Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hours 48 minutes Censor Rating : U/A

Production: Dharma Productions, Fox Star Studios, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Cast: Aditya Roy Kapur, Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Dhawan Direction: Abhishek Varman Screenplay: Abhishek Varman Story: Shibani Bathija Music: Pritam Cinematography: Binod Pradhan Dialogues: Hussain Dalal

Kalank sets off on a promising note, with a prelude showing  glimpses of the film's crux. A woman, in a train, extends her arm of support towards a wounded, sword-wielding man whilst she is held on the other side by her husband, who stands inside the train with her that leads to a new lease of life, escaping from the clutches of hate and violence. What amounts to that moment forms the rest of the film.

Set in the fictional town of Husnabad during the pre-partition era, Kalank portrays the story of Roop (played by Aila Bhatt), an educated woman pushed into a marriage of convenience with Dev Chaudhary (Aditya Roy Kapur), by his ailing wife Satya (played by Sonakshi Sinha). Whilst trying to find her own freedom and will in the household as she treads into the forbidden ghetto of Heera Mandi, she falls for the Kohl-eyed womanizer Zafar (played by Varun Dhawan), a blacksmith with an infamous past.

The film comes to life in the initial portions, where the colourful song and dance sequences of Zafar's portions are intercut with the restraint that is displayed Roop's scenes. The film starts out in a very vibrant manner through the music by Pritam, where even the most emotionally inert scenes are given some depth through the background score.

The film sets it's own, whimsical time and place without being dependant on historical accuracy, as a result, the set pieces come across as really superficial at some places. A lot of attention was given to create a dreamy romance between Roop and Zafar that is set in a fairytale world, thereby restricting space for the supporting characters and their subplots.

Kalank portrays communal and class divide with lesser conviction, as the film feels too reluctant to show a detailed look into that time period and instead focuses more on painting a rosy picture, thereby lending an inauthentic touch to the film. The second half goes the predictable route and the antagonist Abdul's (played by Kunal Khemu) ascend to villainy feels really unconvincing.

The film nearly salvages itself at the climactic portions, where the love triangle faces some challenges, which gives us some space to root for the lead characters. The chase at the end was the most engaging portion in a film that runs for over two hours and forty-eight minutes.

What makes Kalank tolerable is its presentation. The production design and cinematography is reminiscent of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's works, where grandeur overtakes realism. This quality was also reflective in the film's poetic dialogue. But the technical dazzle goes against the grain of the film's milieu, where the makers steered clear of the harsher realities of the era. Kalank is marred by its ingenuine portrayal and lack of authenticity. 

The performances are good in parts. Madhuri Dixit and Kunal Khemu has delivered standout performances. Aditya Roy Kapur's rigid acting helps at some places, conveying the uptight nature of his character. The period-piece aspect of the film does not cohere with the love triangle. As a result, Kalank becomes a passable period-romance that lacks passion.

Verdict: Kalank is visually grand, but a passable and overlong film that does not live up to the expectations.


2 5 ( 2.0 / 5.0 )




Kalank (aka) Kalannk

Kalank (aka) Kalannk is a Hindi movie. Aditya Roy Kapur, Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Dhawan are part of the cast of Kalank (aka) Kalannk. The movie is directed by Abhishek Varman. Music is by Pritam. Production by Dharma Productions, Fox Star Studios, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, cinematography by Binod Pradhan.