Directed by: Abhishek Varman
Starring: Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt
Genre: Drama, History, Romance
Release date: 17 April 2019
Running Time: – Minutes
Budget: Rs. 80 Crore
Kalank is an upcoming Indian Hindi-language period drama film directed by Abhishek Varman and produced by Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios. It stars Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt. Principal photography began in April 2018 and the film is scheduled for release on 17 April 2019.
The film was conceptualized by Johar and his father Yash Johar around fifteen years ago. Actress Sridevi was initially signed for the character role played by Madhuri Dixit. Production designer Amrita Mahal was brought onboard to work on the set’s design and structure that represented old Delhi mohalla with a mahal in Film City, Mumbai. Sajid Nadiadwala, owner and producer of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and Karan Johar were present during the clap shot of Kalank. The cost estimate of the set was reportedly ₹15 crore.
Principal photography commenced in Film City, Mumbai on April 18, 2018. Madhuri Dixit and Aditya Roy Kapur joined the cast from May 31, 2018. Filming of an introductory song featuring Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Kiara Advani with nearly 500 backup dancers was completed on May 7, 2018. Rehearsals for a second dance number featuring Dhawan, Kapur and Kriti Sanon began on May 31, 2018. On June 2, 2018, a few leaked stills from the film showed Dixit donning an anarkali outfit and pasa / jhumar (hair jewellery). Sonakshi Sinha joined the cast from June 14, 2018 for a fifteen-day filming schedule. She is paired opposite Kapur in the film. The third schedule of filming was postponed due to injuries to Bhatt, Dhawan and Kapur and was rescheduled to commence two weeks later. Sonakshi Sinha has finished filming her part in kalank. Alia Bhatt announced the film wrapped on January 9, 2019.
Kalank Movie Trailer:
Kalank Movie Review:
Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Madhuri Dixit shine in a stunning but soulless film
First things first, this is a gorgeous film. Ostensibly set in pre-Independent India, Kalank instead appears to have been staged inside a ‘Good Earth’ catalogue curated by Baz Luhrmann. In a disreputable neighbourhood, a courtesan stands in her doorway while gondoliers paddle about in what looks to be a moat behind her, and later, when she feels the need to cry, she walks first to the centre of the elaborate golden motifs painted on her floor before dropping to her knees and wailing cinematically. This is as baroque as it gets.
Directed by Abhishek Varman and shot by the masterful Binod Pradhan, the makers of Kalank not only want every frame to be a painting, but every dialogue a proverb, every scene a portent. The result is beautiful but tedious, an opera that needed a stout songstress to warble through it midway. We see revolutionaries in different shades of mustard, since it is set around the kite festival of Basant Panchami, but as Kalank goes on, we are conditioned to the exorbitant colours and their matching — from scarlet umbrellas to marsala walls and columns. Yet it jars when rioters holding swords march in fiery streets, dressed as if they’d first bickered about a suitably Prussian shade of blue.
“You sing well,” says the courtesan to a young ingenue, “but there isn’t enough salt.” This search for the indefinable namak goes a long way in Indian art, and the older woman blames the blandness on the lack of spice in the girl’s life. The girl — Roop (Alia Bhatt) — may agree, caught in a passionless marriage via Victorian circumstances: a wealthy woman with a few years to live wants Roop to be her husband’s bride after she passes away. The arrangement is mechanical until Roop, inevitably, can be caged no more.
The names are literal. The pretty girl is Roop, the outsider Bahaar Begum, the husband is Dev (like in pati-dev), the upright lady is Satya and the boy who wins women over is named Zafar, meaning victor. Played by Varun Dhawan, his eyes tinged with kohl and misery, Zafar brings Kalank alive, a blacksmith forging swords with serrated edges, and lines even more lethal. Zafar says he doesn’t lay a hand on a woman without permission or payment, and an awestruck Roop wonders aloud that even he must have a limit. He may not. “Inhi tez jumlon se Heera Mandi ke auraton ke dil kaat rakhe hain,” admires his friend, emphasising how in a film where all lines are poetically potent, Zafar often gets the last word because of the sharpness of his phrases.
Dhawan is super, understanding the melodramatic syntax, making the audience root for him. Bhatt is fine in their scenes together, but otherwise appears reluctant to embrace this gaudy a cinematic style, while Sonakshi Sinha, as Satya, is rather effective as a woman perpetually biting her tongue — and biding her time. Aditya Roy Kapoor is suitably detached as Dev, a man wondering where to start rebuilding his life, while Sanjay Dutt does little but glower in silence. Above them all reigns Madhuri Dixit, playing Bahaar Begum with stately grace, her tear-filled eyes unmistakably flashing with defiance. Despite an odd, Kathak-caricaturing dance, Dixit outdoes even these extraordinary backdrops. The lady is an enchantment.
From verbose lines to obscene opulence, Kalank is too theatrical and stage-y to feel current, which is where the old-world setup works… until it doesn’t. More attention is paid to the chikan embroidery on the husband’s kurtas than to the climactic revolution, and the third act exposes the story’s hollowness while the film flits inconsequentially between timelines. The end asks the audience a question, but it means little.
The visuals linger. A necklace fastened around Roop’s neck with velvet drawstrings; a fake bird in a theatre performance spectacularly getting its wing cut off; a harp the size of a house; and the first time Zafar meets Roop. During a Ram-Leela performance at Dussehra, he shows up with wet, blue-skinned Rams rising from the water behind, and when the lovers touch, burning Ravana heads cast a glow on their encounter. Kalank often feels too much, and I only wish it made me do the same. It is a stunningly plated meal, but needed salt.
Kalank Movie Songs:
First Class | Varun D, Alia B, Kiara & Madhuri | Arijit Singh | Pritam | Amitabh | Abhishek Varman
Ghar More Pardesiya – Kalank | Varun, Alia & Madhuri | Shreya & Vaishali | Pritam | Amitabh | Abhishek Varman
Kalank – Audio Jukebox