After a while (or should we say finally?), we have a film that breaks all the stigma attached to the presence of women in Bollywood action films. Vidya Balan, in the role of Vidya Bagchi, plays in the film Kahaani (2012) and breaks the typography where the hero is the one who acts in a hyper-masculine way, with big biceps, a beard, does daredevil stunts and saves the damsel in distress. In Kahaani, Vidya Balan breaks this stereotype and presents herself as a true heroine. The male protagonists remain on the sidelines while Vidya moves forward.
Speaking of the film’s plot, a poison gas attack in the Kolkata subway takes hundreds of lives and sets in motion a chain of events. Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant software engineer, travels from London to India to search for her missing husband, Arnab Bagchi. Arnab came to India two years ago on a mission to the National Data Centre (NDC).
Initially, there is no record of Arnab landing in India, but Vidya knew deep down that something was wrong, so she didn’t give up and continued to search for her husband. Satyoki (Rana), a newly hired police officer, is doing everything he can to help Vidya find her husband. She soon discovers that her husband looks like a former employee of the NDC – Milan Damji.
Concerned that this resemblance could cause problems for her husband, Vidya soon realizes that the case is more than just a simple meeting. She was also scared by the murder of all the people who tried to help Vidya, but she fought fearlessly for her unborn child and her missing husband. Later, the involvement of the secret service in the case made the story more complicated and dense.
But in the end, Vidya’s bravery and fearlessness makes things clearer. The revelation was that Vidya had stuffed herself to look pregnant in order to distract people watching her. In addition, it turns out that Arnab Bagchi’s identity as her husband was also fabricated to bring down Milan Damji. This was the unpredictable and confusing part of the whole kahaani. Until the end, all the police thought they were using Vidya to get Milan Damji back, but in reality she was the one who was used by Vidya as a puppet for her mission and who made them find Milan Damji and capture him.
This work of art is unique and proves that a good plot is enough to leave an impression on the audience, more than songs, musical numbers, comical humor, etc. The film captures you from the very beginning. It starts with a slow pace but the story accelerates in the middle and continues until the end. Vidya’s character also defies the typical representation of women in action movies – no leather jackets, no garter belts for weapons and no tight pants. Even without these last stereotypes, Vidya was fearsome and terrifying in combat.
Parambrata Chattopadhyay, in the role of a newly recruited cop, does everything possible to help Vidya Balan find her missing husband; the actor plays the reliable sidekick to perfection. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as always, shines in his nuanced acting skills as a ruthless and emotionless cop trying to convince Vidya to surrender and return.
The film is filled with suspense, drama and captivating elements and takes place against the hypnotic backdrop of Durga Pooja in Calcutta. The combination itself could keep the audience on tenterhooks until the end and the breathtaking climax is (still) something that is often missing in Bollywood thrillers. Kahaani lives up to its title and is so well told to viewers with its outstanding cast as the icing on the cake. The perfect pictures of the beautiful city of Kolkata with every detail and every scene is also an aspect to appreciate. In fact, this is a movie that must be watched twice to get a clearer idea of the minute events that weave this exciting and beautiful Kahaani.