‘Kalank’ Is kalank On Its Pick 

  • 08-Dec-2019

There are several things that went horribly wrong in Karan Johar's mockery of a magnum opus, Kalank. The script, the screenplay, the acting, Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit's expressions behind those plastered, botoxed faces. And the dialogues. Oh, what horrors they were.

The one thing that didn't go wrong - hail, storm, fire, riot or some good ol' action - is Aditya Roy Kapur's Tintin hair. But in this week's Wahiyat Wednesday, we'll concentrate on the dialogues by Hussain Dalal.

Kalank is set in 1946, pre-Independence India. It doesn't matter the geographical setting of the movie, because we assure you there was no place in India back then that needed gondolas to commute (apart from a certain mall in Greater Noida). Just like there was no place in India where the people spoke like that.

The Hindi used in Kalank is heavy. It tries to speak Hindi the way Gulzar writes Urdu. And that right there is a recipe for disaster. Like Rachel's English trifle for Thanksgiving, it ends up being half Gulzar and half every internet poet ever, and a full fail!

"Mohabbat aur nafrat dono ke rang laal hai. Lekin farq yeh hai ki nafrat se duniya barbaad ho jaati hai aur mohabbat mein khud barbaad hona padta hai. Phir bhi kalank aksar mohabbat pe lagta hai."

Leaving the heady romanticism aside, have the dialogue writers never heard of the phrase "Make love, not war?" Doesn't that make the aforementioned dialogue null and void then?

But then, this was essentially just an elaborate attempt to include the name of the film, Kalank, into a dialogue. Even if we cut them some slack for this ambitious (read: ridiculous) attempt, at the end of the film you realise mohabbat was not the root cause of the riot that killed half the ensemble cast; it was nafrat. 

A particular exchange that stands out is between two supposedly strong female characters, Alia Bhatt and Sonakshi Sinha.

when Sonakshi tries to convince Alia to marry Aditya, while his first wife (Sonakshi, duh) is still alive, in the hope to ensure said husband has a happy life after the first wife is dead. Consent was given a 20-year Visa and sent on a world tour before this scene even began, but in this exchange, Satya basically uses reverse psychology to trick Roop into believing this whole thing is actually empowering, it is her choice, and that the only way she can take the reins of her life into her own hands is if she siphons herself over to her.

When Kalank failed, Karan Johar was left heartbroken. He admitted that somewhere down the line, his magnanimous vision didn't translate accurately on celluloid. He still hasn't apologised for the dialogues though. And we're waiting.