Kahaani 2 - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

Sure, Kahaani 2 has good performances and a great underlying message to the story. But, unfortunately it isn't a tight thriller nor does it have an unpredictable story.

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Wogma Review

As suspected, the thriller bit is toned down a lot in Kahaani 2's story. This is despite the pulsating air the film carries about it. Even for a simple thing like a missed morning alarm (at the beginning of the film), the background music runs as if it is building up to the final stages of the big reveal. Yet, despite all the prompting by the music, the story doesn't make the heart race because what comes about is more or less expected. This predictability doesn't work for any story, even less so for a thriller.

Sure, it wants to create awareness about an important issue. While it may feel like the issue is weaved into the story, whenever characters go into “talking about it” mode, it becomes evident that they are talking to us as the audience and not to each other. Having said that, one scene between Vidya Balan and little Naisha Khanna had me stunned. I couldn't move because the direct attack on the topic was unexpected and liberating. Even tied in with this video we made a few years ago. (Warning: Content of this video might give the movie away.) It is one of those movie moments that will stick.

Of course, if it were not for Vidya Balan who spoke as naturally as any responsible mother would to an appropriately repressed Naisha Khanna, the scene wouldn't have been half as effective. But, that Naisha Khanna, the child actor, had to do such a scene where she confesses something that hopefully hasn't happened to her in real life - again raises a question about the ethics of child actors and the roles they play in some movies.

I was waiting for the day I could use a word other than “furniture” for Arjun Rampal's act. Even if his personality is too polished for the gritty surroundings of a run-down police station, his facial expressions have moved to the next level. It is time now for body language and voice modulation to play a role too. I am sure with company like Vidya Balan, it is only a matter of time. Same goes for Manini Chadha. Vidya Balan herself makes being worried look like such an easy thing to do. She teases the audience exactly like the writer-director wanted her character to – building the suspense and suspect just right. The casting of the “villain” is spot on. Especially considering its consistency with the point the film wants to make.

However, the two big reveals are totally predictable - the worst that can happen to a thriller. Beyond that then, the voiceover and flashback methods used to show the audience what happened is rather painful. This is where the baggage of the director's last film's success weighs in. You don't expect the extent to which these routes are taken. You don't expect there to be any real-life self-referencing in a film by Sujoy Ghosh, even if it's subtle. And thus you end up cringing a little more than you would when it comes about in a film where you expect it.

Even so, Kahaani 2 isn't pulled down by expectations as much as it is by some lackluster writing. There are no real twists to speak of and the most of the other part of the story feels like an “awareness campaign” rather than scenes in a film.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few fist fights, murders and attempt to murders.
  • Language: Save for one abusive dialogue, clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Two scenes where sex is implied. Pedophilia is one of the strong themes.
  • Concept: A guardian trying to save the ward, at all costs. Also, is on an awareness campaign about child sex abuse.
  • General Look and Feel: Set in a gritty, small town in West Bengal, Kahaani 2 has a pulsating thriller air about it.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 3.5
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Kahaani 2 - Movie Details

Kahaani 2 - Trailer

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Comments (1)

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Sonia:

Overall it was a one time watch. That too for Vidya Balan.

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