Sundeep Bhutoria

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

The making of Kahaani

I arrived in Rajasthan last week from Kolkata to organise a series of back-to-back events in the pink city. On April 21st Saturday night I hosted a post dinner bash from 11 pm till 1 am at the reception lounge of hotel ITC Rajputana, Jaipur.
With Sujoy Ghosh
The occasion was the presence of Sujoy Ghosh, the director of the popular crime thriller Kahaani, in Jaipur. 
He was in the pink city on my invitation for an interactive session on “The making of Kahaani” with Mita Kapur of Siyahi.
I had kept the arrival time for the guests at 11 pm. I thought that since it was Saturday evening, let the people have their dinner first and get into a relaxed mood and then take a call on whether they wanted to stay on past midnight. I had kept the invitations confined to a limited number of guests.
Next day evening Sujoy Ghosh recounted his behind-the-scenes experiences of making of his low-budget film, Kahaani, that became a box office hit. He shared many interesting anecdotes while the film was being shot.
Also present at the interactive session were the executive producer of the film, Arindam Sil, and Saswata Chatterjee, who enacted the unforgettable character of Bob Biswas –a cool composed cold-blooded contract killer in the film.
The event was organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation in collaboration with Siyahi, a Jaipur-based Literary Consultancy firm, and hotel ITC Rajputana.
Sujoy Ghosh revealed that he was convinced right from the word go that Vidya Balan was perfectly cut out for the film. He couldn't imagine any other actress for that role.
Ghosh said that he didn't think that Kahaani was a woman-centric film nor was he was trying to prove a point. It all flowed with the plot. His fondness for Kolkata and its iconic and also some of the lesser-known-now-famous landmarks were very apparent in thefilm. Ghosh felt that the city was a character in itself.
There was an interactive question and answer session during which Ghosh strongly denied having lifted some ideas from the Hollywood movie A Mighty Heart which was based on the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearland featuredAngelina Jolie.
The film Kahaani, which reveals a twist in the tale at the climax, has the “unreliable narrator method” of storytelling which has been made popular by novelists like Agatha Christie and Sidney Sheldon. The trick is to make the audience believe the narrator. In this case Vidya... ooops ....`Bidya' Balan.
I have heard from some movie aficionados that the most famous scene in Kahaani has an amazing similarity with the 2004 Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke starrer Taking Lives where one of the lead characters, played by Angelina Jolie, removes a prosthetic belly bulge to counter attack a serial killer. Vidya Bagchi does the same in Kahaani.
I think despite this uncanny similarity, Kahaani holds on to its own because of the local context, excellent cinematography and smart presentation. I hope to see more such movies in the days ahead.
While screening of “The Making of Kahaani” many probasi Bengalis witnessed the scenes of Kolkata. During the interactive session a couple of them got emotional as they had not visited the city for over a decade or so.
I think the screening of “The Making of Kahaani” for the first time in Jaipur was a perfectly-timed gift for Jaipur which is commemorating the the celebrations of 100 years of Hindi Cinema.
ess bee

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