Even The leads can’t salvage this slow, lengthy Melo drama
Karan Johar’s much-anticipated multi-starrer magnum opus Kalank hit the theatres rather early this week and fans couldn’t wait for it. However the film proves nothing more than a star studded fest with a lackluster story to tell. here we are with the analysis of Kalank.
What’s it about?- The story set in a fictitious city Husnabad close to Lahore is about Zafar, an ironsmith and also the illegitimate child born of an affair between Bahaar Begum (Madhuri Dixit-Nene) and Balraj Chaudhary (Sanjay Dutt). Roop, born to a poor musician, is expected to marry Dev Chaudhary (Aditya Roy Kapur), the aristocratic owner of a newspaper to change the family fortunes. When Dev’s cancer-stricken wife Satya (Sonakshi Sinha) shows up asking for her hand as a companion of sorts, it’s just too tempting an offer to refuse. This arrangement is agreed upon and Roop finds herself in a new home and an awkward relationship.
Zafar, on the other hand, seeks revenge. He wants to destroy Balraj Chaudhary’s family name and finds the perfect opportunity to do so in the restless Roop. It’s the perfect recipe for a love story with disastrous consequences.
On the upside- All the actors, especially the supporting ones, despite the scant attention paid to their character details, hold forth, adding heft to scenes where they can. Madhuri as the imperious courtesan torn between her love for a wronged son and her duty to act righteously is delightful. Her fans will complain about her being given precious little to do but she is impressive, regardless of the screen time. Aditya, despite having fewer scenes, holds his own. Special mention to Kunal Kemmu who took one of the most challenging roles of his career as Abdul Khan and played it to perfection. The lead pair of Varun and Alia has its famed on-screen chemistry intact but individually too, they put in competent performances. Varun gets better with every film and in Kalank, he again surpasses expectations, as does Alia.
Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s grandiose, operatic influence in songs and set design is more than evident especially in the way that Hira Mandi, the abode of Bahaar Begum, is designed. Costumes by Maxima Basu and Ajay Kumar are the last word in ethnic chic and are likely to set a few trends.
On the downside- In spite of performances, sets and costumes, the film falls flat when it comes to story telling. The characters are not given enough screen time to develop even after the movie spans to over 160 minutes. The screenplay feels dull and dry. Varman, who made the fairly enjoyable 2 States before this, spends a chunk of the film’s first half constructing the complex plot, placing all his characters in such emotional proximity that they are set to conflict with one another.
All in all- Director Abhishek Varman dresses up this old fashioned family drama and tries to reprise it for the new generation. Sadly that’s all the film has turned out to be- An extravagant Melo drama with nothing new say. We give it 2 out of 5 stars. If you’re into expensive lehengas and big mansions, and can do without a good story, this movie is for you.
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