KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH Movie Review: Carelessly developed, directed & poorly performed suspense thriller 


It’s an engaging film for those who can suspend their faculty of reason and artistic sensibilities. It’s poorly developed and rather carelessly directed, and fails to exploit the full potential of its premise and cast. The issue of sexual abuse of a girl child adds some gravitas to the implausible narrative but even this advantage is frittered away by an idiotically developed, over dramatized, Bollywoodised & extremely contrived screenplay. The obviously fake performances by actors don’t help either. 

It’s a simple & straightforward story of a woman named Durga Rani Singh (Vidya Balan), a cashier in a Kalimpong public school. She was sexually abused in childhood, the psychological scars of which rendered her incapable of having a normal man-woman relationship. She makes it her mission to save another victim of sexual abuse, a six-year-old girl Minnie Dewan (Naisha Khanna), a student of the school who is sexually abused by her uncle Mohit Dewan (Jugal Hansraj). She finally succeeds in saving the girl as she runs away with her, changes her identity to Vidya Sinha, and begins to live in a small town off Kolkata. Minnie (Tunisha Sharma) grows up but has turned paraplegic and Durga is trying to take her away to the US for her treatment when her past catches up with her and imperils Minnie’s as well as her life. All odds are stacked against her. The only person she can turn to for help is Inderjeet Singh (Arjun Rampal), a Sub-inspector in West Bengal Police, who turns out to be yet another person from her tragic past.

The screenwriters of the film start on the wrong foot. They blatantly but superficially exploit a very serious subject like child sexual abuse as a subterfuge to mount an over-dramatic suspense thriller. The contrivance helps neither of the causes, and leaves a lot of inexplicable loose ends and confusion in its wake. The shoddily developed screenplay fails to explore the inherent possibilities of the subject credibly and creditably. It also gets predictable after a while and the denouement does not surprise or shock the expectant audience, much to its discomfiture and disappointment, since it was naturally looking forward to as dramatic a finale as KAHAANI.

Constrained by a poorly developed screenplay out of a contrived story, the director fails to exploit the full histrionic potential of its cast. The attempts to make it realistic & over-dramatic in Bollywoodish way at the same time fall flat. The fakery is too obvious, particularly in the performance of Vidya Balan. Using a personal diary to go into the flashback is an extremely boring screenwriting trick, which unnecessarily slows the pace of the narrative and proves counter-productive and contributes nothing to building up the suspense and mystery.

The film has two fantastically ridiculous, unforgivable, predictable, and meaningless climax scenes one after another. Yet again overused screenplay writing tricks have been employed that deliver a lackluster tepid end to a suspense-mystery thriller. 

The songs are redundant. However, the use of a familiar Tagore song as the background score arouses nostalgia.

Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, Produced by Sujoy Ghosh, Jayantilal Gada, Written by Sujoy Ghosh,, Ritesh Shah (dialogues), Story by Sujoy Ghosh, Suresh Nair, Starring Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Naisha Khanna, Tunisha Sharma, Jugal Hansraj,  Music by Clinton Cerejo, Cinematographyby Tapan Basu, Production companies: Boundscript Motion Pictures, Pen India Limited

Rajesh Kumar Singh

@khulkebolo @neelnabh

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