Kahaani 2 review: Toasting motherhood!
What a welcome addition to the legion of films toasting heroic mothers!
By: Sonia Chopra
Saturday 3 December 2016
Vidya Balan, Arjun Rampal, Jugal Hansraj
Kahaani 2 is about a mother and daughter, who are not bound by blood. Which is a slightly crude way of saying the mother has neither physically birthed the child, nor has it been a surrogate pregnancy. The two are bound by a spiritual contract perhaps, but the mother’s love is as strong as it would be had she physically given birth.
In the film, Durga Rani Singh a.k.a Vidya Sinha claims to be 14-year- old Mini’s mother, but we realize she’s a wanted criminal charged with kidnapping the orphan child and murdering her grandmother.
Flashback: Durga (Vidya Balan) is bored with her job at the local school in West Bengal. There she finds herself drawn to a 6-year- old child named Mini, and pursues her friendship (almost creepily). The reticent girl, belonging to a privileged local family reveals something that takes Durga back to her own disturbed childhood. Those childhood wounds are still unhealed. Her drab dressing is a shield to hide from the world, and she has to make a conscious effort to “be normal” when she has a boyfriend. But now, Durga’s mind is occupied with this child in the school who is probably facing a similar situation.
Now, she hasn’t physically given birth to this child, but ends up being more of a mother than her blood-relatives could ever be. As the film’s hero, Durga Rani Singh is a mom who will do anything to save her child. But her not having physically given birth bothers many people. In one scene, a character asks, “If this is not her biological child, why does she love her so much?” “I don’t know,” answers the other. Like these characters, we make the mistake of assuming that the parent-child bond is pure only if it happens in the conventional, biological manner. What of those who adopt, and what of step-parents? Their love for the children is just as legit.
When Durga has to face all kinds of odds to save her daughter, friends and foes materialize in the unlikeliest places. Of course, in a nice symbolic touch, everything comes to a head after 9 months.
Kahaani 2 takes you back to several single-mom movies, where we see some everyday heroism. Nil Battey Sannata has a single mother working as a maid, fighting the world, so her ambition-less daughter can have a better future. In Jazbaa, Aishwarya Rai plays a lawyer and single parent, whose daughter is kidnapped. In Paa, Vidya Balan plays a mother, single-handedly bringing up a child suffering progeria.
Kahaani 2 also has such a mother, who awakens her inner hero to fight the world and save her child. The film definitely has an emotional connect, and works as a thriller too. You soak up the glorious atmospherics, while teetering at the edge of your seat in trepidation. Kahaani 2 is a consistently riveting film and Vidya Balan one hell of a performer. What a welcome addition to the legion of films toasting heroic mothers!