums. I loved this different take.
In short this film was so enjoyable that I suspect the plot is probably filched from some Hollywood or as is the trend these days from Korean or Japanese movies.
Whatever it is, I”ll happily take this movie over the rest of the bilge that Bollywood is churning out (dark thoughts about Dilwale).
And if you haven’t yet seen this, I strongly urge you to check it out on the TV. It’s bound to be repeated again.