Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Jugal Hansraj, Tota Roy Chowdhury
Durga Rani Singh is definitely not Kahaani, but the riveting thriller is deeply rewarding, especially for its powerhouse performances and the immensely delicate and emotional subject matter it touches upon without losing the film’s edge.
Sujoy Gosh sombre thriller opens with Vidya Sinha (Vidya Balan) writing in her diary about a beautiful day spent with daughter Mini (Tunisha Sharma), who is paralysed waist below. They both seem content in their small world in an almost dead Chandan Nagar in West Bengal, until Mini mysteriously gets kidnapped and Vidya is hit by a car and goes into a coma. And that’s when director Sujoy Gosh skilfully starts unravelling pieces of his thriller. Enters sub-inspector Indrajeet Singh (Arjun Rampal), who is vying for a promotion so that he can take his wife and daughter back to the colourful city of Kolkata. It so happens that Indrajeet has a history with Vidya when she was known as Durga Rani Singh. Furthermore, Durga is also on the wanted list of the police for kidnapping and murder charges.
The plot in the first half is a wonderful puzzle and Sujoy weaves a nice haunting atmosphere along with capturing the essence and mood of West Bengal, for his story to unfold. He slowly reveals the hidden layers of depth and complexity of his protagonist – Durga Rani Singh and also subtly and sensitively touches upon some serious issues, which until now have been dealt with very superficially in Hindi cinema. The scene where Vidya is having a conversation with the young Mini (Naisha Khanna), plucks at your heartstrings. Sujoy and Vidya both push you beyond your comfort zone of a typical Bollywood film and give you goosebumps with this one particular scene.
The director masterfully manages to build the tension and keep us on the edge of our seats without being able to take our eyes off the screen. Some scenes even give you an occasional jolt, but one can’t say the same for the second half.
The second half of this suspense thriller is pretty much predictable. And as Kahaani 2 proceeds forward, towards its climax, you pretty much know what’s in store. However, the filmmaking remains immaculate and the film holds your attention till the very end, despite being predictable.
Just like in the previous Kahaani, Vidya Balan is a force to be reckoned with in this one too. The lady never fails to impress and her portrayal of Durga Rani Singh is remarkable. Arjun Rampal as Indrajeet is impressive. The surprise package here is Jugal Hansraj. He is extremely good in his part. One thing, which is extremely commendable about Sujoy as a director, is that he pays attention to every single character of his films because of which even the supporting cast shines through. Be it a beggar on the road, a halvaldar, the grandmother, the inspector – all of them brilliantly stand out in their small parts in Kahaani 2.
Kahaani 2 takes you on a riveting journey from Chandan Nagar to Kalimpong to Sujoy’s fav city Kolkata, and is undoubtedly a film that merits seeing, at least once.