Warning: Spoilers Ahead!!!
In 2012, when Kahaani released, it was a unique and courageous step on the part of all those involved with the film – it was a mystery (a genre subjected to mixed responses by the Indian audiences), with a top mainstream actress as the only known face, without a visible love interest, or jazzy songs and fancy locations. Contrary to what trade pundits predicted, it was a box office success, and its taut script and deft handling of the story, along with brilliant performances by Vidya Balan, and the rest of the cast, yielded applause from masses and classes alike.
Cut to 2016, Kahaani is back with a new name – Kahaani 2. With great expectations, I went to see the movie over the weekend, expecting a gripping thriller, much like its predecessor. While as a cinematic experience, the movie fell short of creating a tremendous impact, what stayed with me was the skilful handling of difficult and often suppressed issues.
The movie handles the issue of single parenthood, and the difficulties associated with raising children by a single mother, in a very natural way, devoid of any melodrama. Similarly, the lead actress is shown to be divorced, and having a sexual relationship without being married. These are issues which are dealt with rarely in mainstream Indian cinema, and thus is applause worthy.
However, what impressed me most was the film’s focus on child sexual abuse, and how it is often perpetrated and dismissed by near and dear ones. It was heartening to see this serious issue being discussed in a mainstream Hindi film, and the sensitive handling of the topic, will connect to the masses very easily. Without being vulgar or overtly dramatic, child sexual abuse is addressed in a very serious and effective way. Kudos to the filmmaker and the actors involved, for portraying this difficult issue!
It is wonderful to see that mainstream Indian movies are attempting new stories, and bringing them to the masses in an entertaining way. Hoping to see more such Kahaanis!
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