Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani 2 – Durga Rani Singh is an entirely different film from the unanimously acclaimed 2012 film although it shares the same leading lady, West Bengal and the high intensity thrills. This time however, Sujoy decided to integrate an important theme few films dared to explore in the past and still unfortunately doesn’t find place in the space of debate.
Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan) is a middle-aged single mother who lives with her paralyzed daughter Mini in Chandan Nagar, West Bengal. Five minutes into the film and we see Vidya gets knocked down by a taxi while running out on the street for her kidnapped daughter and slips into coma. Sub-Inspector Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal) is hired to investigate the case and when he reaches Vidya’s residence and chances upon her diary, many mysteries of Vidya are unraveled involving days when she lived as Durga Rani Singh before in Kolkata.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, the material deals with a theme that still remains out of public consciousness thus it is spine-chilling and it made me overwhelmed personally yet filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh and writer Suresh Nair sensibly explores it with a rock-solidly unpredictable plot. First half joint the dots and reveals the mystery behind Durga living as Vidya in disguise away from the world and contrary to what others had to say, post-intermission had me completely glued to seat, it didn’t had a shock value unlike the prequel yet it seldom bores. The suspense never looses the stream and therein lies the success.
It is refreshing to see Arjun Rampal deliver a committed performance after a long gap (last remember him at his best in Nikhil Advani’s D-day) as a the cop curious to solve the case of Durga, with whom she shares a certain past, he strikes a warm chemistry with Manini Chaddha, who plays his wife and the banter they exchange is heart-warming. Jugal Hansraj has less screen space in compared to others but he enacts his role intriguingly in fact much against his persona and nothing could’ve prepared us for this. Kharaj Mukherjee adds lot of humor in this otherwise dark film and thankfully doesn’t come across as forced element. Although every single actors cast in this film are stupendous, it is unsurprisingly Vidya Balan who raises above all.
Vidya is remarkable to say the least and is the film’s heart and soul. Her tour-de-force performance is layered with genuinely affecting emotions, never leaving any false note. Balan’s biggest strength is her lack of vanity & her commitment to the craft; she performs in such a manner that we often tend to forget we are watching the actress Vidya on screen. I’ve no qualms in saying that she is one of those rare performer (amongst both actors and actresses) who can carry a film on her shoulder without any need of stars.
Kahaani 2 – Durga Rani Singh might not be on the league of Kahaani, which is anyways impossible to top, yet it is a mind-boggling thriller that offers us perspective on human dynamics and even urge us to initiate a debate on a theme we continue to sweep under the carpet just because we do not want to look at the dark side. I look forward to see how Kahaani 3 shapes up as Sujoy has reportedly announce he would come up with the film.