The teaser launch of Kalank saw the ensemble cast in raves about each other and the producers and director. For example, Varun Dhawan stated that Karan Johar was family, that his dad David Dhawan had been friends with Sajid Nadiadwala for years, and that writer-director Abhishek Verman and he had been roommates when both were assistant directors to Karan on the sets of My Name Is Khan. Varun also said that Sanjay Dutt and his dad had been friends and associates for decades.
In short, Kalank is Kangana Ranaut’s complete ‘Nightmare of Nepotism’ and here we go looking at more ‘Khandaani’ (family) Kalank Konnections.
Sajid Nadiadwala and Karan Johar have earlier collaborated on 2 States, the Rs. 100 crore-plus film that marked the debut of writer-director Abhishek Verman. Alia Bhatt was, of course, the leading lady then. Pritam, who scores Kalank, was supposed to do its music, but for just one of those reasons, it went to someone else. But Pritam has done Sajid’s Dishoom and Phantom, and Alia Bhatt has also starred in Sajid’s Highway, while Varun has worked on his Dishoom and Judwaa 2.
The latter film was directed by David Dhawan, who also had made Judwaa and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi for the producer. He also directed his son in Main Tera Hero and is making a third film with him.
Alia has her ninth film with mentor Karan—the eight earlier films are Student Of The Year and (in a cameo) Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (both co-produced and directed by him), and his productions 2 States, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Dear Zindagi, Kapoor & Sons and Raazi, with a tenth and 11th —Brahmastra and Takht (again directed by Karan)—to come. In Hindi cinema, it must be an unparalleled record that a star and a producer have done 11 films together in less than 9 years!
Of these, the two films in the …Dulhania franchise again starred Varun Dhawan, who, like Alia was also introduced in Student Of The Year. Maybe Karan needs to look at another heroine now for Varun, for Alia has had a grand slam of all four of their joint films over seven years!
And again, contrary to popular perception, this Johar-Bhatt association did not begin with her debut film but goes one generation up—for Mahesh Bhatt had directed two of Yash Johar’s productions, Gumrah and Duplicate!
And while Karan has produced Agneepath and Ungli with Sanjay Dutt, Sanjay was associated with his father Yash Johar in their 1993 Dharma production Gumrah. With Mahesh Bhatt, of course, Sanjay was always the blue-eyed boy, with Naam, Kabzaa (which kick-started the Bhatt banner!), Sadak, Kartoos and now Sadak 2, which will bring back Sanjay and Alia together.
Sajid Nadiadwala, too, had produced Andolan with Sanjay in 1995. David, who had edited Sanjay’s comeback film then after a long slump, Naam, directed by Alia’s father Mahesh Bhatt (!) in 1986, went on to direct Sanjay in his own directorial debut Taaqatwar in 1989, followed by Haeena Maan Jaayegi, Chal Mere Bhai, Jodi No. 1, Hum Kisise Kum Naheen and Ek Aur Ek Gyaraah as well as Sanjay’s own independent production Rascals.
Coming to Madhuri Dixit-Nene, she did a cameo in David’s Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan, while also entrusting him the direction of her home production Yaraana (1995). And Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit were the hot romantic pair of blockbusters Saajan and Khal-Nayak while also featuring in Ilaaka (where Madhuri’s hero was Mithun Chakraborty), Khatron Ke Khiladi, Kanoon Apna Apna, Thanedaar, Sahibaan and Mahaanta (1997).
Sonakshi Sinha opened her Dharma account with Ittefaq and Aditya Roy Kapur had a cameo in Karan’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. And well, this film and Dharma’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and the forthcoming Brahmastra have Pritam scoring the music.
Interesting, the Sinha-Johar association too began all of 39 years ago, when Karan’s father Yash Johar launched his banner of Dharma Productions with Dostana starring Shatrughan Sinha! Shatrughan too worked with David in Jurrat, Gola Barood and Aandhiyan, and with Sanjay Dutt in Insaaf Apne Lahoo Se and Adharm! And fatherShatrughan and daughter Sonakshi also did cameos in Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se last year.
And last but not the least, Abhishek’s father, veteran art director R. Verman, has worked on Sanjay Dutt’s Jodi No.1, Mahaanta, Daud and a couple of other films and on producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s Judwaa. So it is no mystery that the bond Abhishek shares with Varun also one goes one generation up—when R. Verman collaborated on Varun’s father David in Judwaa, Haseena Maan Jaayegi, Kunwara, Chal Mere Bhai, Jodi No.1, Ek Aur Ek Gyaraah, Yeh Hai Jalwa, Biwi No. 1, Deewana Mastana, Hero No. 1, Saajan Chale Sasural, Yaraana (Madhuri’s home production!), Coolie No. 1, Eena Meena Deeka, Raja Babu, Aankhen, Bol Radha Bol, Swarg and Jurrat—almost half of David’s films.
Sorry, Ms. Ranaut, this story of ‘Eternal Love’ (Kalank’s tag-line) runs completely in the (film) families!