Friday 6 April 2012

Kahaani - A mother of loopholes

Now that almost everyone has seen Kahaani and sung praises for the film I can take the liberty of pointing out the loopholes in the movie. No, I am not acting like a Hollywood loving snob here whom no Hindi movie can please. I liked Kahaani because it maintains the suspense till the end, has filmed Kolkata beautifully and above all has given us Bob Biswas. But despite the good things I couldn't ignore those mistakes that stood there, in my face, asking to be noticed.

Caution: There are spoilers so please don't read if you haven't seen the film, yet.

My first issue with the movie; why is there a need to show Vidya Bagchi's history? I am sure a lot of people would agree with that. Why doesn't the movie ends with a mysterious air around her character? Sujoy Ghosh could've given clues in the movie and let the audience find out her true identity. The flashback in the end is a complete killjoy.

The ex IB chief who has trained Milan Damjee, trains Vidya just in a year or two. The Ninja like moves that she makes in the end does not look like a work of two years' training. My logic is, why did Sujoy Ghosh show Vidya as the wife of the slain IB agent. She could've been an agent who was secretly being trained by Darshan Zariwala's character. No one learns to be a spy in a year.

In the scenes where Vidya is alone in her room, why is she still sporting that fake belly? I am sure that it wasn't convenient to carry it around and the super spy wouldn't mind putting it away for a while. Sujoy should have just shot her neck up.

Rana who is with Vidya like a shadow all the time doesn't even for a moment doubts her, accepted. But suddenly at the end he has a happy realization that she was using them to get to Milan Damjee. Rana's cute face made me ignore his folly for a while but then again, a folly is a folly.

When Khan sees Arnab Bagchi's resemblance to Milan Damjee why isn't he alarmed? Why doesn't he do a background check on Vidya? After all, she would've been married to Milan. Why aren't even Milan and his people interested to know why is she carrying his photo? Probably every one is too sure that he is just a look alike.

Spies don't randomly go on a killing spree. They won't kill a person until he is completely useless. Here a mastermind like Milan and the IB chief are not interested in getting the information out. They just killed Agnes for no reason at all. Was she that big a threat?

When the current IB chief is himself involved with the terrorists why does he himself go to Zariwala's house to pursuit him to join back? I am sure he didn't want him to. It could've just been a brief conversation over the phone.

I am sure that the counter to all these points would be 'don't think too much, just watch the movie.' But if I have to leave the logic at home why should I go and watch Kahaani instead of a Housefull 2? Think about it.


  1. a different review :D, loved it.

  2. You love playing devil's advocate, don't you? A very different observation(s) indeed, of a movie which our masala loving audience loved. You've made some really valid points.

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  4. good points. My takes below -
    Agnes got killed so khan could be entered into the movie. :)
    We are shown vidya's private moments with belly, to convince us that she is really pregnant.(Also she could be such a super spy that she *really* lives the character *all the time* etc etc)
    Note: the director does not show the "running hot water" boy's shirt logo till before the climax(no not when Rana recollects - even before that we see that). So he is careful about what he shows and hence there is a plan for showing pregnant vidya as well as the flashbacks with milan damji...
    The climax back story is simply following usual suspects, but more dumbed down for indian audience. for eg it could have stopped with Rana's realization but the director wanted more bang for the buck, and hence could not help putting in the lovely-wife-missing-husband-and-aborted-baby-and-getting-back-her-killbill-type-revenge, and adding durga ma bit etc etc [ i like your idea - he could have shown one photograph of a group of IB grads with vidya and fake Mr.Arnab Bagchi, but then it would be that someone in IB would know her - no?]
    i have some more open issues to add here though - would love to get your take on those
    1. whats the big deal about a signature? people in india sign all over the place in lodges etc with false names and addresses - right?
    2. why would shreedaran keep Damji's records (physical ones) and the computer ones for such a long time? and if it is an IB initiative to put in Milan Damji and another guy in NDC why would they use their own names and give actual addresses there(atleast damji)? Is it to difficult to fake an id in india? [where everyone gets at least 4 official PAN cards /electoral ids with all different names?]
    3. Was that mother with crying child a terrorist? if not why would she lie about having a milk bottle? if she is one, was it her modus operandi that by chance somehow the bottle will get broken, assuming she did not plan to commit suicide attack?
    more after your comments maybe...

    1. That's the problem with the movie, Sujoy Ghosh has shown what he wants to show and not what shd've been shown.

      I agree with most of your points especially the second one. Clearly, the script is very superficial and not enough thought has been given to the details.

    2. Add a few more -
      When Agnes is killed someone calls Khan to inform him about it. Who could it be? Only guys in NDC knew that she was asking about MD. Why on earth would they want to inform Khan about it?

      MD is supposedly the terrorist who masterminded the train attack. In what way exactly did he mastermind it?? By placing the deadly chemical in a feeding bottle and hoping that somehow the mother would carelessly drop it? Which also brings us to another question - how many people still use glass feeding bottles??

      Did the ex IB chief train MD to be a spy or a chemical weapons expert?? OR did he just happen to be a top shot scientist who also got trained to be a spy?

      2 years after the 'attack' after he has supposedly crossed over to the enemy what is MD doing hanging around in Kolkata? What has he been upto in the 2 years? Waiting for Bidya Bagchi to find him??

      Why would such a wanted terrorist reveal himself and risk getting caught to deal with a pregnant woman? Did they run out of contract killers in Kolkata?

      Well.. I am sure I can find a few more such gaffes but I dont want to work my brains too much! Nevertheless I dont want to take anything away from the movie. It was beautifully taken with some great acting. Full credit the team behind it. Only wish they had paid a little more attention to the story.

    3. Good points.

      Thats my point, the movie is entertaining but there's not much thinking gone into the script.

  5. >>Rana's cute face made me ignore his folly for a while but then again, a folly is a folly.
    BTW you can catch more of this guy in The Bong Connection which came out in 2006 it looks like... Saw the movie while surfing channels last week...

  6. It is very difficult to name a movie or a book which does not have these kind of glitches that you are pointing out. There are so many faults. Even a Sherlock Holmes novel will not stand scrutiny. But when I saw the movie I liked it. Even when I see it now, I like it. And that's the essence.

    1. Agree. I liked the movie too when i saw it for the first time. But couldn't ignore all that was wrong with the script. It looked like a huge compromise.



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