|Movie Cast||Alia Bhatt,Varun Dhawan,Madhuri Dixit,Sonakshi Sinha,Aditya Roy Kapur|
|Music Director||Pritam Chakraborty, Sanchit Balhara|
|Production Company||Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala|
|Release Date||April 17, 2019|
After presenting Bahubali in the North, Karan Johar decided to bet big in Bollywood, especially when he has the moolah. Hence the sudden rush of projects from Kalank, Brahmastra, Shamshera and Takht. Of course, they have the Dhama’s regulars. Kalank is one such typical Dharma-ic project having Alia Bhatt for the nth time and Varun Dhawan for the n-1 th time. Being directed by Two States director. Abhishek Varman, Kalank becomes Kjos first magnum opus set in the past. The film boasts of ‘visual treat’.
Set in a town near Lahore, Kalank belongs to the 1940s. There’s an opulentChaudaris family. BaldevChaudari runs a newspaper and has a son Dev Chaudari. The father son duo is played by Sanjay Dutt and Aditya Roy Kapur. Dev’s wife is Satya Chaudary played by Sonakshi Sinha. In an unexpected twist, Dev marries Roop (Alia Bhatt). (This twist is no spoiler. It is clearly shown in the trailer). Roop gradually falls in love with Zafar, a Musllm lower middle-class worker. Madhuri Dixit plays Bahar Begum who is a guru to Roop. The rest of the film is about the love triangle/square, communal problems, and social problems and KJo’s obsession with grandeur.
Kalank competes within itself to be a good movie when its going bad and vice versa. The movie makes the appearances of its stars in an intriguing way. There are umpteen predictable moments, but some are totally not. The treatment does have some clichés but again, somethings have been presented uniquely. There are certain chemistries that worked out well. Dev and Roop for instance have a peculiar aura, and so does Dev and Satya. However,Roop and Zafar have a done and dusted chemistry, especially after seeing the students of Dharma together once in a year. The movie has a lot of emphasis on making the sets grand and rich. However, in the process, they make it look far away from reality and affects the believability of the premise. The communal issue is highly anticipated, and thus making it a déjà vu. There are some good lines in the film. The emotions strike the right note at many places, thanks to the direction and writing team.
Performances wise, its ARK, Alia and Sonakshi that make a mark. ARK steals some scene subtly. Sonakshi made her presence felt despite being in a movie where it stars the producer’s daughter(-like) as the lead. Alia is a good as usual, making a strong presence and exhibiting her role in her own style. Dutt and Dixit are wasted. Madhuri especially should be pitied for being re-cast as Chandramukhi. Can’t recall any movie post Agneepath where Sanju made any difference to the movie. In this one too, he is pale. There are Kiara Adavani and Kriti sanon cameos which is a very ordinary thing in Dharma. Kunal Khemu as Zafar’s friend is good, but the role is predictable again.
The biggest enemy and friend of Kalank is its production design, On one hand, you will be awed by the magnanimity, and on the other hand they are just too unrealistic and the costumes too, as if there were Sabyaschis and Neeta Lulla’s before independence.
All in all, Abhishek Varman’s Kalank is a mixed bag, but worth a watch.