CriticLeo Rating


Kahaani, director Sujoy Ghosh‘s latest offering after a miserable Aladin, was one film I was waiting to watch this month. If Vidya Balan was one reason, the movie’s intriguing first look was another. Was my wait worthy? Read on.


Two years after a massive terror attack at Kolkata metro, a pregnant Vidya Venkatesan Bagchi (Vidya Balan) flies from London to Kolkata in search of her missing husband, Arnab Bagchi. Unfortunately, Arnab is nowhere to be found even after relentless efforts and it is almost like he doesn’t exist at all.

But, the festive city has many surprises in store for Vidya. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) is on lookout for one Milan Damji, who is coincidentally a lookalike of Arnab Bagchi. Vidya feels the need to reach Milan in order to find Arnab. But none seems to know anything about Milan either.

The mystery forms – Who is Milan Damji? Where is Arnab Bagchi? The rest is about Vidya unfolding this enigmatic kahaani with the help of Rana (Parambrata Chatterjee), a local police officer.


Vidya wonderfully slipped into the character and remained equally amazing all through. Be it dialogue delivery, body language or facial expressions, she scores well in all of them. She might be on an award winning spree, yet again.

Parambrata Chatterjee’s performance was matured and very polished. Nawazuddin Siddiqui was brilliant as a tough IB officer. Indraneil Sengupta has a limited role and he was alright. The child actor at the lodge was simply adorable!


Strong script, thoughtful direction, and gripping screenplay lead the movie. It was a pleasure to watch the story unfold intelligently. In such suspense movies, chances of obscurity or less clarity are always high. But, the story only got more interesting and clear as a couple of twists developed. Though few sequences look illogical initially, you’ll get your answers in the later part of the movie.

Though the movie is of a thriller genre, there are many inherent tender moments, causing a pure delight. Occasional humor only added to the engrossing mood of the tale. And, this is one of those rare films where every character has an importance of its own. Even if the appearance was for a few minutes, they could make a mark and the director has to be appreciated for this. Vidya’s costumes and realistic make-up deserve a mention.

Technically, the movie scores very high. Screenplay is the king of this gripping tale and keeps you on tenterhooks all through. Music wasn’t great, but background score helped in creating some nail biting moments here and there. Even amidst all the hustle, madness and suspense, the beauty of the superbly shot Kolkata couldn’t be missed. The movie was crisp, well edited and the mystery unfolds without you having to wait painfully. Kahaani is director Sujoy Ghosh’s well made tribute to women power and Kolkata. And, there’s nothing significant to talk on the bad side.

Kahaani is a smart small budget effort and the producers can bask in glory very soon. Word of mouth can do wonders and Vidya’s recent national award might draw substantial crowds to the cinemas.

Final word

It was worth my wait and is worth your time. Must watch! I’ll go with 4 out of 5.

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  1. It is heartening to see your 4 out of 5 for this one, since after Aladin and Home Delivery, one really has been hoping for a good one from this talented director, who also happens to be a childhood friend of mine.

  2. This review is remarkably written. It is a perfect review so as to say. I generally read Anupama Chopra as a film critic. This post has all the ingredients of a perfect review and is written in her class and style. Read her, if you don’t. She writes for HT now…

    Best review of this blog!

  3. Nicely written… I was waiting for this movie and the review and 4/5 makes me feel i shouldn’t miss this one for sure… :)

  4. Forget about the director/ producer/ story..Vidya has been a brilliant and consistent actor and one of my favs too. I have had the urge of watching KAHAANI since i saw the trailors and ur critics compell me further :-) Good review and excellent writing .I must say – Thanks

  5. i will watch it soon
    nice review

  6. Thanks Harsha for the review./you have made me want to see the film. I will check with your views once I see it:-)
    Meanwhile , do keep reviewing, you write well.

  7. this is a good review. i am keen to watch the movie for Vidya
    Sujoy was disappointing in Aladdin & HD. glad he has outdone himself this time

  8. hmm, I have just come back after reading Baradwaj Ranjan’s review. I saw this movie yesterday. Wanted to mention, that while your review is good, You’ve given too many adjectives describing the movie as superb and intelligent, but you haven’t linked what was superb or intelligent in what scenes of the movie. A more technical and eye for detail of what caught your eye the most is wanting here . sorry if I sound a bit harsh :)
    The best thing though about this review is that it doesnt spoil the suspense of the movie, just in case there are people reading, who havent seen it.

  9. Lovely review. Saw the movie over the weekend. And loved it!! I actually didn’t feel it was a bollywood flick with the kind of start it had. Even recalled Bourne movies at time. Loved the character portrayal of the assasin. Rather atypical of Indian cinema.

  10. Yes. Excellent movie. It proves the point that a good movie is not at all about big star cast and big budgets. All that a movie needs is a good script and a good director. Its heartening to see that young Indian directors are making serious efforts to do away with regular Bollywood masala stuff and ready to experiment with different scripts. Thanks for the review.

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