This ain’t a sequel in true sense. Cos it doesn’t take forward the story of Vidya Bagchi from the first part. Instead, writer – director Sujoy Ghosh tells a completely new story of Vidya Sinha (Balan). While it’s natural to compare this thriller with its path breaking prequel, I chose not to do so (atleast, while watching the movie) and let Sujoy plot his Kahaani 2 on a clean slate.
Vidya Sinha (perhaps an ode to the 70’s actress) lives with her 14 year old handicapped daughter in a small town of West Bengal. Suddenly one day, her daughter is kidnapped. Before she can respond properly to the kidnapper’s call, Vidya meets with an accident which leaves her comatose. Enter sub-inspector Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal) who recognises Vidya as Durga Rani Singh, a fugitive wanted for kidnapping and murder.
Sujoy Ghosh keeps his narrative super racy not giving audience any time to think (or even casually check the mobile). Infact, the first half keeps you on tenterhooks with every scene introducing some twist or turn. The second half is fast paced as well but somehow, the director falters in terms of the predictability of his climax. You can see it coming long before and it doesn’t jolt you like it’s predecessor did…That’s not to suggest that it’s bad or awry ending but it’s just that you expected much more from a maverick like Ghosh who gave us that intended climatic shock even in his superlative short film ‘Ahalya’ (2015). That’s missing here. Never mind!
On the positive, Sujoy makes the streets of Chandan Nagar and Kalimpong (West Bengal) a character in itself lending his film an authentic ‘Bong’ touch. He had achieved the same feat with Kolkata in his pehli Kahaani as well.
Of the cast, Arjun Rampal is first rate as the cop desperate for a promotion. I would rate his performance in Kahaani 2 his second best after Rock on (2008). Manini Chadha as his onscreen wife is charming enough to leave an impression. Jugal Hansraj returns to celluloid after long time. He surprises you with his “not so Masoom (1983 )” act.
Expectedly, the biggest asset of Kahaani 2 is Vidya Balan once again delivering an outstanding performance. She’s an absolute marvel to watch and Sujoy utilises her immense talent to perfection. Despite the end result not matching up to their first collaboration, I wish to see Sujoy- Vidya collaborate again for a third part. And perhaps let Bob Biswas return for the kill..