Friday, March 09, 2012


Rating: 8
Release Date: 9th March, 2012
Time: ~120 minutes
Director & Writer : Sujoy Ghosh; Co-Writer: Advaita Kala; Music : Vishal-Shekhar
Starring: Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Darshan Jariwala

This one breaks quite a few ‘rules’. It’s a woman-centric film, it’s a drama, no lip synch songs, no fancy locales, choosing instead one of the most dilapidated cities in India, Kolkata for all its scenes. And yet, it works and how.
A pregnant lady (Vidya), has come all the way from London, in search of her missing husband. A helpful cop. Secrets, shadowy organizations, contract killers. Just someone who doesn’t want to be found or is there more to it ?
The storyline is quite simple and to the directors credit he resists all temptation to add more characters, more twists, relying instead on crisp editing to keep it taut and letting the uniqueness of Kolkata almost become another actor in this fast unfolding drama.

Beyond the yellow Ambassador taxis & the white uniformed cops, it brings out nuances about the city. The innate helpfulness. The soft-spokenness. The neighbourhood teastalls. The respect accorded to women (probably the safest place for the fairer sex amongst the 4 metros ?), the old world charm. The trams and the metro. The ubiquitous Rabindrasangeet. And of course, the Durga Puja, the pandals and the magical, transformed city Kolkata becomes during those few days every year.
Vidya & the fine character actors don’t put a foot wrong. Even the ones with bit roles. The cop who first files her missing persons report (and later begs her to fix his noisy error-prone computer). He also has the funniest line in the film ‘I’ve been trying for 30 years aur yeh do saal mein kar ke chala gaya’. The receptionist at the zero star Mona Lisa guest house who insists on calling his NRI guest ‘your majesty’. The running water boy who is inseperable from his transistor. Special mention for Parambrata, who I think matched Vidya expression for expression and had a pleasant appeal about him. Would want more cops looking & behaving like him.
The plot is interesting, enough twists and turns thrown in to keep it pacy, many layers, each peeling off at suitably placed intervals. Want to say more but wont for fear of giving it away. We spent the ride home, from the multiplex, trying to think of flaws in the storyline. We’re still thinking. Are probably going to watch it again to test various theories. Its that kind of a film…


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Amit Sinha said...

enjoyed kahani. fast paced and taut - without spending a fortune

Amit Sinha said...

enjoyed kahani. fast paced and taut - without spending a fortune

Neel Mehta said...

Really loved this film. Original style and engrossing film. I watched primarily because your review made me curious. I had explored this charming city Kolkata as a boy and this film brought back fond memories.