‘Kahaani 2’ has received decent reviews, but the average critic rating pales in comparison to the first film which scored more than 4 stars. If it wasn’t the second part of a film that was unanimously praised by the critics, ‘Kahaani 2’ would’ve probably received better ratings.
With 2 major films to go this year, Pink and Neerja are the only films to score 4 stars or more. It also goes without saying that the Top 5 critically acclaimed films this year have mostly worked with the multiplex audience.
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Kahaani 2 Review by Indicine
Sujoy Ghosh doesn’t disappoint with this spiritual sequel of Kahaani. He maintains a tight grip with a taut narrative almost throughout the entire duration of the movie. The climax feels a bit hollow and predictable but that’s because the first film conditioned the viewer to keep second guessing the characters and their motivations. This is why the ending of the conflict might feel a bit simple to few. Sujoy has a fine eye for detail and constructs every frame with a sense of nostalgia and dejavu. Special marks to him for showing places like Kalimpong and Chandannagar with a lot of care.
Kahaani 2 Review by Bollywood Hungama
After having produced the thriller TE3N (its Box-Office performance notwithstanding), director Sujoy Ghosh is back with what he best does: directing whodunit thrillers. After having directed KAHAANI, Sujoy Ghosh did face an uphill task of developing a story (with KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH) that not just encompassed the essence of a thriller, but also featured enough plot twists to keep the viewers guessing. KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH serves as a perfect answer to the same. Sujoy Ghosh deserves brownie points for having paid detailed attention to the fact that the sequel enjoys its own and distinguished identity under the sun. And he has taken every possible measure to do so and has been fairly successful in the same. Sujoy Ghosh needs to be applauded for keeping the film real and gripping, without having to resort to the typical Bollywood thriller route. While the film’s first half successfully establishes the plot and the mystery, it’s the second half that’s a revelation (quite literally) of sorts. Despite the presence of a handful of dull moments in the second half, the film’s pre-climax and climax makes up for everything. The film’s prime plot comes as a bolt from the blue. Do not miss the scenes like the film’s climax, Vidya Balan trying to unravel the mystery in her student’s house, her physical fight with a lady cop and the pre-climax face to face encounter between Vidya Balan and the lady cop. Another must watch sequence is immediate post the interval, where unlike conventional films that usually resume a minute a two before the break, Sujoy come up with a unique way that recaps the highpoints from the first half before resuming.
Kahaani 2 Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
The one who keeps you watching is Balan. She puts behind her over-wrought turn in Hamari Adhuri Kahani and gets back to doing what’s she’s done well in the past — giving us a solid, fleshed-out character with motivations she makes us see, and feel. After Kahaani, which took us into a fresh space, this one disappoints. If Ghosh does plan on making a third, he’ll have to up his game considerably.
Kahaani 2 Review by Meena Iyer on The Times Of India
Shot majorly at night and on real locations, the film has the authentic texture. If you fell in love with Kolkata in the 2012 outing, you will love Kalimpong here. The background score gives stomach-knots (as it must) and the camera work is good. Vidya, shorn of make-up and glamour breezes through her dual role in autopilot mode. Arjun impresses as the cop hankering for a promotion and is believable as the husband. If you have an appetite for thrillers (albeit, with some flaws) give this one a try.
Kahaani 2 Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Director Sujoy Ghosh, who raised Hindi thrillers to the extent of art with Kahaani, gets a few things right but eventually gives in to the tropes. His visual narration of the flashback sequence is deliciously dark and suitably gripping. But once he’s done joining the dots, he rushes to fold up the proceedings; consequently attributing little thought to how it could be best visualised and conceived. This one lacks jolts, ability to go beyond the obvious and offers a denouement that is not exactly satisfying. But it’s watchable because it holds your attention throughout and keeps you hopeful about an unannounced turn of events that may spring out of thin air any moment. Sadly, it doesn’t.
Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
The Indian National Award-winning actress, who plays a mother on the run who is accused of murdering and kidnapping of a minor, puts in a compelling performance. Her fear, her angst and her protectiveness towards her daughter is beautifully captured. While there’s no doubt in a viewer’s mind about her innocence, it’s wonderful that Balan has the charisma and the gravitas to keep everyone hooked until the last second. Some of the twists in the second half may seem predictable, but it’s buoyed by some fantastic performances. Arjun Rampal as a middle-level police officer is thoroughly engaging. He’s on Balan’s trail, and his quest to find the truth about her past is played out handsomely. But there’s a coincidence in the film that’s hard to believe. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this dark thriller. Also, watch out for director Ghosh’s finesse in bringing out the middle-class milieu of West Bengal.
Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Masala
Vidya Balan ditches layers of makeup to prove what a fab actor she is. Anyway the equation in Hindi films is simple: no makeup makes it meaningful cinema. I don’t have any problem with that. In fact, it’s heartwarming to see such simple women as desirable in the movie…but what’s the point, bro? Vidya is a fine actor, no doubt, but she doesn’t surprise us with anything extraordinary. I really wanted to like this film. But sorry, it left me a bit underwhelmed!!
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Kahaani 2 is what it is because of the power that Vidya Balan lends to it with a star turn that hinges on controlled underplaying. She surrenders herself completely to the character. Whether she is a frumpy school staffer passing herself off as a teacher or a battered and bloodied woman on the run, Balan is never less than astonishingly convincing. As far as thrillers go, Kahaani 2 isn’t the last word. But it certainly isn’t the same old story. Its understated style and riveting core make it well worth a watch.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
A thriller set in a sleepy town called Chandan Nagar, off Calcutta—effectively capturing the Bong milieu; art-directed, and shot like a slightly dystopian dream. A mystery that unravels by the minute, without a moment to pause for breath, much less blink, which is saying a whole lot for a movie that’s still 2 hours plus. How do I put it better than a fellow passenger in my lift who went, “Picture baandhke rakhti hai,” which is Hindi for “keeps you glued to your seat.” Visually, both seem terrible situations to be in. In the context of this film, terrific!
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
Unfortunately, you see the end coming a mile away. And you hate the fact that everything is explained to the audience as though we were dumb. The movie should have ended with Arjun Rampal walking out swinging his keys. You come away from the film not hating it entirely, but not in love with it either. And that ‘okayness’ the ‘averageness’ of the film is its true crime.
Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
Sujoy Ghosh has penned a twisted tale that is engaging throughout, but starts to lose its grip in the second half. In 2012, he amazed audiences with an unusual story of a pregnant woman, but this one isn’t a spine-chilling thriller like the first one. So if Kahaani is your benchmark when you go in to watch the sequel, you may well be disappointed. That said, Kahaani 2 is certainly a one-time watch. A part that sticks out like a sore thumb, though, is the revelation of Inderjeet’s bitter past and its links with Vidya. Few portions of the narrative are so predictable, that you can easily tell what’s coming next. Given audience exposure to international cinema, the level of suspense and mystery unravels in the blink of an eye.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
Technically, it’s a well crafted movie where Tapan Basu’s cinematography sets the right mood. Clinton Cerejo’s songs are functional and the art work is adequate. Background score is alright. All said and done, with all its predictability and lost opportunity KAHAANI 2: DURGA RANI SINGH is not a disaster but certainly a chapter on how to make a solid intriguing and shocking plot that concerns turn into a mediocre and routine action drama with limited thrills leaving the star power and super talents of actress like Vidya Balan do the rest. Watch it for the acting powers of Vidya Balan and the suave Arjun Rampal.
Review by Sweta Kaushal on Hindustan Times
The only let-down in Kahaani 2 is the climax. It is rather disappointing to see a high-tempo, fast-paced thriller suddenly taking the predictable-Bollywood-cliche dip. You are likely to be reminded of Ishqiya and TE3N, Vidya’s previous movies in the climax sequences. With Vidya’s stellar performance, Arjun’s strong support, Sujoy’s bold story and an engaging screenplay, Kahaani 2 is a must watch.
Review by Gaurang Chauhan on Bollywood Life
Just when you are left on a high note with its first half, the second half stumbles along the way. The film’s promotion was solely on the mystery behind the identity of Vidya Balan’s character. But that is revealed in the first half itself. In fact second half is more of cat and mouse game between Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal. If Kahaani‘s climax left you shell-shocked and you expect something similar from this one, you are in for a huge disappointment. By the time you are done with the first half, chances are you’ll know, how the film’s gonna end. The only reason you sit through the second half is due to the brilliant performances by its cast and the taut direction by Sujoy Ghosh. Also, the motive of kidnapping is plain bland. It doesn’t add up at all. And trying to create a Bob Biswas wannabe fails big time (You’ll understand once you watch the film). The film somehow reminded me of Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone and Sujoy Ghosh’s own production Te3n. The background score is underwhelming.
Review by Raja Sen on Rediff
Balan, with tremendous commitment to the part, gives us a stirring performance free of vanity or obviousness. She is obviously a gifted performer, but her biggest strength as an actress may well be her knack for winning the audience over; when she gasps, we gasp. The supporting actors are impressive — particularly Kharaj Mukherjee as an all-knowing ignoramus cop memorably called Haldar, Manini Chadha as an attractive policeman’s horny wife, and an actor known for innocence playing far from type — but the big twist in Kahaani 2 is a striking performance from Arjun Rampal.
Review by Tushar Joshi on DNA India
Kahaani 2 suffers more than just a lethargic second half. The issue is in the writing. You can feel the pressure set in as the film rushes from one scene to another wanting to rapidly culminate in an end that is meant to satiate the audience expecting a shocking twist or turn. Kahaani 2 doesn’t have any such stand out scene that would be a spoiler alert or make you discuss the way the moment played out during drinking sessions with your buddies. The comparison with the first might be unfair, but there can’t be any excuse for rushing into a climax with a sense of desperation. Vidya’s character addresses the issue of sexual abuse at a young age and that could have been material for a different genre, in Kahaani 2 it feels misplaced. Ghosh pampered us with such a nail biting edge of the seat screenplay in the first that we end up waiting in anticipation for the big reveal that never comes.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
The biggest strength of Kahaani 2 lies in the performances of its hero, Vidya Balan, and Arjun Rampal, who shines as Inderjit. Balan is terrific in her role. She is hysterical, near-mad when her daughter is kidnapped. She makes you feel her pain, but there are scenes when you want the Vidya Bagchi of Kahaani to come back on screen. Balan overdoes some of the bits and you wish she were a bit understated in her role. Arjun Rampal is a revelation in Kahaani 2. He plays Inder with elan, even though he is yet to reach emoting perfection, if there exists such a thing. Much like Vidya Bagchi, you miss her charioteer Satyaki/Rana (Parambrata Chakrabarty) too in the sequel. Jugal Hansraj is hardly a Bob Biswas. The Kahaani nostalgia is crippling in Kahaani 2. Therein lies the biggest problem of Kahaani 2.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
However, the two big reveals are totally predictable – the worst that can happen to a thriller. Beyond that then, the voiceover and flashback methods used to show the audience what happened is rather painful. This is where the baggage of the director’s last film’s success weighs in. You don’t expect the extent to which these routes are taken. You don’t expect there to be any real-life self-referencing in a film by Sujoy Ghosh, even if it’s subtle. And thus you end up cringing a little more than you would when it comes about in a film where you expect it. Even so, Kahaani 2 isn’t pulled down by expectations as much as it is by some lackluster writing. There are no real twists to speak of and the most of the other part of the story feels like an “awareness campaign” rather than scenes in a film.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
As for the story itself, Kahaani 2 is not fast and slick and takes time to unravel but nevertheless keeps you on the edge of your seat. As the story unfolds, you will actually feel a shiver creeping up your spine and sense your heart going out to the protagonist and her cause. However, when it comes to the second half, Kahaani 2 somewhat goes downhill. Remember that scene in Kahaani where Vidya reveals that she was never pregnant and you gasp in genuine shock? There are no such scenes in this film. Though the film scores high when it comes to the thrill element in the first half, the second half goes the typical Bollywood way and ends up being predictable to the extent that you can see the twist coming up from a mile away. A good suspense story should send a well-timed punch to your gut without a warning, but the second half of the film does nothing of the sort, which may prove to be its undoing. Nevertheless, Kahaani 2 is still way better than the run of the mill fare being dished out and if a good thriller is your cup of tea, this film could be a good option.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
The first hour of Kahaani 2 moves briskly to reveal a Pandora’s box of secrets and lies. Cutting deftly between the past and the present, the breathless pace of the screenplay never lets up. Post-intermission, however, the warts begin to show. The writing becomes sloppy, and the contrivances pile up. Repeatedly you find yourself asking: “Is that really what this character would do?” The twists too can be spotted from a distance, and an attempt to deliver a Bob Biswas-type unlikely assassin fails completely. But even as the film hobbles, its leading lady continues to take giant strides. Balan is first rate in a fully fleshed out role, offering a performance completely free of vanity, and full of genuine feeling. She powers Kahaani 2, glossing over its rough edges.
Review by Subhash K Jha on Bollyspice
If Vidya is beyond remarkable in her ability to convey the turmoil and anxieties of a mother who is borderline criminal and potentially imbalanced in her mental equilibrium, Arjun Rampal matches paces with the film’s female hero and at times outpaces her with his penchant for delivering punchlines without flourish. His role of the investigative cop is neatly fleshed out and fabulously performed. Here is an actor who doesn’t try to impress us. And Jugal Hansraj the Masoom moppet as a child abuser is a heartbreaking reminder that innocence and crime are never independently functional in a society where no one is safe any longer. Creepily, Sujoy Ghosh makes Hansraj hum the favourite children’s song ‘Lakdi ki kathi’ from Masoom as he uses his fingers to ravage innocence.
Review by IANS on Sify
Vidya once again in a new avatar as Durga Rani Singh delivers a power-packed performance with a broad spectrum of emotions ranging from a happy single mother taking care of her paraplegic daughter to a horrified and traumatised victim. There is just one scene, which deals with the sensitive issue of opening up to the abused child, where she falters and that too, because the scene is awkwardly handled by the director. Arjun Rampal in an equally dynamic role as the investigating officer Inderjit, with a tinge of grey shade, renders a sincere and credible portrayal. Jugal Hansraj as the antagonist, Mohit Dewan is a pleasant surprise too. Both the actors who portray Mini make the character believable with their vulnerability. The rest of the supporting cast with their quirky characteristics make their presence felt on screen.
Best Rated Films in 2016
- Pink – 4 stars
- Neerja – 4 stars
- The Jungle Book – 3.8 stars
- Airlift – 3.7 stars
- Kapoor & Sons – 3.7 stars
- Udta Punjab – 3.5 stars
- Fan – 3.5 stars
- Budhia Singh – Born To Run – 3.4 stars
- Sultan – 3.3 stars
- Dhanak – 3.3 stars
- Phobia – 3.3 stars
- Waiting – 3.3 stars
- M.S Dhoni – The Untold Story – 3.2 stars
- Parched – 3.2 stars
- Dear Zindagi – 3 stars
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – 3 stars
- Sarbjit – 3 stars
- Happy Bhag Jayegi – 2.9 stars
- TE3N – 2.8 stars
- Dishoom – 2.7 stars
- Madaari – 2.7 stars
- Force 2 – 2.6 stars
- Akira – 2.6 stars
- Rustom – 2.6 stars
- Azhar – 2.6 stars
- Kabali – 2.6 stars
- Baar Baar Dekho – 2.4 stars
- Moh Maya Money – 2.4 stars
- Mirzya – 2.3 stars
- Rock On 2 – 2.3 stars
- Fuddu – 2.3 stars
- Saat Uchakkey – 2.3 stars
- Shivaay – 2.2 stars
- Freaky Ali – 2.2 stars
- Mohenjo Daro – 2.2 stars
- Banjo – 2.2 stars
- Rocky Handsome – 2.1 stars
- Tum Bin 2 – 2 stars