Director: Abhishek Varman
There are movies with great depth in storyline and acting. Then there are films that are purely entertaining and have been commercialised. And then there’s ‘Kalank’ that totally confuses one – it’s difficult to exactly place this film. It was not entertaining for sure, it was longer than the Great Wall of China really. And storyline? Well, it looked like a deep dive into all the films of Dharma Productions with a little touch of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s influence. ‘Kalank’ was easily one of the most anticipated films although story was a given through the trailer. There was a lot of hope in this film because we believed in Alia’s choice of scripts, but this was a big let down for sure.
The background of this period film is set up in the late 1940s pre-Independence era, right at the cusp of the partition of West India and whilst people were demanding for separate countries. There’s Dev Chaudhry (Aditya Roy Kapoor) who runs the newspaper ‘The Daily Times’ and he is married to Satya (Sonakshi Sinha). Satya has a year to live as she has been diagnosed with cancer. Dev believes in “One India” and does not support partition, he is a stern believer of his opinions but when it comes to his wife Satya, he is quite the opposite – their love is captured beautifully and the actors have done a decent job with their roles. Satya decides to get Roop (Alia Bhatt) married to her husband so that he could live happily post her demise. But, Dev makes it clear with Roop that he has respect for her but no love. Zafar (Varun), on the other hand, is a rough man with a dark past and a darker motive. His motive is to take revenge on Balraj Chaudhry (Sanjay Dutt) and he uses Roop to fulfill his vengeance, but ends up falling in love with her.
The star of the show is definitely Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Their chemistry is electrifying with a magnetic energy that very few two leads have. Alia Bhatt has done a good job but seeing what she could do with films like ‘Highway’ and ‘Raazi’, this is definitely was not her fullest work. Madhuri is gorgeous and has done justice to her role. Sanjay Dutt, Aditya Roy Kapoor do a decent job too given their screen space. Honestly, Sonakshi could have grabbed a meatier role. Kiara Advani, who appeared in a dance, grabbed a longer screen time than she did.
The positives of the film definitely involved Varun, Kunal Khemu and Alia Bhatt. The cinematography is wonderful, the sets are elegant but the storyline just brings everything down. Lackadaisical writing, most parts of the story is repetitive taken in a bygone era – a done and dusted plot that just manages to deviate from the centre but truly serves as a let down.
What’s the point in passing on a message when the foundation of that story is weak and baseless?
Verdict: Watch it if you have no other films to watch!