New Delhi: As a straightforward, salt-of-the-earth thriller, Kahaani is unusual for its lack of a typical star cast. Its protagonist is a heavily pregnant woman in her mid 30s, the story unfurls in a city rarely used as a backdrop for mainstream Bollywood films and there is not even a lip-synched song in the narrative. Without any of the paraphernalia that go into making a typical Bollywood hit film, Kahaani has grossed Rs 75 crore at the Box Office. Let's look at the story beyond the numbers.
Kahaani, directed and co-produced by Sujoy Ghosh, was made on a budget of Rs 8 crore. Word of mouth ensured a good opening and business in the ensuing week. The thriller stars Vidya Balan, Parambrata Chatterjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles.
The crucial numbers
Released across 1100 screens worldwide, Kahaani has crossed Rs 75cr in gross Box Office collections and is still running to packed houses. The overseas business alone has beaten several bigger and more expensive films in recent times, including 'The Dirty Picture' starring the same leading lady as Kahaani (Vidya Balan). The second weekend of Kahaani just saw a 10 per cent drop in business from the first weekend of release.
What the critics said
Kahaani carried an average critics and reviewers rating of 4 stars. Imdb.com, the authority on movie ratings worldwide, has put Kahaani in its Top 50 thrillers of all time, making it the only Hindi film to be featured in this list. Ormax Media people poll has seen Indian audience vote Kahaani as the No. 2 thriller of all times for Hindi movies.
As a script, Kahaani was everything a conventional Hindi film should not be - realistic-looking to the point of being grungy and no typical masala. Kahaani is a product of Viacom18 Motion Pictures (VMP), a new age studio that backs quality content and talent.
In just 18 months of being in business, VMP has notched up sleeper super hits like Tanu Weds Manu, Pyaar Ka Punchnama, Shaitan, Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap and earned worldwide critical acclaim with path-breaking films like That Girl in Yellow Boots and Michael.
The success of Kahaani has given a boost for the prospects of titles like Anurag Kashyap's 'Gangs of Wasseypur' and 'Bombay Velvet (starring Ranbir Kapoor), Sudhir Mishra's 'Power Play', David Dhawan's 'Chashmebaddoor', Rani Mukerji starrer 'Aiyya', Ram Gopal Varma's 'Department', Akshay Kumar starrer 'Oh My God!', Ajay Devgn starrer 'Son of Sardar', Neeraj Pandey's 'Special 26', Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' (starring Farhan Akhtar), Abhinav Kashyap's next after Dabangg and a set of very talented new and fresh directors with their low-cost, high-potential films.