Before April 17, 2019, KALANK was the movie everybody was eager to watch, people where seen racing against time, schedules, appointments, family matters, etc. today after five days - not even a week of its release, people right from day one are busy making fun and expressing their sheer disappointment.
Some movies are good, some are bad enough to disappear instantly from your memory, some are so precious that they become part of your life, and some are like KALANK, so bad that it’s an eerie haunt that refuses to go and keeps asking what went wrong with this touted epic directed by 2 STATES fame Abhishek Varman and produced by Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios, starring Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt and Kunal Kemmu.
(Read More: A reviewer's version of imagined KALANK)
Here are those brainless/completely unconvincing, surreal, juvenile reasons that has made KALNAK destroy all the expectations and made majority of the audience sing the song “tabah ho gaye” from the movie filmed on the dhak dhak queen Madhuri Dixit.
Alia Bhatt’s entry and her weird reason to accept Sonakshi Sinha’s equally surreal offer
KALANK is unfortunately the rarest experience where within five minutes; you start wondering with eyes rolling all over to find any convincing logic. Picture this – Satya (Sonakshi Sinha) is about to die in a year (or two), for reasons better known to the writers - Shibani Bathija (story), Hussain Dalal (dialogue), Abhishek Varman (screenplay), Satya wants Roop (Alia Bhatt) the daughter of a family somewhere in Rajashtan to come and stay in her household in Pakistan for a year. No family connection between Satya and Roop. There is no hint whether an heir to the aristocratic Chaudhry household is desperately needed. Satya’s husband Dev (Aditya Roy Kapur) loves his wife immensely. For what reason is Roop required in this house in any case?. Just because Satya’s family has helped Roop’s family doesn’t make strong grounds and even if it does then why on earth Roop insists on becoming the second wife of Dev?. And that’s not all, Satya who is going to die is ready to take that risk?, allowing her husband to marry Roop endangering her existence – she has only one year remember?, instead of making that time her most precious one with her husband, she decides to bring trouble in the name of Roop and there is no pressure of extending the Chaudhry family either. Still, for all the ‘ehsaan’ (favour) done by Satya and future of her younger sisters, Roop could have agreed for the ‘balidaan’ (sacrifice) stayed in Chaudhry’s house for a year and at the death of Satya things may have changed?. But here it’s all ‘raazi’, Satya makes a proposal, Roop accepts then Roop makes a proposal and Satya accepts. And what about Dev?, who is he?, it’s his house, his wife?, please ask him?, was he ever asked?, taken into confidence?
Roop’s desire to learn singing from Bahaar Begum (Madhuri Dixit)
KALANK is ruled by absurdity right from the word go, Roop the girl who was initially shown as crazy for kites, is a trained kathak dancer and singer (good). She enters Chaudhry’s household as the ‘choti bahu’ second wife of Dev. On the wedding night, Dev declares his complete loyalty towards Satya to Roop (then why did he agree for marriage?). Roop is supposed to take charge of her responsibilities but instead she throws a tantrum saying that she will oblige if she is allowed to learn music and dance from Bahaar Begum. Nothing wrong in her desire but the way it comes out is completely weird. Sitting comfortably in the Chaudhry’s mansion, Roop hears an alaap from Bahaar Begum. Bahaar Begum’s haveli / mansion / koti / palace, museum (whatever it is, is not next door), Alia goes to learn by taking a horse cart ride – the aristocratic ones that has cabins. What power, is Bahaar Begum the female version of Tansen?, she is said to be a ‘tawaif’ but her mansion which requires a mini boat ride to reach her, is bigger and grand then the Chaudhry’s haveli.
Alia Varun romance
Varun as Zafar remains the sweet, harami type, the difference is its 1945 and not 2019, but his looks, hair and dialogue delivery is almost the same. In fact the dialogue delivery of all the actors at most of the times is in sync with today’s times. Alia is in ‘Raazi’ mode forever, what makes them click we don’t know. This particular segment in spite of all the flaws till now, required solid power to blow all the negativity, chemistry should have been scintillatingly hot over here but alas nothing. Varun Dhawan playing the raffish charmer displaying his toned physic against that red-hot furnace while making those swords was all manipulation to show his chiselled body. Still, the chemistry between Varun and his sword during those times had some fire (joking), while the one, which could have changed the course dramatically – Alia, Varun was a silent thud nothing absolutely nothing.
Either Roop is the most vulnerable or she is damn practical. She agrees to be the second wife of Dev, she starts loving someone like Zafar who is always in danger getting slapped by women who don’t like such advances. She is also developing a bond with her husband. If she truly loves Zafar then why surrenders to her husband on that fateful night.
Beauty without soul, emptiness to the hilt
KALNAK has a huge canvas and it’s beautiful, but it’s completely out of sync and seems to be a desperate attempt to be the second cousin of Bhansali. It fails drastically, just looking gorgeous is not enough; it should be captivating and in sync with the era and should have the heart and soul. Item numbers like "Aira Gaira", "First Class'' and the dance movies, the costumes – all grandeur but with no authenticity, period study, attempt to make the audience dip in nostalgia and heart.
Ja roop jee le apni zindagi, or aajao zafar hum banaye apna ashiyana... what the hell was that unintentionally funny scoop of the iconic DDLJ (DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE) iconic train sequence. Picture this – it’s madness prevailing, Roop, Dev are leaving Pakistan, Zafar is helping them and going against his friend Abdul Khan (Kunal Kemmu – the only character with some conviction and logic behind his actions which you may agree or not) who supports the partition of India and Pakistan. A train filled with people all over during that madness is at the platform. Zafar manages to make Roop and Dev board that train which has people bumping around from all corners fighting for a single inch of space. The madly packed Virar local seems to be a joy ride in front of this train filled with people everywhere. Now, Roop has all the space in this scenario to lay her hand out and call for Zafar in ala Raj-Simran style in DDLJ. Roop’s hand stretching for Zafar from a moving train, she is about to fall from the train but rescued by Dev in a miraculous way, who is fighting with one hand and holding Roop with the other. While Roop is back to her business in asking Zafar to join her even after all these, her hand is stretched in that train crowded by people everywhere. How can Roop get all the space?. In DDLJ, the platform and train both where empty. Here there is emptiness everywhere else.
That’s the reason KALANK is a disaster that haunts with the song ‘tabah ho gaye’.
We can agree and disagree with a movie based on our likes, dislikes and preferences. Period dramas are prone to debates and that will continue till the end of time. KALANK is a movie and not life, so we should move on and we will, but when something is planned on such a mammoth scale with top names - Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios, it’s the right of the audience to expect something unique and at par with their reputation.
The makers didn’t have the ‘budget’ to have a script analyst or a script doctor to supervise this epic blunder? Or it is a clean case of overconfidence.
Whatever the reason behind the blunder, no one can take the audience for granted.