Kalank (transl. Stigma; Hindi pronunciation: [kələnk]) is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language period drama film directed by Abhishek Varman and produced by Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and Fox Star Studios. It stars Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt. It is a period drama set in 1945 in the pre-independence British era. Principal photography of the film began in April 2018 and was released on 17 April 2019 on 5300 screens worldwide making it the widest Bollywood release of 2019 as yet. Made on a budget of ₹150 crore, which includes print and advertising costs, the worldwide gross collection of the film is ₹142.15 crore. Despite becoming one of the top ten highest grossing Bollywood films of 2019 at the time of its release, Kalank emerged as commercial failure.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Abhishek Varman|
|Written by||Hussain Dalal|
|Screenplay by||Abhishek Varman|
|Story by||Shibani Bathija|
Aditya Roy Kapur
|Edited by||Shweta Venkat Mathew|
|Distributed by||Fox Star Studios|
|Box office||est. ₹142.15 crore|
Lahore, 1946: Satya Chaudhry (Sonakshi Sinha), is told by her doctor that she's got cancer and will die soon. She goes back to her native village in the Rajputana area and requests her childhood acquaintance, Roop (Alia Bhatt), to provide companionship to her husband, Dev Chaudhry(Aditya Roy Kapur) who is running a liberal newspaper. Roop agrees on the condition that she will marry Dev to which Satya agrees. Once married, Dev tells Roop that he still loves Satya and that their relationship will only be cordial and platonic. A depressed Roop takes solace in music, which she begins learning from the madam of a brothel, Bahaar Begum (Madhuri Dixit). She also begins working in her husband's publishing house. Roop expresses interest in writing about the condition of the locality in which the brothel is located, during which she interacts with a womanising blacksmith named Zafar (Varun Dhawan).
Zafar wants to exact revenge on his parents, Bahaar Begum and Balraj Chaudhry (Sanjay Dutt) (who abandoned Zafar after Balraj ended his extramarital affair with Bahaar) by seducing Roop, as she is married to Balraj's legitimate son, Dev. Roop misconstrues Zafar's intentions and falls in love with him. She also begins to develop a friendship with Dev, much to Satya's pleasure. Satya dies after urging Dev to give Roop a chance and to forgive Balraj for his affair. In another effort to humiliate Balraj, Zafar instigates communal hatred in his friend, Abdul (Kunal Khemu), by demanding for the partition of India on religious lines, which Balraj and Dev do not support.
When Balraj becomes aware of Roop and Zafar's affair, he confronts Bahaar Begum and Zafar. Bahaar, who disagrees with Zafar's approach, warns Roop. Heartbroken, Roop consummates her marriage with Dev, but insists that she would never be able to love him. As Abdul Khan's political stance gains leverage, riots against Hindus and Sikhs in the city take place, during which the Chaudhry's decide to flee to Amritsar with the help of Zafar, but not before Saroj (Achint Kaur), the benevolent maid, is brutally stabbed to death. Zafar confesses to Roop that he eventually fell in love with her, despite his early intention. While boarding a train, Zafar is murdered by Abdul, as Roop and Dev escape. Ten years later, Roop and Dev, still in a loveless marriage, are interviewed about their experience by Aditya, a journalist documenting the partition.
- Madhuri Dixit as Bahaar Begum
- Sonakshi Sinha as Satya Chaudhry
- Alia Bhatt as Roop Chaudhry
- Varun Dhawan as Zafar
- Aditya Roy Kapur as Dev Chaudhry
- Sanjay Dutt as Balraj Chaudhry
- Kunal Khemu as Abdul Khan
- Pavail Gulati as Aditya
- Achint Kaur as Saroj
- Pawan Chopra as Dharampal (Roop's Father)
- Hiten Tejwani as Ahmed
- Kiara Advani as Lajjo 
- Kriti Sanon (special appearance in song "Aira Gaira")
The film was conceptualised by Johar and his father Yash Johar around fifteen years ago. Actress Sridevi was initially signed for the character role played by Madhuri Dixit. Production designer Amrita Mahal was brought onboard to work on the set’s design and structure that represented old Delhi mohalla with a mahal in Film City, Mumbai. Sajid Nadiadwala, owner and producer of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment and Karan Johar were present during the clap shot of Kalank. The cost estimate of the set was reportedly ₹15 crore. Sajid Nadiadwala and Sanjay Dutt come together after 24 years with Kalank.
Principal photography commenced in Film City, Mumbai on 18 April 2018. Madhuri Dixit and Aditya Roy Kapur joined the cast from 31 May 2018. Filming of an introductory song featuring Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Kiara Advani with nearly 500 backup dancers was completed on 7 May 2018. Rehearsals for a second dance number featuring Dhawan, Kapur and Kriti Sanon began on 31 May 2018. On 2 June 2018, a few leaked stills from the film showed Dixit donning an anarkali outfit and pasa/jhumar (hair jewellery). Sonakshi Sinha joined the cast from 14 June 2018 for a fifteen-day filming schedule. She is paired opposite Kapur in the film. The third schedule of filming was postponed due to injuries to Bhatt, Dhawan and Kapur and was rescheduled to commence two weeks later.. Sonakshi Sinha has finished filming her part in Kalank. Alia Bhatt announced the film wrapped on 19 January 2019.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||14 April 2019 |
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Zee Music Company|
|1.||"Ghar More Pardesiya"||Shreya Ghoshal, Vaishali Mhade||5:19|
|2.||"First Class"||Arijit Singh, Neeti Mohan||4:36|
|3.||"Kalank - Title Track"||Arijit Singh||5:11|
|4.||"Tabaah Ho Gaye"||Shreya Ghoshal||5:42|
|5.||"Aira Gaira" (Extended)||Antara Mitra, Javed Ali, Tushar Joshi||5:41|
|6.||"Rajvaadi Odhni"||Jonita Gandhi||4:00|
|7.||"Kalank - Title Track" (Duet Version)||Arijit Singh, Shilpa Rao||5:11|
|8.||"Ghar More Pardesiya" (Radio Edit)||Shreya Ghoshal, Vaishali Mhade||4:18|
|9.||"Aira Gaira"||Antara Mitra, Javed Ali, Tushar Joshi||4:48|
|10.||"Kalank - Title Track" (Bonus Track)||Arijit Singh, Shilpa Rao||5:08|
Marketing and release
In a series of first look posters characters of the film were revealed on 7 March 2019. It presented the male lead actors of Kalank Varun Dhawan as Zafar, Aditya Roy Kapur as Dev Chaudhry and Sanjay Dutt as Balraj Chaudhry.  On 8 March 2019 to coincide with the International Women's Day characters in the film of Alia Bhatt as Roop, Sonakshi Sinha as Satya Chaudhry and Madhuri Dixit as Bahaar Begum were revealed. The official teaser of film was released on 12 March 2019 by Fox Star Hindi. It recorded forty million views since its release. The official trailer of the film was launched on 3 April 2019 by Dharma Productions. It fetched more than 24 million views since its release on YouTube.
The first song of the film "Ghar More Pardesiya" was released on 18 March 2019 and the second one "First Class" was released on 22 March 2019. The title track released on 30 March 2019. The fourth song "Tabah Ho Gaye" featuring Madhuri Dixit was released on 9 April 2019. The song has usual characteristics of Dixit. It is sung by Shreya Ghoshal and liked by the audience. The fifth song of the film "Aira Gaira" was released on 13 April 2019.
The film was scheduled for release on 19 April 2019, but to get benefits of extended weekend the release date has been changed to 17 April 2019. A special screening of the film was organized for selected audience on 14 April 2019 prior to its release. Kalank was certified by British Board of Film Classification and Australian Classification Board with runtime of 166 minutes and was released worldwide on 17 April. The film was released on 5300 screens worldwide making it the widest Bollywood release of 2019 as yet.
Raja Sen calls it "..an opera that needed a stout songstress to warble through it midway." Rachit Gupta of The Times Of India finds, "Kalank a true labour of love that tells you a story laced with beautiful moments that will tug you at your heartstrings." Praising the acting of ensemble cast he rates it with three stars out of five. Taran Adarsh rates the film with two stars out of five and though praised the star cast for their acting he finds the film 'disappointing'. Writing for NDTV Saibal Chatterjee praises Madhuri Dixit and Alia Bhatt for their screen presence and concludes long review as, "Kalank has unmistakable contemporary resonance because it celebrates the transformative power of love and reconciliation in a time of rampant discord. It is worth a viewing not only for what it says, but also for how it says it." Writing for The Indian Express Shubhra Gupta gives it one and half star out of five and says, "Kalank doesn’t really lift off the screen. The whole feels like a giant set, stately and ponderous and minus impact; the characters all costumed and perfumed and largely life-less, sparking only in bits and pieces." Raja Sen writing for Hindustan Times rated the film with two and half stars out of five and praised Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Madhuri Dixit for shining in stunning but soulless film. He feels that 'it is a stunningly plated meal, but needed salt.' He says, "Directed by Abhishek Varman and shot by the masterful Binod Pradhan, the makers of Kalank not only want every frame to be a painting, but every dialogue a proverb, every scene a portent. The result is beautiful but tedious, an opera that needed a stout songstress to warble through it midway." Nandini Ramnath writing in the Scroll.in points out that the movie glamorized the partition by replicating kitsch aesthetic, and added, “The sets that are meant to enhance the big-screen experience end up creating a distance from the messiness of the emotional conflicts.” Anupama Chopra of Film Companion rating it with three stars out of five opines that Kalank is likely to be the most visually stunning film of this year. She says, "The film is an operatic fantasy filled with staggering sets, swirling fabric and heartache, but to enjoy it, you must wholly suspend disbelief.
Kalank's opening day domestic collection is ₹21.60 crore. This is the highest opening day collection for Bollywood films released so far in 2019. From overseas markets it grossed ₹46.50 crore and from domestic circuit ₹95.65 crore. The overall worldwide gross was ₹142.15 crore
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- "The head of the table with a formidable iron fist. Presenting Balraj Chaudhry. #MenOfKalank #Kalank @duttsanjay". Twitter.com. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
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- Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (18 April 2019). "Top *Opening Day* biz - 2019... 1. #Kalank ₹ 21.60 cr [Wed] 2. #Kesari ₹ 21.06 cr [Thu] 3. #GullyBoy ₹ 19.40 cr [Thu] 4. #TotalDhamaal ₹ 16.50 cr Note: Hindi films. ₹ 10 cr+ openers included in the list. India biz. #Kalank is the biggest opener of Varun and Alia to date" (Tweet) – via Twitter.