They say Bollywood gives us unrealistic expectations of life. They say it makes girls believe that life is simply a Karan Johar film where everyone gets to wear the most exquisite clothes and dance around the beautiful French beaches in a chiffon sari. Well, little do they know that Bollywood actually did make us believe in the magical whimsical love that gets butterflies to whirl in your stomach. It did teach us the power of romance and fantasy that makes the world go round and round.
Yes, Bollywood makes a vital part of my life. Bollywood tops diamonds or even diamond studded roses. Let me put it in perspective. I am an expat in Sydney and I used to live in Dubai. I grew up consuming and loving Bollywood. When I moved to Sydney I was seriously worried about what and where to find the cinemas that play my Bollywood dreams. Where there is a will there is a way! Yours truly ended up finding Bollywood films in places where you would even find hard to get the infamous 'chai latte' and 'naan bread.'
Easter holidays in Australia are particularly lazy because there isn't much going on in the streets and most of the places are shut down either early or completely. Walking out of my warm thick bed was hence an ordeal. But anything for a Karan Johar film, ladies and gentlemen. Literally anything!
To be honest, I did not expect much from Kalank. The reviews weren't great. But, who cares? A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do! There I was with a cup of long black coffee to bring my sleepy eyelids to life. Hardly seven or a little more people in the cinemas were there to watch the film made my heart sink a bit but I should probably get used to it in a predominantly non-desi cinema.
The film begins with Alia Bhatt wrapping the audience around the fingers with her ethereal eyes and youthful energy. Since we Bollywood romantics believe in love at first sight, I knew there was no looking back. Kalank was here to keep me hooked till the end.
Set up in the pre-partition Lahore, Kalank is the stuff dreams are made of. I would humbly request the audiences not to rate this film on the basis of realism. Yes, the landscape changes from the majestic bazars of 'Heera Mandi' to some mountains and lakes for which Lahore has to travel some hundreds of miles. But hey, isn't this what dreams are made of? They give you wings.
The multi-starrer Kalank is a treat for eyes. The central characters Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt probably look their cinematic best. Sonakshi Sinha's role did not have much to offer anyway but she still did what she could to the best of her capabilities. Madhuri Dixit playing the role of a classic courtesan assures that no matter how much time passes she will always remain the queen. Though we expect Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit to have more screen time together there are surprises waiting for you. last but not the least, Aditya Roy Kapoor surely seems Apollo come to life (maybe a few more forgotten Greek gods who were worshipped for their heavenly looks but were deliberately skipped from history). The characters unfold in a predictable old school Bollywood fashion making sure you don't skip a heartbeat.
The music is what we expect from Karan Johar's Bollywood- it grows on you in a jiffy.
However, as per our unsaid unheard disclaimer, the views are purely personal. I am a product of old school Bollywood. If you are seeking political correctness, cinematic brilliance, genius plot or realism in the film, Kalank is not for you. For the rest of us who have grown up religiously watching and worshipping larger than life Bollywood,
Kalank is THE film to watch alone, with your best friend who doesn't watch a movie without nachos, with your mom who would get a ticket merely to watch Madhuri Dixit and probably all of them together as one big happy Bollywood family.
Yes, I am watching it again with a friend next week so that we can dance to 'Aao padharo piya' sitting on our seats after staring at our girl crushes Alia Bhatt and Madhuri Dixit in awe. We will live our Bollywood dream together.