Adding a ‘Part 2’ to the title of a film exploiting the success of its original eventually leads to much bigger expectations that mostly turn out be a big burden for a project instead of any beneficial tag. The fact once again gets proved with this week’s KAHAANI 2, which firstly has nothing to do with its prequel in any manner whatsoever. And secondly can easily be rated as a fine one time watch thriller, if not associated with the exceptional quality and content of the original 2012 hit.
However considering it as a supposedly ‘stand-alone’ sequel promoted as KAHAANI 2, the project largely fails to live up to the expectations and turns out to be a quite casually written film tackling a sensitive subject, remaining more interested in its lead STAR instead of the actual innocent victim facing the ugly abuse.
Beginning with an old melodious song “Yeh Raatein” running in the backdrop making you recall the excellence of cinematography, Kolkatta ambience and a chilling background score of KAHAANI, the sequel unarguably comes up as a fine intriguing film made on an unexpectedly dark theme before the intermission. It certainly grabs you well within the first 30 minutes itself through an emotional introduction of its characters, an unexpected brutal accident and a serious, uncomfortable theme related with a 6 years old girl being abused by her own uncle. No doubt both the writers as well as the director handle the complex and delicate theme with a skillful ease. But the mystery element gets lost before the intermission itself as you very well know who the culprit is and what it’s actually all about.
Sadly the film steps on to a completely predictable and unimpressive track post the intermission following a too casual approach which fails to maintain the sensitive and emotional level experienced in the first half. Yes, the editing still keeps you engrossed playing with the past and present carefully placing it at a fine pace. But the writing fails to maintain the consistency and the script never comes ups with anything convincing or logical in the end in terms of the suspense revealed.
As a result the second half simply lets down the fine build-up created by the initial hour and then we get to see an easily predictable filmy kind of climax, wherein the writer-director don’t even feel like giving any logical reasoning for the proceedings ruining a socially relevant plot.
But keeping the negative pointers for the last, would really like to talk about the casting that truly provides the project, a much desired noticeable or rather unusual edge. As expected Vidya Balan delivers another stellar performance playing a lonely but concerned character saving an innocent girl. The lady shines throughout the film especially in the first half, in the sequences conversing with the girl and her weird family members hiding a disgusting truth. Both Arjun Rampal and Jugal Hansraj pleasantly surprise in their given roles along with Amba Sanyal, a perfect choice made for playing the most cunning one. But personally speaking I simply loved Manini Chadha the most as the simple homely wife of a tensed sub-inspector sportingly ignoring his past.
Coming to the downers seriously damaging a film that could have been another worth mentioning hit of the year 2016, please skip reading the next part of the review if you still haven’t watched the film. (Clear Spoilers Ahead)
1. Breaking the appreciable pattern of its original, this time KAHAANI 2 doesn’t come up with any mystery disclosed in the end that happened to be its major USP earlier. In the present film everything is simply revealed before the intermission itself and there are no surprises left that cannot be easily predicted much before they appear on the screen becoming the film’s biggest downer.
2. Post the recent TE3N this is yet another film which remains more interested in focusing on its STAR, instead of the theme and more importantly the kids justifying the subject chosen.
3. Talking about the sexual abuse of a 6 years old girl by her own uncle. Yes, the ugly sin is committed by the known members of a family only in most of the ‘reported’ cases. But I personally didn’t feel convinced watching an old aged mother too readily allowing his 40+ years old son to abuse her 6 years old grand-daughter for any kind of God-damn reason. For me this was the most unconvincing part of the film that could and essentially should have been dealt in a different, believable manner.
4. Unlike the original, the supporting cast remains fine but isn’t able to deliver anything exceptional in their individual portrayal. Particularly a clear attempt to present a new Bob Biswas (contract killer) in the storyline falls completely flat making no impact of any kind in absence of any solid writing.
5. Everything happens so easily in the film that remains far from convincing the moment one comes to know about it all in the second hour. For instance, a kidnap from a well-known influential family without any problem as such, an absconding lady hiding with a handicapped kid in a town just a few miles away, successfully finding a job developing new identities of both without getting caught by the police, fooling a reputed doctor and a NGO sponsoring the kid’s treatment making all untrue submissions and later flying abroad on all forged documents too after leaving two dead bodies lying on the docks (including a lady inspector).
6. On a lighter note, a beggar finding a lost phone and keeping it in his dirty bag, not selling it off right away doesn't seem to be digestible either.
7. But most importantly, KAHAANI 2 has a quite stupid portrayal of POLICE in a highly irresponsible manner as if they have no ability to find anyone either in the city or within their own department operating right under their nose fooling one and all (which actually contradicts the superfine depiction of the Police force in its original).
Making it clear, apart from the hard to believe kidnapping and successful hide-out of Vidya living with an easily noticeable kid, there is a lady police officer in the film who happens to be a professional contract killer too, operating since years and the entire Police department has simply got no clue about her.
Moreover the whole department is searching about the family background of a wanted lady but they are foolishly not able to find that she is the ex-wife of their own sub-inspector involved in the same investigations.
In all, disappointing as a sequel KAHAANI 2 can still be rated as a barely one time watch because it talks about a sensitive issue and thankfully doesn’t bore you with a well-paced narration and the first half making a decent impact. Yet the film fails to prove as any above average crime thriller due to its casual and illogical writing in terms of mystery or suspense.
Rating : 2 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the brave choice of the subject and Vidya Balan alone shining in a difficult role.)