Karan Johar's dream project Kalank comes with a swanky star-cast and a whole lot of hype. I entered the movie theatre with no expectations, except the thought that most multi-starrers have failed to impress me. Only Karan Johar has managed to deliver a successful one, in the form of Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, and Kalank falls somewhere in that domain. The period drama, set during the time of partition, is extremely dramatic and very 'Bollywood.' Kalank, directed by Abhishek Verman of Jodha Akbar fame, is bold, beautiful, opinionated and awfully slow.
The film begins with numerous introductions, the star-cast crossing path and 'almost' bumping into each other until the storyline begins to take shape. But the second half of the film isn't as fast-paced. Before I get into further details, here are all the thoughts I had while watching Kalank for the first time.
1. This film has a legit intro like Game Of Thrones and I don't hate it.
2. The first scene is a spoiler. Sigh.
3. Alia Bhatt looks so grown up! There is a whole new spectrum of expressions which we've never seen her display before.
4. Don't do it, Alia, don't go with her! Sonakshi is just being selfish AF.
5. Disclaimer: Everything in the teaser is just the first 10 minutes of the film. There is a lot more drama that follows.
6. There is no way I could have guessed the order of these events...
7. There is some serious beef between Varun and Madhuri.
8. Woahhhh! There is a time leap in the story! Sorry, spoiler.
9. Look out for Kunal Khemu!
10. Alia is giving me major Rapunzel vibes, casually hanging by the window and humming songs.
11. Sonakshi is such a breath of fresh air, so poised and graceful.
12. Awww. Sonakshi and Aditya are so cute! Too bad it isn't going to last... and Alia really needs to get a fresh pair of clothes.
13. Alia and Aditya meeting for the first time is epic!
14. The OG love story is the one between Alia and Madhuri. These two look at each other with so much love.
15. Quick question, even the middle class in this film is super rich and live in Havelis?
16. Every single line in this movie takes a second to process. It's like reading Ghalib!
17. It's been an hour and we're still doing introductions! There are so many characters in this movie.
18. In a nutshell, Varun Dhawan is a combination of a gigolo and Aladdin. You're welcome for that visual!
19. Varun has the most annoying character but I'm hoping he becomes lovable (just like heroes do in most Hindi films.)
20. There was bullfighting in India? Dharma Productions better have done thier research.
21. You spent so much money on the film and the special effects are still terrible?
22. Aditya Roy Kapur looks too gorgeous in this movie!
23. I am in love with the soundtrack. Is it too soon to say that Karan Johar may have successfully pulled off a Sanjay Leela Bhansali?
24. Has Aditya forgotten about his wife? Bro, remember Sonakshi? Stop eyeing Alia.
25. Also, I wish Madhuri got a better makeup artist.
26. Oh shit, kahaani main twist. You will never guess who the bad guy actually is!
27. There is this 15-minute scene just before the interval that reeks of Karan Johar level drama. I get it, everyone fucked up!
28. What is with these heavy-duty dialogues? I can't even understand some of them!
29. The film is starting to feel like a horror movie where I'm constantly asking Alia to run in the opposite direction.
30. Sonakshi, what do you want? Seriously? Isn't this what you were waiting for? Make up your mind, woman!
31. Aditya Roy has never looked more attractive. Period.
32. I'm not crying, you're crying! Why did you have to break Aditya's heart...
33. These two brothers really need to sort their shit out.
34. Aditya Roy Kapur has just been yelling into the void since Aashiqui 2.
35. I can't ruin this for you, but this love triangle is bloody intense! Especially when the three come face to face.
36. Things are about to get messy! Who knew Varun Dhawan could play such an intense role.
37. Why do I have a feeling both the heroes are going to die in the end?
38. This climax seems more stressful than the last season of GoT.
39. I have goosebumps so I guess Karan Johar did something right.
40. Alia Bhatt is so savage.
41. Aditya Roy Kapur is the underrated hero we didn't know we needed.
42. This partition scene is giving me jitters!
43. So who's going to make it? Who is Alia going to pick? Who will make it to Amritsar? So many questions! Tell me already, it has been 3 hours!
44. Kunal Khemu is the reason I don't trust people.
It was one hell of a roller coaster ride, but Kalank is definitely just a one time watch. The film is a visual spectacle but Varun and Alia lack chemistry. Also, the ending goes on for an hour!
I would give Kalank 3.5/5 for just being a beautiful movie and telling an interesting love story. Because that's what it is, a Bollywood-style love story. Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditya Roy Kapur, Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt have definitely brought their A-game for the film. They have failed at capturing the historical relevance and impact of the partition. However, there is a lot more to the movie that deserves a theatre ticket.
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