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Film review of 'Kahaani'

Film review of 'Kahaani'

By K N Gupta

Eye TV India Bureau

Cast: : Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Director: Sujoy Ghosh

Critic's I-view

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March 2012 has been a very lucky month for Bollywood with two fantastic movies. 'Kahaani' stars National Award for Best Actress Vidya Balan released Friday March 9th, while 'Paan Singh Tomar' with National Award for Best Actor Irrfan Khan the preceding Friday March 2nd. It's been a long time since a very well crafted story coupled with right kind of screenplay and dialogues as in 'Kahaani'. The director succeeds in keeping the audience glued to their seats throughout and the suspense continues until the very end. Vidya Balan achieves yet another feat of blasting the myth of a hero-oriented movie. 'The Dirty Picture' and 'Kahaani' are ample proof. 'Kahaani' also tears up the idiom that sex sells in Bollywood! 'Kahani' could well just be a movie that's more than perfect in all respects. The credit goes to director Sujoy Ghosh and Vidya. The entire cast deserves compliments though and other departments deserve their share.

'Kahaani` is inspired by real life experiences of novelist Advaita Kala`s brief stay in Kolkata. She wrote the story despite the language barrier, the chaos and poverty of the metropolis. Her novel is titled 'Almost Single'. `Kahaani` shows Vidya playing a seven-month pregnant woman who comes alone to Kolkata from London in search of her husband. Quite similarly, Advaita too had landed in Kolkata from the US to work at the Oberoi Grand hotel. She was retracing the footsteps of her then boyfriend who had worked at the same hotel a year ago.

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Writer Advaita said her's is a romantic story. She would want to go to bookstores and walk the streets he (her lost husband) used to visit. Advaita drew from her experiences to emotionally drawn the character Vidya plays. The writer says that she was fascinated by Kolkata as a very powerful city and hit all her senses. Besides the workers' union culture and politics, it had beauty and poverty. Advaita admits she always wanted `The Dirty Picture` star to play the lead in her film and wrote the story by retaining her real name as the name of the protagonist in the film.

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Advaita's debut novel 'Almost Single' made her a `chick-lit` star and she admits that in all her work there's an element of personal life involved. The protagonist there was a young, modern and independent woman working at a luxury hotel. Advaita has been associated with the hospitality industry for long. And, when she started writing, she realized it could turn into a novel. 'Kahaani' will be published in the form of a novel later in 2012. Advaita has also written the screenplay for the Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra starrer 'Anjaana Anjaani'.

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Vidya fulfils the cherished desire of the original storywriter/ author's choice for the coveted role. But other actors lend complete support. Vidya depicts great skill in handling all kinds of people. She bonds very well with kids. The rawness, beauty and grime of the city are stunningly captured by Setu as cinematographer. The city of joy Kolkata is captured with all its pervading aspects ranging from culture, poverty, environment including the lanes and by-lanes and narrow alleys, hand-driven rickshaws to trams to trains, and most of all the Durga Pooja festivities. Clinton Cerejo's background music is captivating. Amitabh Bachchan's rendition of Tagore's 'Ekla Chalo Re' is unique.

A not just a must-see movie, but a recommendation to not miss it!

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