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Last Updated Tuesday September 26 2017 12:24 AM IST

Kahaani 2 review: Maa-beti love in thriller mode

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Kahaani 2 review A still from the movie

Kahaani 2 points its camera to a small town in West Bengal, where a mother and her paralyzed daughter are living in a lower middle-class setting. The doting mother, played by Vidya Balan, is perennially worried about the well-being of her paralyzed daughter, Mini.

The first few scenes underline her undying affection for her teenage daughter but before you could settle down in your chairs, Mini goes missing.

The woman’s past has come back to haunt her and sub-inspector Indrajeet Singh – Arjun Rampal – is on the case.  (Anything more about the plot would amount to a spoiler.)

Kahaani 2 doesn’t pick up from where Vidya left us in 2012, and is differently packaged to tell a new story. The narrative doesn't follow a linear path, and it’s hard to place the movie in a particular genre.

Kahaani 2 review Vidya Balan plays a woman with a painful past

Vidya Balan-Sujoy Ghosh’s second outing Kahaani 2 – Durga Rani Singh, oscillates between a thriller with a wanted criminal on the run, a drama on the love between maa-beti and at times a story emphasizing on child rights. All these ideas have been somehow fitted in to form a 2-hour movie by writer-director Sujoy Ghosh, whose Kahaani with Vidya Balan in the lead was a runaway hit.

While the plot of Kahaani 2 has some holes, the pace of the movie and some good acting ensure that you stay hooked to the screen. Songs don’t have much of an impact in the movie, but the heart-thumping background score by Clinton Cerejo does.

Kahaani 2 review: Vidya Balan does it again Vidya Balan does it again in Kahaani 2

Arjun Rampal has more to do in this one other than looking hot (which he anyways is!). Rampal as the toned-up cop, who is always on the lookout for promotion, gives a decent performance.

Remember the song 'Ghar se nikhalte hi…' from the mid-1990s? That dimpled boy, Jugal Hansraj, who mouthed the famous song has a prominent role to play in the film but it appears that time has added grey shades to those twinkling eyes.

Kahaani 2 review: Vidya Balan does it again Jugal Hansraj has a prominent role to play in the film

Naisha Khanna as the incredibly cute 6-year-old Mini carries the weight of her role perfectly, while Tunisha Sharma does justice as teenage Mini. Kharaj Mukherjee as the senior cop adds some humor to the otherwise dark movie. The scenes between him and Rampal are sure to make you chuckle.

But it’s Vidya Balan as the woman guarding all the secrets, who owns the movie. She manages to play the victim, the tormentor and the cunning woman all with perfection. Kudos to the actor, who has given a whole-new meaning to the idea of woman-centric movies. Or better still, she makes us wonder if we should stop using the term altogether?

But unlike the 2012-Kahaani that had you on the edge of the seats for most of its running time, the latest manages to startle you from time to time while making you chew on some of its ideas.

The climax looks too convenient and at the end doesn’t give that finishing punch rendered by the first one.

Kahaani 2 review: Maa-beti love in thriller mode Arjun Rampal plays the role of sub-inspector Inderjeet Singh

Therein lies the movie’s problem, people are left comparing between the two movies. Kahaani 2 seems to be suffering from Kahaani’s hangover. With bulk of the cast, makers and even setting remaining the same, it’s hard not to do so.

But that aside, Sujay Ghosh should be applauded for bringing human elements in a thriller setting and ensuring that one doesn’t shadow the other. That and for Vidya Balan, Kahaani 2 is a must-watch.

Rating: 3/5

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