If you have been a regular follower of this blog, you surely know about Subrat. If not, you can read some of his old posts here, here, here and here. So as we all discussed Kahaani, we realised there’s more to it. And who better than our favourite Prof. Saab to do the dissection. Was it just “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”? Or was there more?
Read on, scratch your head and do put your comments. And read only if you have seen the film. Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense. SPOILER ALERT – DON’T GO AHEAD if you haven’t seen it yet. Go and watch the film and do come back. It will be fun!
It is a rare film that receives both critical acclaim and box office success. Kahaani seems to have managed that. The central cast and the editing have earned well deserved praise. Kolkata has been lovingly shot and, as many reviews have noted, is almost a character in the film. A lot of people have called it a taut thriller. This is where our paths diverge. For me, Kahaani is as much a taut thriller as Golmaal – 2 is a cerebral comedy. I admit it was nicely paced but a taut thriller has to satisfy a more fundamental criteria – the plot should make sense. It didn’t make the cut for me. I have watched it only once and I am ready to admit I might be wrong on this. I guess the best course of action is to put my reservations on the plot here and seek your responses. I have left out a couple of issues that have been discussed on other blogs which bothered me as well; namely, Vidya’s recollections of her husband had Milan Damji and the fact that Vidya was introduced as Vidya Venkatesan Bagchi at the start of the film. I can live with these as I did with such chicanery in that other ‘taut thriller’ A Wednesday.
1. Please help me explain the motive of Bhaskaran (Dhritimaan), the IB Chief. He was complicit with Milan Damji or may have even been the kingpin. Why did he then send Khan (Nawaz) immediately to Kolkata the moment he heard someone enquiring about Milan Damji? Nawaz is portrayed as a competent officer and wasn’t complicit. So, why was he digging his own grave by sending him over there? Instead, he should have been trying to provide as little help to anyone trying to enquire about Milan Damji.
2. Why did Bhaskaran approach Darshan Zariwala (the retired IB officer who had trained Milan) and ask him to come back to IB to nab Milan? Not satisfied with #1, he wants another of his good officers back to get hold of Milan Damji. Don’t tell me he was keeping up the appearances so that no one suspects him. This man seems to be suicidal.
3. What kind of investigation had Nawaz done the first time around? He hadn’t even spoken to Agnes (the HR lady of National Data Centre). Had he done so, he would have found the dusty file of Milan in that old, abandoned office and his address long ago. Didn’t Darshan Zariwala know anything about Milan while training him to help Nawaz in his investigations? I mean before Milan turned against the system, the IB should have had a good idea of where in Kolkata was he staying etc. Also, why was Milan Damji working in National Data Centre under his real name?
4. After hacking Shridhar’s computer and copying all the files, the only file that seemed odd was the file that Bhaskaran’s number stored (ha ha) cryptically. This file had Bhaskaran’s number in an alphabet code. Shridhar could have stored Bhaskaran’s number in his own phone and named it ‘chimpu’ for all I care. And, what’s wrong with Shridhar having Bhaskaran’s number. After all, the IB seemed to have been sending their officers to NDC quite frequently and it’s normal for Shridhar to have known Bhaskaran. So, how did Nawaz conclude only the basis of that stupid cryptic code that his boss is the brains behind it all? And, that moment when Nawaz dials that number and find ‘Bhaskaran Old’ flashing on the mobile screen was classic. It was that ‘Sirjee’ moment of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai (another ‘taut thriller’?)
5. Didn’t Nawaz keep his boss in the loop during his stay in Kolkata? Then, Bhaskaran would have known that Nawaz is now using a pregnant woman to get to Milan Damji and eventually to him.
6. Why was that HR lady who replaced Agnes so happy to help Vidya and Rana in sneaking into Shridhar’s cabin? She knew the previous incumbent (Agnes) was shot dead after trying to help Vidya. Another suicidal character? And, what kind of a IB haunt is the NDC where there is a lone guard at the entrance while there’s a rear exit unguarded?
7. Why did Vidya kill Shridhar? It was made to appear she did it deliberately so that he wouldn’t be interrogated by the IB directly. But, Vidya and Rana were originally planning to hack into the computer, steal the data and scoot. In which case Shridhar would have lived and Rana (who was working for Nawaz) who would have asked Nawaz to pick him up for interrogation. It was Shridhar who had made sure he would get a message in case someone hacked into his system. This led him back to his office and then to chase Vidya and Rana. It was a convenient thing to show that Vidya planned on killing him when she had no control on Shridhar chasing them after they had hacked into the system.
8. How was Bhaskaran convinced that Vidya had gotten some files from Shridhar’s computer that would lead her to Milan and eventually to him? Why would then Milan come for collecting those files?
9. Why did Bob Biswas kill Agnes? She knew nothing and all she would have gotten is an old file of Milan Damji that would have shown to Vidya that Milan looked like Arnab Bagchi (which she knew) or Milan’s address in Kolkata. In any case, if Bhaskaran was the one ordering the hit (through Shridhar) they should have known there’s hardly anything more Agnes would know about Milan (after all, Shridhar worked in NDC) so what was the point in shooting her. Also, didn’t Shridhar know that there were old employee records that might have Milan’s document in them? It seemed silly not to get hold of it when they were covering Milan’s tracks
I can go on with a few more. May be you have the answers. May be we should all make leaps of imagination to bring credibility to the plot. May be I should watch Kahaani again. May be, one day, we will make a genuine taut thriller.