‘Kalank’ Has Stunning Visuals – But A Boring Story
The clothes are distractingly good and the jewelry, well... it’s tantalisingly beautiful. As for all the radiance on screen thanks to the excessive gorgeousness brought by Alia Bhat, Aditya Roy Kapoor, and Varun Dhawan – it only gets better.
One could easily mistake the setting to be in contemporary fantasy-land than the period drama it claims to be. It’s only thanks to the occasional “angrez ja rahe hain” and “mulk ka batwara” references that we remember that it’s the 1940s. Azaadi is almost round the corner, but sadly at the cost of partition and more pain and destruction.
We are in Husnabad where the Chaudhry khandaan’s bahu Satya (Sonakshi Sinha) is trying to get her husband (Aditya Roy Kapoor) married so he doesn’t miss her much when she is gone. The doctor after all has told her “aapke paas ab thoda hi waqt bacha hai”.
It’s another matter that Sonakshi Sinha looks luminous and has picked up the strings from exactly where she left off in Lootera. Anyone can sniff out the intended plot line. Convoluted human emotions and an almost-given love triangle can be seen from a mile away, but we all have to pretend like we have no clue what’s to follow. It helps when the set-up is so easy on the eyes, even if it looks inauthentic.
Sanjay Dutt is credited with a special appearance, where he mostly grunts and looks forlorn. Sonakshi Sinha disappears soon. Aditya Roy Kapoor stays back looking dapper as ever, but can’t hold another expression apart from the melting, buttery smile of his.
So it’s all left to Alia and Varun to engage us with their sizzle. Roop and Zafar light up the screen each time and have an earnestness that is endearing. Madhuri Dixit dazzles even when she is her most restrained. The whole partition angle and the rift between communities is played up and serves as a backdrop against which the lovers must strive and conquer all with love.
Thirty-forty minutes of the film could have easily been edited out – at least the two unnecessary “item songs”. One by Kiara Advani and the other with Kriti Sanon should never have been part of it in the first place. Taking such a circuitous route to state the obvious when one can guess the trajectory in the first 20 mins of the film did no one any good, ever!
The movie ends with Roop aka Alia Bhatt’s question directly to the viewers . She says “Ab ye aap sab per hai... apko ye kahani dekhker jya laga ye Kalank hai ya mohobbat?” We would just say honey, you should have shrunk Kalank. It could have been so much more palatable. Alia and Varun are supremely watchable and very, very solid. But the film doesn’t have the requisite emotional pay-off.
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