Towards the end of Hunger games, I was starting to have many problems. We had to go and pick up our car from a garage which would close at 10 and the movie was showing no sign of ending even after 2 hours and 15 minutes. For the same reason of being so long, I was also starting to have my own ‘hunger game’. And since the two cute girls sitting next to me had already left the theater and I had read all my Facebook/tumblr updates, I had nothing else to do except to think of many better ways I could have spent the last 3 hours.
Well, I guess that pretty much sums up the movie, as I understood it - the same movie that people all over are so crazy about. Listen to this for instance, Lionsgate, the company that is producing the movie saw a 80% increase in its stock value in last 2 months just in anticipation of the movie. Not to mention of the more than 10 million ticket sales over the first weekend, the long curved lines we saw in front of the theaters and the high praise from many critics.
Did I see a different movie? I am still trying to figure out.
As for the movie, take “Gladiator”, “The running man” and mix them together in equal proportion. Add some ‘Man vs Wild’ scenes. Then add some more cliches to it. Spice it up with some special effects, that don’t even look good. And you have it.
Except, of course, for Jennifer Lawrence. She seems sincere, and capable. But it’s hard to focus on her while things all around are so messed up.
And oh, 2 hours and 22 mins.. come on! I don’t mind giving you my 12 dollars. Please do not torture me for so long. Take my money and let me go.
Could it have been better? There is very little in the story that is new, except the concept of a state that is in full control. It would have been interesting to see the kind of questions could have been asked of such a state. It’s strange there is not even a single line of dialogue or a single scene that explores the many different possibilities associated with it. Except for one small scene of a mob attack which was possibly added as an afterthought.
Lesson learnt - resist the hype. Try harder next time.
When was the last time I watched a good Hindi thriller? Honestly, I do not remember. In recent memory, maybe “Manorama 6 feet under” comes close to being a good thriller.
What made it even more special about “Kahaani” is the fact that it’s all shot in Kolkata. Kolkata had never been photographed better in a hindi movie than this one.
Heavy panting. A face in mask. Some mouses inside glass boxes - looks like a lab. There is a bottle of some kind of liquid. A drop of it and the next moment the mouse is struggling for its last breath. It’s dead. And so are all the others.
Cut to Kolkata metro. A packed train compartment filled with all kinds of people from all walks of life. A young man frantically searches for something. There is fear and anxiety in his face. It could be a bomb. A woman with an infant leaves the compartment with her bag behind, a bottle in it -seemingly a milk bottle. Her fellow passenger tries to give it back to her, drops it and boom!
Cut to Kolkata airport. Bidya (no,she corrects, Vidya!) , a pregnant woman arrives from London in search of her husband who came to work for a 2-weeks assignment and has been missing after a few days of coming to India, seemingly everyone including his employer in India denies his coming to India. But she, with all her physical limitation, is determined to find the truth. She finds a willing companion in Sarathi, a police officer. Together, they go deeper into the spiraling web of secrets that will reveal the true story of what happened to Vidya’s husband and much more.
The biggest strength of the movie is its screenplay. Unlike tons of other Hindi movies, this one has not a single scene that does not need to be there. It moves at a break-neck speed and yet spends enough time to develop each of its characters. And it very carefully avoids the cliches including a possible romance between the two main characters. It builds up tension so well, by half time, it made me restless. There were so many questions including those two short prologues which needed answer! Acting is top notch. And so is cinematography.
Without giving any spoiler, the twist at the end could possibly have been avoided. Especially because the same plot device has been used in so many other movies starting with the famous “Usual suspects”. Nevertheless, I have not been so satisfied with a new Hindi movie in a long time. Worth a watch!