Kahaani, Inside-Out.

PVR Cinemas has come up with a delightful scheme. You watch any movie, any day from Monday to Thursday and as long as your show timing is before 1 PM, all you have to pay is 50 bucks. 50 bucks! For a seat that ordinarily ranges from 125 to 250 Indian rupees! While it is obviously a strategy to boost the weekday-morning slot, it is paying rich dividends. The multiplex at Saket was bursting with people when I stood at the counter, checking and cross-checking. My clutch clicked, invigorated at the thought of having extra money for knacks and knicks. A row-full of Thursday seats for “Kahaani” is now all booked for us. The family, it seems, wants to go watch one more time.


The Bong Connection, some giggle. Oh yes, that may certainly be so. I adore the whole backdrop: Ma Durga with her kids, the glittering pandals, the glowing streamers, Rabindra Sangeet, married women playing with sindoor on Bijoya Doshomi (Dussehra)…such a joy to be a part of every year and so beautifully depicted on-screen. Even the nuances of the city and its people – Kolkata in all its vintage glory – make for a treat on their own.

Delhi, on her part, has received the movie in a multitude of ways. I observed a few as I stood waiting. For instance, this is how a group from Delhi University reacted. All boy-group, if you please:

D.U. Student, Ranbir-Tee: “Please don’t get that flick… that pregnant-woman… Vidya Balan movie!”

Ranbir’s friend, Plain Black Tee: “But I have heard it’s good. It’s a thriller dude!” (asks group to vote between Kahaani and John Carter)

The majority was inclined in favour of Kahaani and I was very heartened to see them pepped about it. No, I have nothing against Mr. Carter. But a story about people on Earth excites me more than one about Martians.

Then there was this young couple stood ‘whispering’ outside the queue, loud enough for everyone to hear:

Boy: Do you think this is the kind of movie you see out on a date? (rolls eyes) It is about pregnancy for God’s sake!

Girl: No it is not! It is about a woman who lost her husband. Do you have no emotions whatsoever?

Last thing I heard, the boy was lecturing her about how Vidya was wearing skirts and nighties all through the movie and did not have one song to her credit. The girl was in deep contemplation. I think, about the boy. 😀

I tell you, Delhi has all sorts of people. You will find ones dancing on Dhinka-Chika on the streets; you will also have people doing the same in the secrecy of their house. There are people whose hearts are warmed with a display of bright colours and meanings attached to frames. There are also those who buy tickets to sip their cola noisily and spray popcorn at random people.

Sometimes, it irritates me no end. The film industry has no dearth of movies. Romance, comedy, drama. Documentary, art, parallel. Where is the need for a stampede? Where is the need to get tickets to some random flick if all you want to do is spoil the fun for others? In Kahaani, for instance, there is a long list of moments that I loved. The play of red and white, splashed beautifully across the screen. The hand-held cameras, capturing the peacock statue in the guest-house. The countryside of downtown Kolkata, from the windows of the police jeep. Vidya stealing in a Dairy Milk in the little boy’s hand, laughing despite herself. I could go on.

It helps if someone doesn’t giggle when the background score is all mellow. It helps further if people – those who are super informed – do not discuss theories and climaxes for the ‘benefit’ of those around them. Every time I see a menacing group, I wish I had a sound-proof chamber. See, I appreciate the ‘fun’ angle. But is it really fun to prove to people you’re ill-mannered? Couldn’t the fun get more arm and leg space outside the theatre? I wish theatres come up with rules for silence. At least, specify a decibel range or a list of acceptable actions.

Anyhow, I look forward to the next viewing. This time, I hope to make up for lost moments. I also hope – ardently! – that the theatre has people who have better ideas about extracting their money’s worth.

Seen Kahaani yet?


52 thoughts on “Kahaani, Inside-Out.

  1. Pingback: Goodbye 2012! | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  2. I did wonder about what was the most impressive abt Kahani! Reading the post, I agree it was the interplay of the Red and the White. I quite liked the film! I think Vidya Balan is here to stay!

  3. whuaaa, if Indonesia has that kind of early discount, I will be there before 12 😉
    The ticket here is cheaper on weekday and that’s why I never go to cinema on weekend, always weekdays.

    I can relate to those teenage who didnt want to watch the pregnancy movie….I used to b like that too. When I was young, action and thriller are my only option…but now, I like thoughtful movie more.

    • Ha ha… I hope some such scheme starts off soon then! 😉 Even I try and make it to the cinema on weekdays but work interferes with the plan sometimes.
      Yup. I guess it has something to do with age and maturity levels. Tastes keep changing with time.

  4. In PVR Priya, tickets are 50 Rupees for all timings on week days (normal standard, behind the front stall). Though they exercise a discretion and may increase it for special shows like the long film Agneepath which was 100 Rupees on all days.

  5. I watched Kahaani, last night on a CD. The last time I watched a movie (end to end) in a cinema was during my last trimester. After my daughter was born, we went once for Kung fu Panda where children were allowed. I remember a time before my daughter was born, and when my hubby and I used to go to the cinemas more often, we used to be so annoyed when people drag their babies and toddlers to watch late night shows and to even the most violent of movies. Even if you protest they never cared as they think that once they have bought the ticket, they are entitled to use the insides of the hall the way that they think is suitable. But this is not just a Delhi problem. I have found this to be a common phenomenon everywhere.
    So when my daughter was born, I decided that I wouldn’t go to the movies with her for the all time she doesn’t under what it means to go to one.

    Coming to Kahaani’s kahaani. I liked how the story developed and shot. The performances were excellent but to me, the end was misplaced and so bizarre.

    • About the kiddie bit – I totally share your sentiments Anita. 😀 Some people cannot even do justice to the censor rating and it isn’t taken all that seriously at many places. When a little kid cries during a nail-biting moment, it gives a feeling so vexing I cannot name it. I then wonder why the parents got their little one to a movie that he cannot make head or tail of and will only end up feeling sobbing-ly bored. But like you said, it is now a very common phenomenon.
      I am sure your daughter will grow up to be great movie-watching company as the years go by. 🙂

      Ah, that is a new perspective on the end that I see. 🙂 Bizarre it sure was. But it made me fall for it… 🙂

  6. A lovely movie! I love the songs, the actors, the shots…everything about Kolkotta and Kolkottans! Including Bishnu, the running hot water!! haha…that was so sweet.

    We had no such problems here….there was hardly anybody in the cinema hall that day. You can literally count the number with your fingers in both the hands!!!!! No complaints at all……

    By the way Deboshree is your bhalo naam. Then, your daak naam is?

    • Welcome to Saddi Delhi, Jayashree! 🙂
      Oh yes, Bishnu was super sweet. He added such a gentle, heartwarming touch to the proceedings.

      You were lucky to get a sparse theatre. I enjoy watching a ‘houseful’ movie – like when I went to watch the movie again, it got an applause at the end. But when the house is filled with err, fun lovers, it ain’t all that fun at all!

      Ha ha…my daak naam is very predictable. Debo. 😉
      Thanks a lot for dropping by!

  7. Have seen it and loved it, all the more because of Kolkata backdrop, the infectious aura of the festivity of Durga Pooja and the social milieu that’s inherent in the city. 🙂 Taut, fast-paced and vibrant with the climax of a cliffhanger it was an unexpectedly good watch I must say.
    If had to pick one thing from the movie which really struck me, it would be Parambrata’s understated, unpretentious but nuanced and powerful performance (not to take anything from the protagonist which she played with much poise and refinement of a seasoned actor)!
    Talk about our Bollywood ‘superstars’ who churn out farcical comedies and ludicrous dramas full of stale, jaded, crass gags! And the irony – such movies go on to become ‘superhits’.

    PS: Oh I so want to write a review of this movie and some others I watched over the last week, after reading your post. 😀

    • Ajay, the comment is a review in itself and what a review at that! Ever thought about an alternate profession did you? 😉
      Parambrata was a treat to watch. I haven’t had a chance to watch his other movies but have heard things about Bong Connection. Here in Kahaani, like you said, his unpretentious and understated appeal was powerful enough to not be overshadowed by the protagonist. Fabulous job he did.
      About the ‘superhits’ we get – I share your woe. I often wonder why people do not tire of the same gags played over and over again. The same sexist jokes, the same bikinis changing bodies. It intrigues me.

      Do write that review. Do! 😀

    • Sir,(Ajay).
      Do write the review, and let us all know about it through this blog. I will keep a watch.

      Your comment itself was good to read.

      Deboshree, sorry, I took up your blog to appreciate Ajay.

  8. Its not only Delhi, every other place has this problem. We had some girls sitting behind us and giggling. Then they too shut up in the last half an hour!

    Saw it loved it! Liked all those actors too. everyone was so sincere and true to life.
    Please see my take in my blog . not a review of course.

  9. I soo loved the movie…. And thankfully people sitting next to me well mannered but I know how irritating it can get if you sometime happen to have a seat next to the “fun” lovers…

    • That’s great! 🙂
      Ha ha… yes. The Delhi captured in that song is quintessential ‘nice’. Clean, green and sprawling. Anyhow, Dilli toh Dilli hi hai. 😉

  10. “I tell you, Delhi has all sorts of people. You will find ones dancing on Dhinka-Chika on the streets; you will also have people doing the same in the secrecy of their house. ”

    Unfortunately we can see them everywhere 😦

    Then being a passionate cinephile,I go nitpick when I watch movies;camera angles,positioning of people,costumes,dialogues and lot more.I kinda get irritated when people talk review movies with a prejudiced minds(but that’s my problem)

    Then Kahaani movie..I couldn’t stop saying WOW after watching Vidya Balan in the movie..Again going for the second watch this weekend 😀 😀 and of course for the lost and missed moments..

    • Exactly Bhavia! Even I nitpick movies, especially ones like these which are so multi-layered and open to discussion. Kahaani was indeed wow and I am sure the next viewing will give both of us ample food for thought. 😀
      Everyone is entitled to an opinion and a behaviour pattern. But like you said, when people who come with prejudices air them openly, it becomes vexing for others. I for one cannot stand people who talk and talk during a good movie.

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