Kahaani 2 movie review: Vidya Balan’s performance is the saving grace of this predictable thriller

Kahaani 2 movie review: Despite a taut first half and a well-rounded performance by Vidya Balan, the film fails the audience when it does away with subtlety and starts telegraphing its punches.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: December 3, 2016 8:20 am
Kahaani 2, Kahaani 2 movie, Kahaani 2 film, Kahaani 2 cast, Vidya Balan, Vidya Balan Kahaani 2 Kahaani 2 movie review: Vidya Balan plays a woman with a painful past who meets a young girl with whom she feels a strange bond.

Kahaani 2 movie cast: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Jugal Hansraj, Naisha Singh, Tota Roychoudhary, Amba Sanyal
Kahaani 2 movie director: Sujoy Ghosh

Vidya Balan is back. As Durga Rani Singh, the protagonist of Kahaani 2, which is not a sequel to the first part, but a stand-alone second instalment of a series that director Sujoy Ghosh is interested in fashioning. The first Kahaani had Balan play a heavily pregnant woman in search of a missing husband. It was set in Kolkata, and that was a win. Sated with the too-familiar by-ways of Dilli-Mumbai, Kolkata was refreshing.

So was Balan’s playing of Vidya (pronounced, quite properly, Bidya, in good Bangla) Bagchi who quests and finds: what we got was a mostly-compelling thriller, more why-done-it than whodunit, powered by a fully rounded performance by its leading lady.

Kahaani 2 movie review | Watch | Vidya Balan On Kahaani 2: I Use All Tools To Be Able To Create A Person Out Of My Characters

 

Kahaani 2 has one of the best first halves I’ve seen in a while. Not one frame is wasted as the set-up is introduced and teased out: a woman with a painful past encounters a young girl with whom she senses a strange bond.

What happens next is a seamless building up of dread and tension as the woman, Durga Rani Singh (Vidya Balan) tries getting close to the unnaturally silent Mini (Naisha Singh), and finds herself drawn into an ugly situation featuring the latter’s unctuous uncle (Jugal Hansraj) and creepy grandmother (Amba Sanyal).

Up until this point, we are spell-bound. There is a clear sense of the trauma Durga, whom we see struggling to sustain a romantic relationship, must have faced when she herself was a child; to be little and defenceless and in the clutches of all-powerful, abusive adults is a horror that is tough to imagine, let alone to live through.

Post-interval, Kahaani 2, which ranges from Kalimpong to Chandan Nagar to Kolkata, becomes a different film, reminding you in bits of the Bollywood Teen, and the Hollywood Kill Bill. There’s an alleged kidnapping and murder, and dapper cop Inderjit Singh (Arjun Rampal) finds himself hot-footing after the elusive-but-familiar Durga, who seems to have changed names and towns. Is she is a sinner or a saint?

Kahaani 2 movie review | Watch | Kahaani 2 Audience Reaction: Vidya Balan Starrer Thriller Gets Mixed Reviews

 

The pace slackens. The action becomes clunky, and some glaring contrivances crop up, and the meant-to-be-humorous bits between Rampal and his rotund boss become less and less funny.

A stealthy female harridan shows up, brandishing a razor blade. The subtle notes are dispensed with, and things start getting underlined. And then the film starts telegraphing its punches: you know, well before it is a wrap, how it will end. There can be nothing worse for a thriller.

Kahaani 2 movie review, Kahaani 2 review, kahaani 2, vidya balan, kahaani sequel, kahaani image Kahaani 2 movie review: The question in Kahaani’s sequel is whether Vidya Balan’s Durga Rani Singh is a sinner or a saint?

The one who keeps you watching is Balan. She puts behind her over-wrought turn in Hamari Adhuri Kahani and gets back to doing what’s she’s done well in the past — giving us a solid, fleshed-out character with motivations she makes us see, and feel.

After Kahaani, which took us into a fresh space, this one disappoints. If Ghosh does plan on making a third, he’ll have to up his game considerably.

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First Published on: December 1, 2016 11:25 pm
  1. J
    Jennifer Kayleen
    Mar 16, 2017 at 12:17 pm
    This is a nice movie and my favorite actor......Thanks to admin for sharing.....
    Reply
    1. B
      Biplaw
      Dec 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm
      This is a very nice scripted movie.It surely deserves 3.5 or 4 starts. Right from start to end, it is interesting. Giving 2 star to this movie is a pathetic decision.
      Reply
      1. D
        Deep
        Dec 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm
        The movie is brilliantly directed and has a great story and the suspense remains till the very end. I would give it 4 stars. But no, contrived and nd unreal movies that cater to the minuscule elite, such as dear zindagi, at dil e mushkil and the soon to come befikre, these are the movies that get rave reviews by these so called critics. C'mon people, go show them who is boss- watch Vidya and Rampal in this not to be missed movie!!
        Reply
        1. O
          Ojima
          Dec 2, 2016 at 8:33 am
          This movie is cl apart. i saw people praising dear zindagi which was mostly a speech by two characters.lt;br/gt;LOVE VIDYA you have proved who belongs to BW
          Reply
          1. T
            Tejas naik
            Dec 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm
            Superb movie,A perfect screenplay,Direction,Editing,Cinematography,etc etc!!Kudos to the team kahaani 2,Must Watch
            Reply
            1. A
              Adrija Chatterjee
              Dec 4, 2016 at 4:43 pm
              Sorry, Mr Gupta but as an audience who loves the genre of thriller as well as a good film, let me remind you that Kahaani worked upon the essence of it far more than the apparent high its thrill factor gave it. Atleast to an audience who understands with what love and spirit a director spins a film, esp someone like Ghosh who in my opinion never cashes on cliches like drama, thrill alone but more upon the make, feel, root and of course story narrative. As a critic of a leading paper its really both biased and commonplace to rate Kahaani2 just on the basis of the thrill factor alone. Its misleading and disappointing at the same time. Sujoy Ghosh, is a rare gem who has the courage to draw Kahaani 2 in a way that justifies the first one with equal panache even being a completely new film altogether.
              Reply
              1. A
                Adnan
                Dec 2, 2016 at 4:13 am
                We've long stopped taking you seriously, Shubhra. Can't really figure out who you write your reviews for.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Alok
                  Dec 4, 2016 at 1:08 pm
                  You people's give review without watching movies.i found it nice movie with very nice message and good suspense.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Arunjyoti Banik
                    Dec 2, 2016 at 10:14 am
                    Reading his review has made me to see it in INOX. LoL.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Ayan
                      Dec 2, 2016 at 5:39 am
                      For the (n 1)th time, you are wrong. Faar away frm target. You need to up your game considerably madam. Completely disagree with u.
                      Reply
                      1. D
                        Dipti
                        Dec 2, 2016 at 5:41 am
                        At last a decent review. What pes as review these days is PR.
                        Reply
                        1. D
                          Dipti
                          Dec 2, 2016 at 5:41 am
                          Certainly not for nimble witted people.
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            virus mistry
                            Dec 3, 2016 at 2:51 am
                            Dear Shubhra gupta, i feel you need treatment at first place before posting review. 2 star ??? please go away from here
                            Reply
                            1. J
                              Jack Heramb
                              Dec 8, 2016 at 11:19 am
                              It’s an average movie not good not bad. But as compared to Kahaani its not good. Kahaani was a good movie. Kahaani 2 is quite slow. Both the leading actors pla good role in the movie, it had good songs like Meherram but over an average rating movie. You can check the rating on this Latest Bollywood Movie Review at Radio Mirchi movie reviews section.
                              Reply
                              1. J
                                Jayesh
                                Dec 6, 2016 at 5:25 am
                                This movie is really a must watch. Opinion is seems biased if compared to Dear Zindagi ratings .... it is surely 2 stars better than dear zindagi.lt;br/gt;Another thing, if you want to enjoy the movie theatre is right place to get its complete taste
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  sanjay
                                  Dec 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm
                                  nicely scripted
                                  Reply
                                  1. N
                                    Nirav Khandhadia
                                    Dec 2, 2016 at 10:59 pm
                                    Never seen kind of 1st half, but dragging second half? Ok...by that logic first half should get full 2.5 points out of 5, and even out of the last 2.5 you give 0.5, it comes to atleast 3 stars out of 5!!!! And no mention of something that is a taboo in society that has been presented in a way no other movie has presented!!!! As an influencer, you should have asked familes and parents to watch this movie for just that social taboo that is underlined in families! Are reviewers sinner or saint for society? The answer my friend is Blowin' in the wind!
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Mili
                                      Dec 2, 2016 at 3:58 pm
                                      Awesome work you guys, I only trust Indian Express for an honest and clean review, Time of India and NDTV suck, I will watch this movie for Vidya
                                      Reply
                                      1. Z
                                        Zofran
                                        Dec 2, 2016 at 4:33 am
                                        Wow this is the most non cohesive, pseudo intellect review I ever did read :|
                                        Reply
                                        1. N
                                          nanda dulal
                                          Dec 5, 2016 at 1:08 pm
                                          nicely scripted
                                          Reply
                                          1. N
                                            Niya
                                            Dec 2, 2016 at 4:58 am
                                            This person is the most confused and pseudo intellectual review writer i have ever read. God knows who gave her this job! Its time for IE to change the review writer to someone more sensible. BTW, predictable end is not worst for a thriller.. All that matters is how it reaches there..
                                            Reply
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