Verdict: Kalank is an extravagant affair that leaves you in awe.

Kalank may not be directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali but comparisons were made to the veteran filmmaker’s works as soon as the film’s teaser was out. Then came the extravagant trailer, which gave us a taste of the grand period drama to come. If you were awed by what you have seen so far, Kalank will definitely live up to your expectations. With its big-budget production, Kalank is all kinds of grandiose. The film is a romantic drama set during the Partition, which also forewarns us about the bittersweet story of love and betrayal. It has a cast of Bollywood’s biggest actors who give us more to look forward to in this ostentatious affair.

What’s Kalank About: 

It’s 1946 and Satya Chowdhary (Sonakshi Sinha) from Husnabad, Pakistan receives the grave news that she has cancer. Accepting her fate, she is determined not to leave her family in a lurch. She requests an old family friend named Roop (Alia Bhatt) to care for her husband but the latter only agrees on the condition that he marry her. Selflessly, Satya convinces her husband Dev (Aditya Roy Kapur) for the marriage. Dev and Roop never consummate their nuptials as the former still only cares for his first wife. Meanwhile, Roop gets involved in the newspaper he runs and decides to do a story on the darker side of the city, which houses the infamous house of Bahaar Begum (Madhuri Dixit). There, Roop meets Bahaar’s son, the charming philanderer Zafar (Varun Dhawan) and sparks soon begin to fly. But Zafar has an ulterior motive – he despises his birth father Balraj Chowdhary (Sanjay Dutt), who also happens to be Dev’s father. Zafar seeks his birthright but fate may have other plans for him and his mulk.

What Works: 

Without a doubt, Kalank is beautiful to watch. Every frame could be a painting. The grand sets and costumes, along with the magnificent choreography, make it appear almost magical and the actors make it all even better. Alia Bhatt is undoubtedly the star of the film and controls every scene she is a part of, even if she is paired opposite the more experienced Madhuri Dixit or Sanjay Dutt. Madhuri fans also have plenty to watch out for because the actress is given considerable screen time in this 2-hour-50-minute film. Sanjay is cool and composed in his part and Sonakshi Sinha impresses in her limited screen time. More justice could have been done to Aditya Roy Kapur’s character but the actor holds his own in this multi-starrer film. Apart from Roop, Zafar is the only character with a visible graph and Varun Dhawan expresses it with the right mix of action and emotion. Besides the star cast, Kunal Kemmu makes an impact but more attention should have been paid on his character in a few scenes.

Kalank may have been produced by Karan Johar but it does have a new touch to it, brought by filmmaker Abhishek Varman. The director puts the whole film together with the right mix of Bollywood’s blockbuster elements – there’s plenty of romance, just enough action, some comedy, and even a political angle. All kinds of film fans will have something to enjoy in Kalank, which is by far Bollywood’s grandest film of the year.

What Could’ve Been Better: 

The only so-called kalank here is that a few dialogues may seem unnecessarily poetic and the dialects appear to be a little unclear. A shorter run-time and fewer songs would’ve definitely worked in the film’s favor.

Why You Should Watch: 

Kalank is a film you need to watch in theatres because the small screen will not do justice to this extravagant production. The premise is decent and the execution is near flawless, which is all made better by its massive star cast. It takes you back to the classic KJo-style love story, which is everyone’s guilty pleasure, so book your tickets right away to witness Bollywood’s latest grand affair.

Still unsure about watching Kalank? Check out more audience reviews below.