‘Kalank’ Trailer Promises a Bhansali Meets Baahubali-esque World
A review of the trailer of Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan’s ‘Kalank’.
The Kalank trailer which dropped on Wednesday promises a grand tale of love, honour and sacrifice with a period backdrop, grandiose sets, orchestral music, ornate costumes, meticulously choreographed dance numbers and of course, high melodrama.
A rare multi-starrer featuring Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Dutt and Aditya Roy Kapur, Kalank is being seen as film producer Karan Johar’s attempt to enter Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s territory of cinematic flamboyance. Basically, a look at any frame in the film will make you remember John Hammond’s line from Jurassic Park - “Spared no expense”.
The popularity of the lead pair - Varun and Alia, itself has got a lot going for Kalank. Add to it the drama, music, cinematography, scale and yes, Madhuri Dixit, this Dharma Production has all the makings of a summer blockbuster.
So, what we know from the Kalank trailer is that Aditya Roy Kapur as Dev plays Mr Royalty himself and is married to Sonakshi Sinha, but is forced to marry Roop, played by Alia Bhatt, to beget an heir.
To make it clear that Mr Royalty is full of usool, adarsh and parampara we are told that he only loves his wife and that his relationship with Roop will have respect but no love - “Iss rishte mein izzat hogi pyar nahin hoga” mumbles ARK with his usual deadpan efficiency.
This “arrangement” throws a spanner in the works of the romance between Roop and Zafar, who are seen flirting about at exquisite waterfronts.
Enter Gen Bollywood 90s - Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit who have a few wise words to offer Roop and Dev to prevent any “kalank” that may befall the families involved. “Najaayaz mohabbat ka anjaam aksar tabahi hota hai,” cries a teary eyed Bahaar Begum, while Sanjay Dutt warns Varun with “Roop aur Dev ki shaadi se door raho Zafar, varna anjaam bura hoga” to curb his raging testosterone.
The human drama in Kalank then shifts into 5th gear with flashes of mob violence, apparently a communal riot of sorts, and Kunal Khemmu threatening to burn down the entire town. Is this pre-independent India, is Kalank set during the partition, why don’t we see any angrez yet (Is Dharma being sensitive about the audience not wanting to revisit the Thugs of Hindostan trauma)? We’ll find out soon enough.
The Kalank trailer does look promising and has the potential to be an engaging entertainer with its strong cast and visuals that have the potential of transporting the viewer into a Bhansali meets Baahubali-esque world.
But it’s the final, cliched “let-me-catch-up-with-her-in-the-train” sequence that turns out to be a downer here.
The rather literal depiction of Alia as Roop being torn between two men (one on the platform and one in the train) seemed just too comically symbolic.
But the question remains, which way will Alia sway? We’ll wait till 17 April to find out.
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