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KALANK is full of blemishes!

Opulent sets, colourful visuals, glittering costumes, heavy dialogue and an imaginary dreamlike city! Sounds like a Bhansali film? It almost is, only with a much more shallow, contrived and pointless script which labours on for nearly 3 hours. While it doesn’t bore its viewers, it doesn’t entertain either. Watchable, but not recommended!

Set in 1945, in Pre-Independent India, 'KALANK' is the story of a vivid and ethereal world, lost when the fire of Partition engulfs the city and the country. It's the story of the shades of reds in their lives as they yearn for hues of love while the city of Husnabad gets soaked in the reds of violence and revenge.

Writer/Director Abhishek Varman, who last directed the fluffy “2-STATES”, doesn’t really show any depth in his writing here as well. KALANK is artificial in all respects – the screenplay, the backdrop and the locations. Honestly, I don’t mind the unreal fanciful on-screen creation, but it shouldn’t be so insubstantial and hollow. Like in mythology, if the content is strong, it engages you, despite all the imaginary depictions. However, KALANK never really comes up with anything meaty at all. The twists are predictable and the conflicts, totally clichéd. The emotions too never strike a chord, as even some of these fine actors deliver their dialogues without any real expressions. The length of KALANK is another dampener, clocking in at 2 hours 50 minutes, which takes some patience to sit through.

Eventually what strikes you, is the gorgeous world that Varman creates. It’s adorned with magical visuals, pristine waters, splendiferous palaces, people decorated in gold and streets that beat Europe in beauty. But that isn’t quite satiating, as it seems like an imitation of a Bhansali film. The songs are plenty. However, it’s the title song alone that is at all hummable. Choreography is first rate, especially in the song “Ghar More Pardesia” and even the climax song where Madhuri shines bright.

There isn’t much to talk about the performances. Apart from Madhuri Dixit who seems to be emoting a bit, no one even makes an effort. Even actors as dependable as Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan end up delivering a performance which is mediocre at best. All others are strictly average.

Eventually, KALANK is a film with plenty of flaws, justifying its name. The content fails to match up to its visuals and considering all the talented people who’ve collaborated for it, it is definitely a huge disappointment!

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