'Kahaani 2' review: Vidya Balan is back in form in this predictable thriller

Balan is guttural and fantastic, Arjun Rampal surprises with his best performance to date.

'Kahaani 2' review: Vidya Balan is back in form in this predictable thriller
Film: Kahaani 2
Genre: Thriller
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Cast: Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal
Sujoy Ghosh returns after four years with ' Kahaani 2', not a sequel to the first film in the franchise, but an entirely new story. With middle-class de-glam characters shuffling between Kalimpong, Kolkata and Chandannagar, Ghosh surely knows how to create an atmosphere that pulls the audience into his world.

The movie begins on a promising note, and will keep you glued to the screen, right from scene one. With an eight-year-time gap, the narrative flashes between Kalimpong and present-day Chandannagar with a doting mother Durga Rani Singh ( Vidya Balan) trying to locate her missing daughter Minnie (Naisha Khanna). There is a mother in Balan who wants to save her daughter, and, then there is another in a parallel world where the same woman turns a fugitive, on the run for abducting a child.

Balan is back in form, guttural, fantastic and authentic. Her performance, if not better, then matches the standards of 'Kahaani' that she had almost single-handedly carried on her own shoulders. Dishevelled and sans make-up, she once again proves her mettle Durga Rani Singh a.k.a. Vidya Sinha.

As Inspector Inderjeet, this is by far Arjun Rampal's best performance ever, and he can be forgiven for his recent not-so-sunny outing 'Rock On 2'. Ghosh has managed to add his Midas touch here, and Rampal delivers. Also there is another delivery - and another blast-from-the-past who gets resurrected in this 2-hour-long thriller. Yes, Jugal Hansraj, of 'Masoom' and subsequent box-office disasters, rears his ugly side as the villain who shows that familiarity, sometimes, does breed contempt and cunning.

The first half is tight and gripping, and handles the sensitive issue of child abuse with much poise. It's the second half that falters a bit, and sadly, becomes predictable. The 'thriller' loses its 'next-is-what' quotient, and the questions are answered before you can even ask them.

But even when the plot starts getting loose, the fine direction and Namrata Rao's pace-enhancing editing keeps you engaged.

Should you watch it? Yes. If not compared to 'Kahaani' that raised the bar for thrillers in the Indian film industry, this sequel does offer fantastic performances, a meaty screenplay and will keep you hooked. However, don't go expecting a masterpiece and as you second-guess what's going to happen next, the two hours will fly by.

'Kahaani 2' trailer (Source: Twitter)
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