Kalank Reviews (Top Critics)

By Komal Nahta

Roop (Alia Bhatt) marries an already married man, Dev Chaudhry (Aditya Roy Kapur), under strange circumstances. Dev is married to Satya (Sonakshi Sinha) who, in fact, welcomes Roop. But Dev tells Roop that since he loves his first wife, she (Roop) should not expect any love in their relationship although she would get all the respect. Dev is the editor of a newspaper which supports industrialisation.

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By Devesh Sharma (3/5)

Karan Johar is known for his larger-than-life films but this one, produced by him and directed by Abhishek Varman, beats them all by a mile. The opulence of the film almost blinds you. You marvel at the attention to detail as the fictional Husnabad comes alive in front of your eyes. The grand sets of Bahar Begum's (Madhuri Dixit) haveli are something straight out of the famous Versailles Palace in France.

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By Urmimala Banerjee (3/5)

Karan Johar's Kalank is the project, which is closest to his heart. It was a story he had discussed with his dad, late film producer Yash Johar and he had loved it. Years later, the film, Kalank directed by Abhishek Varman of 2 States fame is hitting the theatres. It is a love story set in the pre-Partition India. The film stars Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Sanjay Dutt in lead roles.

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By Rahul Desai (1/5)

In Kalank, Varun Dhawan plays a muscular, and therefore perpetually bare-bodied, Muslim blacksmith named Zafar in pre-Independence Lahore. At one point, Roop (Alia Bhatt), the married woman he is wooing, asks him, "Tum sab mein buraayi kyun dhoondhte rehte ho?" (Why do you find flaws in everything?), to which a half-serious Zafar replies: "Kyuki mujhe achaayi se darr lagta hai" (Because I fear goodness/quality). Zafar doesn't know it, but he is a living, breathing allegory for a Hindi film critic in 2019.

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By Sukanya Verma (2.5/5)

What makes the great costume dramas of Hindi cinema so awe-inspiring is their ability to transfix and transport the viewer into another time. It could be built around fantasy or traditions but its success entirely depended on the people inhabiting this all-consuming world.

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The Hindu
By Namrata Joshi

Kalank is a strange film that leaves one's head in an odd whirl. Set in 1944-46 Lahore, on the cusp of Partition, it flits from one opulent set to the next - from lavish Husnabad (a fictional neighbourhood in Lahore) havelis to bustling streets of Heera Mandi, the abode of the courtesans. Here, people are often seen travelling by gondolas in canals reminiscent of artificial ones in The Venetian Macao.

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By Priyanka Sinha Jha (3/5)

Abhishek Varman's much-anticipated film Kalank, despite the mixed verdict from critics, opened to a good audience turnout. Yours truly, who had missed out on the morning show found it practically impossible to get tickets for an afternoon show as theatres were completely booked. It was kind of reassuring.

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By Vishal Verma (2.5/5)

The price you have to pay for a forbidden ishq (love) done chori chori... Roop (Alia Bhatt) from India gets married to Dev (Aditya Roy Kapur) in Pakistan owing to pressure, unavoidable circumstances and urge from Dev's first wife Satya (Sonakshi Sinha). In her sasural, Roop falls in love with Zafar (Varun Dhawan) and things take epic turn when hidden secrets are out.

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By Mohar Basu (2.5/5)

Not the one to get wooed by the scale and production value of a film, I can't help but be smitten by the sheer beauty of Abhishek Varman's Kalank. In 2019, when Netflix rules our lives, this film is a rare cinematic experience that blends in opulence, glamour with a solid story about a family torn by its own skeletons in the closet. There is a story of a star crossed pair, infidelity and how it destroys the world around them.

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By Umesh Punwani (1/5)

Set in 1946 in Husnabad which is apparently close to Lahore in the Dharma-world (but in reality, it's in Telangana), and we can see snow-clad mountains as Zafar (Varun Dhawan) plays the sport of Bullfighting in Spanish-style. Roop (Alia Bhatt) while running after a falling kite starts dancing with the villagers and complains about how hard it was to catch the kite. Satya (Sonakshi Sinha) is dying because of a fatal disease and wants Roop to marry her husband Dev (Aditya Roy Kapur), because why not?

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By Meena Iyer (3.5/5)

Set in the 1940s in pre-Independence India at Husnabad, the plot revolves around a Hindu family that comprises Balraj Chaudhury (Sanjay), his legitimate son Dev (Aditya) and his daughter-in-law, Satya. It also juxtaposes this semi-aristocrat publisher's equations with Zafar (Varun), an ironsmith, who is being raised in the notorious neighbourhood of Hiramandi, where a tawaif, Bahaar Begum (Madhuri) runs her kotha.

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Hindustan Times
By Raja Sen (2.5/5)

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.

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The Indian Express
By Shubhra Gupta (1.5/5)

There's a lot going on in Kalank: pre-Partition rumblings between Hindus and Muslims in Husnabad near Lahore, illegitimate sons, dutiful daughters, 'tawaaifs' and 'gaana-bajaana', incurable diseases and wasting wives, all wrapped in love and betrayal and revenge. It's the kind of crowded multi-star cast movie which used to be made to appeal to a worshipful fan base back in the 70s.

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By Anna M.M. Vetticad

Between one and two million people are believed to have been killed and 15 million displaced from their homes, in the brutal aftermath of India's Independence and Partition. Hindus and Sikhs murdered Muslims at the time, Muslims murdered Hindus and Sikhs, women of each community were raped, and property burnt down or stolen as human beings turned to savages in one of the bloodiest tragedies in the subcontinent's history.

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By Bollywood Hungama (2/5)

KALANK is the story of lovers not destined to be together. The year is 1945. Satya Chaudhry (Sonakshi Sinha), wife of Dev Chaudhry (Aditya Roy Kapur) is diagnosed with cancer and she is told that she has just a year or maximum two years to live. Realizing that Dev will be shattered after her demise, she decides to find a second wife for him. Her search takes her to Rajputana, Rajasthan where Roop (Alia Bhatt) resides.

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By Ananya Bhattacharya (2/5)

How do you look at illicit relationships? Do you look at an extramarital affair as a taint - kalank, if you will - or just pure simple love? Kalank delves into these questions and does this in the shallowest possible manner. Kalank is painful. Not in a good, cinematic, cathartic type of way. It is just physically painful to get through the near-three-hour film and reach the end without wanting to walk out of the theatre. The only redemption in this mind-numbingly boring tale of star-cross'd love is the performance by the lead actors.

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By Nandini Ramnath (2/5)

Yash Chopra examined the Partition of 1947 both directly (Dharmaputra, 1961) and indirectly (Waqt, 1965). In his 1978 film Trishul, Chopra and screenwriters Salim-Javed turned their attention to a more intimate kind of division, one caused by perfidy and cowardice. Amitabh Bachchan played the illegitimate and rejected son of a builder, who extracted his revenge by competing with his father to put phallic symbols of his rage on the horizon and driving a wedge between his siblings.

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The Times Of India
By Rachit Gupta (3/5)

A complex love story set during India's Partition era, where the young Roop (Alia Bhatt) is torn between respect for husband Dev (Aditya Roy Kapur) and her newfound love for Zafar (Varun Dhawan). While their back stories and heart-breaking love saga unfolds, the history of India takes an epic turn, from where there is no coming back

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By Saibal Chatterjee (3/5)

Opulent sets, visual luxuriance, intense emotions, a luminous Madhuri Dixit who still emotes and pirouettes like a dream and a stunningly on-top-of-her-game Alia Bhatt make Kalank a near-spotless movie experience. On the surface at any rate. The production design and the cinematography are first rate. Screenwriter-director Abhishek Varman orchestrates the resources at his disposal - they are no doubt enormous - with flair and a sense of proportion.

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Taran Adarsh
By Taran Adarsh (2/5)

One Word Review... Kalank: DISAPPOINTING. Doesn't live up to the expectations... Writing, music, length play spoilsport... Few dramatic portions work... Second half engaging in parts... Good climax... Varun, Alia, Madhuri, Aditya, Kunal Kemmu top notch.

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