I had been looking forward to watching Kalank ever since I saw the song Ghar More Pardesiya which features Alia Bhatt’s dance. So much beauty in a frame, was the only thought which crossed my mind.

And watching the movie yesterday, the thought was very justified I believe. The movie is a visual delight, and after a long time have I actually wanted to listen to the lyrics of the songs of a Hindi movie. But the best part of the movie is portrayal of its women characters – each etched out with a strong personality of her own.

The movie opens with the character of Satya (Sonakshi Sinha) who comes up with a proposal of getting another wife for her husband Dev. While this seems difficult to digest, if one really thinks about it, isn’t love all about being selfless?  Her character portrays that to the hilt. The relationship between Satya and Dev is poignant and beautiful – the love palpable and respectable, like it should be in a marriage. Though she does admit to feeling jealous later in the movie, when she sees Roop and Dev getting closer, a match which she herself made. A very human emotion. The strength of this character and the things she does for love are admirable.

Kalank  is a visual delight, and after a long time have I actually wanted to listen to the lyrics of the songs of a Hindi movie.

The second strong female character in the film is Roop, a woman who falls in love with a man outside of her marriage, which is just a compromise, and her struggle with the choices, given the societal norms. The dichotomy is shown when Bahaar Begum, Madhuri Dixit, says to Roop, ‘Aap shaadi shuda hain. Aapke shohar ek ache aadmi hain,’ and Roop retorts, ‘Sirf ache hona kaafi hai?’

Only when a woman as much as thinks of straying away from a marriage, it is Kalank, right?

Does a woman have freedom to choose as her heart desires? Or is she always to be afraid of what the society will think? Does her happiness ever count? Or only the societal norms do? If so, why? Also, why does the burden of suppressing desires, better still, not feeling them at all, lie only mostly on women? Only when a woman as much as thinks of straying away from a marriage, it is Kalank, right? Does a woman not have right to her happiness? Finding love? Fulfilment? Desire? These questions and many more are raised in this layered costume drama.

The third strong woman character in this magnum opus is Bahaar Begum who is played by Madhuri Dixit. She is a courtesan who stopped dancing due to some reason, and now takes singing lessons. Her voice is what draws Roop to her. It is later revealed in the movie is that she fell in love with a married man, and conceived a child from him, whom she decided to bear. Unfortunately, when he did not accept her, she abandoned the child in a hope that maybe he might? Through the course of the film Begum makes a lot of mistakes which many of us do in real life. It happens, but do women ever forgive themselves? Or continue to live in the guilt of making the mistake forever? How important is it to forgive others? And forgive self? The pain is exquisitely described in the lyrics of the song ‘Tabaah Ho Gaye.’

However, if you don’t like opulent Hindi movies, skip this one. Costumes, jewellery, and melodrama – this movie has it all. So this one definitely is not a realistic film, and thus you must walk into the theatre with the right set of expectations,if you intend to enjoy it. Watch it for some fabulous crafting of characters, dialogues, songs and above all, classic love…. That undying, unconditional kind, which most of us still believe in.

Picture Credit: YouTube screengrab

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Surbhi Rastogi is the Community and Outreach Editor at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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