Sometimes, you really want a movie to succeed. Stars, director/producer, story, music whatsoever be the reason, you really want the movie to appease the majority. I really wanted ‘Kalank’ to be a movie liked by one and all. To be honest, this ‘want’ was primarily due to the the premise in which film was set up. Somebody attempting a period film is a rarity these days and unless it’s done by a certain Sanjay Leela Bhansali, nobody cares to sit up and notice. With all due respect to Karan Johar’s enthusiasm for making films that reeks of gloss, I was quite excited about someone making a film about a forgotten time. Unfortunately my excitement gave way to disappointment which eventually became bewilderment as I sat through the frames after frames of ‘Kalank’ unfurling on the screen. Film making is a privilege and for me, it is a chance given to the chosen few to tell their story. To squander such a privilege should be deemed criminal.

There’s no point in discussing the story because there really hasn’t been an effort to write one. It looks like the outcome of the workshop of a writing group who seldom agreed on any points. Otherwise why would one have Sanjay Dutt and not give him one bloody scene of importance? Roop, Alia’s character is supposed to be madly in love with Zafar, yet there is zero chemistry between the two. From the cast itself, one can remove Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha and that freaking VFX bull on pseudo viagra medication and nobody will notice the bloody difference ! And why on earth, have an item song, with the two male leads bonding over the most inane piece of conversation – how many girls one has slept with ? Really?

The most earnest performance of the film comes from Aditya Roy Kapur followed by Kunal Khemu. Both actors act within their limitations and are far better in comparison to their illustrious co-stars. Varun Dhawan, with his chiseled abs on display along with his hideous acting skills confirms what Albert Camus had forewarned a long time back – ‘In order to be, never try to seem’. Alia Bhatt, in a rare fallacy believes her role to be author backed, only to be remain shellshocked at the sheer banality of the script. Madhuri Dixit’s strength becomes her bane – she ends up dancing Kathak, at the drop of a hat. To be honest, despite these problems, I had made an genuine attempt to remain invested in whatever cock-and-bull story that was shown on screen. Even, I had high hopes at the interval point, when Zafar reveals his true intentions. Afterwards it was all mayhem.

When you don’t have a story strong enough to justify the hatred that the central character has, you go on adding pointless snippets to elongate a movie, that has already lost its mojo. Urdu, the lingua franca of the time the movie is set in, gets butchered in the name of stupidity. Awam, Kaum, Guftagu and then suddenly in an American accent, words like Advertisements, Journalist come out of the characters as us viewers, gape with open mouth in bewilderment.

Oh by the way, Kalank isn’t even an Urdu word!

The Cinemawala Rating – 2/5

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