There was much uproar when Kalank released on April 17 and many who watched the film criticised it for the long run-time, non-existent plotline and also the many mediocre performances. The film is available on Amazon Prime Video and for those who missed it at the theaters, they can now watch it online.
Since I did not watch the film at the theater, I caught up with the Dharma Productions extravaganza mainly to see what the fuss was all about. After all, films are a unique experience and I wanted to sit through it to form an opinion about it.
This post is full of spoilers.
There’s a big difference in watching films at a theater vs watching them at home, especially when it’s a long drawn out feature like Kalank. The film has a runtime of 2 hours 45 minutes which is hard to get through in one sitting. The slow pace of the paper-thin plotline gives you enough time to check your phone, go to the washroom, rush to the kitchen to get some popcorn and all of this doesn’t even require you to pause the film.
Characters go on with their eloquent dialogues that sound poetic but aren’t really that substantive. They move around in exquisite costumes on the palatial sets and you are left wondering that if the makers had these fancy plans for the film, why not invest a little more time in the writing?
Kalank is as mainstream as Bollywood can get. There is a large star cast but as you watch the film, it gives you the feeling that everyone was just passing the buck to their co-star and hence, no one really bothered.
Alia Bhatt looks disinterested and Varun Dhawan breaks your heart as he is on the verge of undoing everything that he did with October. Madhuri Dixit’s Bahaar Begum is suffering from a big Chandramukhi hangover here and her famous dancing skills are not enough to salvage Kalank. Sanjay Dutt, Sonakshi Sinha and Aditya Roy Kapur maintain the same expression throughout the film. There’s also Kunal Kemmu who is kind-of a villain but there are already so many people to keep track of that it’s hard to stay interested.
There is no doubt that Kalank is a product of hard work and it shows in the making of the film but is that enough? Projects like Kalank serve as a cautionary tale that films demand more than stunning visuals and if there is no meat to the story, pretty people dancing around in pretty costumes can’t save a sinking ship.
Kalank is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
Verdict: Glad I didn’t spend money on it.