KAHAANI Directed by Sujoy Ghosh Starring Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee, Dhritiman Chatterjee Duration: 122 minutes Movie & Music World (KL Sentral)
A RIVETING 2012 watch starring Vidya Balan as the heroine, again. After her highly entertaining turn on The Dirty Picture, and after watching her in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani, I am now sold on her acting abilities.
Eschewing the normal Bollywood song-and-dance routine, Sujoy gives us a nasty thriller with songs that add to the scene. One example is Amitabh Bachchan’s rendition of Tagore’s song, Jodi Tor Dak Shune, which serves as a counterpoint to a hectic search scene.
The story is about a heavily pregnant firewall expert Vidya Bagchi (Vidya) who arrives in Kolkatta from London to search for her husband Arnab Bagchi (Indraneil Sengupta). She has a jigsaw of emails, old conversations and photos to help in her search, and a sympathetic local policeman Satyoki Sinha (Parambrata Chatterjee) who is amazed at her computer wizardy. No one seems to have met her husband.
Her hunt coincides with the Durga Puja festival in this very busy city. Fertility. Woman power. The eyes of the statue. Juxtapose this with the non-glamorous side of Kolkata — ramshackle huts, poor people, sundry shops, dirty bylanes — and weave in Tagore’s Jodi Tor Dak Shune, and you have a lyrical scene not often found in Bollywood fare.
The song, written in 1905, says to continue your journey, even without help from others. The end has a shocking twist. Kahaani is an excellent watch with Malay and English subtitles.
Directed by Tsui Hark
Starring Angelica Lee, Isabella Leong, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Chen Chang
Duration: 118 minutes
Speedy Video Distributors
IN this 2008 movie, director Tsui Hark keeps you guessing when it’s going to end. Every time you think, “this is it”, there is another twist to the tale.
The story is about a Dr Gao Jing (Angelica Lee) who meets her best friend’s brother, photographer-diver Dave Chen (Guo Xiao Dong) in Hong Kong. They fall in love and Chen invites Gao to go on a dive off Taiwan, where there is an ancient city. She learns he has planted the ring for his intended deep in this submarine city. But Chen dies in the dive, and Gao is haunted by ghosts of people she doesn’t know and a blood-thirsty, white-haired woman.
But is it all in her mind, because we learn she can’t remember what actually happened in that dive. She goes off her medication, and starts to investigate.
At its heart, Missing is a love story. The ghosts are somewhat cheesy but there is a dreamy quality to this offering. The languages are Mandarin and Cantonese, with English and Chinese subtitles.
Directed by Ryo Nishimura
Starring Narumi Riko, Takamasa Suga, Matsuo Toshinobu, Morimoto Ryoji, Hirayama Hiroyui, Kirishima Yusuke, Katsurayama Shingo, Manaka Hitomi
Speedy Video Distributors
A 2006 JAPANESE comedy about young men out to make a fast buck.
The story is about these seven guys, all financially strapped, who answer a “host” advertisement at a seaside bar called Dog Days. But when they get to the place, they learn the “manager” has run off with their deposits.
The old bar owner, one Mr Katagiri, offers them the place anyway to start their “host” club. They trust him because of the presence of his granddaughter Chika, who has a heart disorder. Each of their tales — one’s an ex-banker, another’s a street clown, and yet another a failed musician — are smoothly unveiled within the main “hosts for club” story flows. Despite a typhoon, a bad opening, these guys learn the real meaning of having a job, love and commitment.
They make a success of Dog Days, because they are now working towards getting Chika 10 million yen (RM395,380) for her operation in the United States. Mission accomplished, Katagiri leaves them the club. While cleaning their newly-owned club, another Mr Katagiri turns up! The finale scenes are seriously comical.
The moral here is not to let your disappointments overcome you despite pitfalls, but also to be aware of con artists, and to look behind that pretty face.
A good laugh, with excellent English subtitles.