Hindus and Sikhs murdered Muslims at the time, Muslims murdered Hindus and Sikhs, women of each community were raped, and property burnt down or stolen as human beings turned to savages in one of the bloodiest tragedies in the subcontinent’s history. There were devils and decent people on all sides, and though nationalists on both extremes would have us believe otherwise, no one group has a right to claim sainthood or even the status of the lesser evil or to exonerate itself of the havoc wrought in that period.

The period drama, directed by Abhishek Varman, has been the talking point ever since its official trailer surfaced online. Kalank has taken a fantastic start at the box-office. The film has registered 40 per cent occupancy in its morning shows on Day 1, which is greater than those of the Akshay Kumar-starrer Kesari and the Ajay Devgn-starrer Total Dhamaal, two of the highest-grossing films of the year. Keeping in view the wide release of the film – it is being shown on over 4000 screens across India – one can expect the numbers to go even higher in days to come. The Good Friday holiday, too, will work tremendously in its favour. It is important to mention that Kalank is no Padmavat. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s 2018 release was ugly, overt and unapologetic about its Islamophobia. Varman — who debuted with the vastly superior 2 States has given Kalank a quieter tone and a sweet Muslim hero. In some ways, however, this makes his film arguably more harmful because it is drawn up in such a way to lower even a concerned viewer’s antennae despite the hate-filled socio-political reality in which we find ourselves.

A report on Box Office India goes on to claim that Kalank may well emerge the biggest opener of 2019. This does seem like a possibility owing to the partial holiday of Mahavir Jayanti today. With Rs 21.06 crore, Kesari is currently the highest-opening film of this year.

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