A majestic, big budget, colourful, soulful drama set in 1900s is not seen in Bollywood often anymore. Then came Kalank, a project that was supposed to be made a decade back, but was shelved due to certain circumstances. Boasting of several big names attached to it, the teaser, trailer and the songs were creating quite some buzz. The only thing that was to be seen was whether it stands up to this hype.
I’m a big Alia Bhatt fan, and for the first time ever, if you make me list the best 5 things about the movie, there are so many good stuff, Alia wouldn’t make it there. She was as usual delved into her character, but despite being the lead, she got little opportunities here to show us her pain through her expressions. While Varun Dhawan showed us his abs and determination towards his role, it was, quite unexpectedly, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha who gave the most outshining performances in the whole film. Sonakshi’s eyes said a lot with little words, and Aditya Roy Kapoor held his royalty just like a Roy would. Easily their career best performances.
The movie, though based around Roop & Zafar’s love, doesn’t really show their chemistry much. The movie gives a good amount of time to it’s secondary characters, who shine so much, that they lift the movie up in each scene. Sanjay Dutt was credited for a Special Appearance surprisingly, but his role was decent and important to the plot. Madhuri Dixit has with age lost her expressions somewhere, which is quite visible in Tabaah Ho Gye, but for the role, she made a perfect choice.
Keeping the driving plot about the Partition aside, the movie reminds you a lot of Devdas, though the story doesn’t get to be as iconic. The screenplay did not have as much depth as it should have had. But despite a lengthy runtime, and a predictable plot, there are little moments when you’ll feel bored. The background score keeps giving you goosebumps, and every single dialogue comes totally on point, beautifully crafted and delivered.
The movie isn’t flawless. Nor is the plot. Some parts of it aren’t explained or talked about later, while some stuff was unnecessary. It’s quite lengthy and slow. But, it does have a hold on itself. It seems to know what they want to show, and how much of it they want to show. Some ideas in the movie feel forced, including the Roop-Zafar love triangle. You don’t get to see them starting feeling for each other, falling in love or having a chemistry. That’s the biggest drawback of the film, since the movie was promoted as their love story.
Next, the editing was weak. Some scenes were cut unexpectedly, VFX was left feeling uncompleted and unreal in certain scenes. The movie is way too long for these days, without having a deep enough plot to fill it. But, the soundtrack and the dialogues compensate for it all.
There are no stars in the movie, just the characters. The story isn’t really new. But the acting, dialogues and soundtrack are so powerful, I’ll recommend you to watch it once, given you enjoy period films. I’ll certainly be watching it again, once it airs on TV.
Let me know in the comments how the movie was according to you!