Karan Johar's Kalank is the project, which is closest to his heart. It was a story he had discussed with his dad, late film producer Yash Johar and he had loved it. Years later, the film, Kalank directed by Abhishek Varman of 2 States fame is hitting the theatres. It is a love story set in the pre-Partition India. The film stars Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Sanjay Dutt in lead roles. Sridevi was the initial choice for the role but her untimely demise led to Madhuri's entry as the reclusive, stunning and evocative Bahaar Begum. It is a tale of unrequited love, pain, betrayal and revenge. The songs of the film Ghar More Pardesiya, First Class and Tabah are a rage already. Here is the movie review of the magnum opus...
What is it about...
Satya Chaudhary (Sonakshi Sinha) is looking for a new wife for her husband Dev (Aditya Roy Kapur) as she will die soon of cancer. She zeroes down on Roop (Alia Bhatt) who makes the compromise for her own reasons. Once in Husnabad near Lahore, Roop meets the reclusive Bahaar Begum (Madhuri Dixit) and Zafar (Varun Dhawan). She falls for Zafar but his friendship towards her is full of hidden motives. What is the relation between Dev and Zafar? Will Zafar's hatred burn down everyone or will love prevail in all it's glory?
Varun Dhawan is in fine form as Zafar. From being the boisterous lover boy to the young man dealing with abandonment issues, he nails it. Watch out for the scene towards the end at the climax. Kunal Kemmu as his best friend who turns power hungry at the end is brilliant. Aditya Roy Kapur and Sonakshi Sinha give their characters the much needed depth and dignity. Madhuri Dixit Nene looks stunning but her scenes could have been better. The dialogues by Hussain Dalal are weighty and match the pathos of the film. Though the film is set in the 1940s it gives great depth to it's women characters.
Meanwhile, Kalank is a fab film technically as well. Art director Amrita Mahal Nakai is one of the film's biggest heroes. She has beautifully created the world of Lahore's Hira Mandi. It is fantastical but gorgeous. Veteran cinematographer Binod Pradhan who is known for his collaborations with Vidhu Vinod Chopra has done a brilliant job capturing each frame with love and finesse. The songs of the film are situational. Shreya Ghoshal's vocals on Ghar More Pardesiya and Tabah are superb.
The length of the film is a huge issue. And it is mainly due to the songs. While they are situational, they hamper the narrative. The film is based on timeless love and some of the lines may not connect with the youth. They are just too philosophical for the Gen-Y crowd. The editing by Shweta Venkat could have been tighter. Kalank has a sweeping operatic feel to it, which again may not resonate with many.
Kalank is a fabulously mounted film with great performances. If you can overlook the length, it will be a good watch. This has to be one of Varun Dhawan's best.
3 out of 5
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