• It’s a win for an espionage film if it is written half-well, especially a Hindi one. War is victorious on that count. The much shorter first-half scores because it passes by quickly and doesn’t feel like it was over an hour long. The longer second half has a lot more going on story-wise to keep you hooked. And this is despite some seriously patchy writing.

  • …as a whole, the film is a mix of hits and misses. It leaves you entertained, but if you were told you could nap instead, you would consider the option.

  • Dream Girl cuts almost straight to the chase, and after a very brief set-up, you land up in Karam’s (Ayushman Khurana) workspace, a call centre which services clients who need female company. Like you know from the trailer, Karam too is a call centre executive who naughty-talks his way into caller’s lives with his charm, wit and conversational personality. And this quickly leads to complications with his father, his fiancée’s family, the police, etc. Despite this quick pace, everything that happens until the interval, you already know from the trailer. To top it off, the makers wanted to cover this up with a “message” about loneliness. These bits make the film seem directionless even though it is focused on one story-line throughout. 

  • What also does the film good is that it walks the talk in its story. That it goes all “meta” on us by being just about ordinary is a call for us to be more accepting of failure. After all, in its own way, it is a love letter to its younger self. And no such letter can be called outright bad.

  • The film doesn’t make much of an impact on that count either. A couple of good jokes are watered down because the spontaneity dies a long death. It is as if the writers knew the weight of the punch line and slowed the reveal down. It literally transitions in slow motion! And this is only the beginning of the drama. The bright and loud town in Bihar builds up to an inevitably typical climax that made me want to scream, “nahhhhiiiiiiii.” Of course, that would fall to deaf ears, so you just sit through hoping against hope that all your predictions fail. Instead, the film slips and falls while bruising the viewer’s senses.

  • Anyway, as far as addressing mental illnesses goes, Judgementall Hai Kya doesn’t do any more harm than already done by Hindi movies, even if it doesn’t aim at respecting the affected individuals’ fate either. For that, I am grateful. Small mercies. In fact, the social cause is not on its priority list, and it works in the film’s favour. It aims to be a thriller and thrill it does not unless you call 2-inch long, flying cockroaches appearing on-screen thrilling.

  • …a film is not just made by the director or a handful of his supporting producers. It is also about the hundreds of others involved, and in this case, it is also about the man who has worked for almost two decades in guiding disadvantaged geniuses to their rightful places.

  • Kalank can be watched for its overall decent attempt at creating a visual experience, at taking the story beyond its usual one-line plot level, at paying some attention to character-writing and dialogue.

  • The humor is not always slapstick and every once in a while the action makes you sit up and watch, despite awful CGI and editing.

  • When a review becomes more about the viewer’s experience, emotions and thought-flow, it is a movie well-made, a movie one must watch. Even if you might want to watch it over and over again.

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