NEW DELHI: Karan Johar’s period drama production Kalank arrives in theatres this week after much anticipation.

The film directed by Abhishek Varman starring Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Sanjay Dutt is an attempt to map a love triangle onto the tragedy of the partition that goes awry, says Scroll. The film is too inchoate to strike a balance between the personal and the political. It works neither as an unusual love triangle nor a contemporary addition to the Partition genre.

You don’t enter a film like Kalank with a burst of anticipation, says The Wire. Rather you hope for a movie that is passable and springs sporadic surprises. But Kalank goes further: It continuously challenges your patience, forcing you to find the point in the pointless. An hour in, there’s no sense of stake, no momentum. Varman seems to have confused narrative for story, as if merely slapping one scene over another passes off as compelling drama.

For Hollywood fans, American supernatural horror film The Curse of the Weeping Woman directed by Michael Chaves starring Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velásquez comes to India this week. Rolling Stone calls it a weak spin-off of the Conjuring series that will haunt you for all the wrong reasons. To drum up chills, first-time feature director Chaves resorts to every cheap trick in the book, from squeaky doors and creaky floorboards to a shrieking score by Joseph Bishara. A few of them even work, but mostly the movie defaults to predictable jump scares at every turn.

Chaves uses a slow build-up to create effect but the tension is missing, says The Tribune. Linda Cardellini and the rest of the cast are sincere in their efforts to make it all seem believable but the effect wears off pretty soon. The plot doesn’t rouse-up from its pursuit of the mundane until the climax. This is not a classic horror film – just a fairly entertaining one.

Tamil action romantic drama Mehandi Circus directed by Raju Saravananan starring Madhampatty Rangaraj and Shweta Tripathi uses nostalgia to draw us into the story well, says The Times Of India. But what stops the film from being the epic romance it wants to be is that the beats of its story are only too familiar. We are able to predict where things are headed and how characters will behave long before they do on screen and this robs the film of novelty.

Tamil suspense thriller Vellaipookal directed by Vivek Elangovan starring Vivek remains sure-footed in its storytelling and keeps us engrossed even when it lacks assuredness in terms of form, says The Times Of India. It presents us with a solid mystery and unravels it with confidence. The director spends some time setting up the suspects, and though we are able to dismiss a few of the red herrings instantly, a couple of those are fairly convincing.

Telugu horror comedy Kanchana 3 directed by and starring Raghavendra Lawrence is predictable and boring, says apherald.com. The screenplay is high on clichés and Lawrence over-the-top.

Kannada thriller drama Thrayambakam starring Raghavendra Rajkumar and RJ Rohith directed by Dayal Padmanabhan is an earnest effort, but it could have been trimmed in the first half, says The Times Of India. The entire mystery and the scam in the second half ensure that the story picks up, but this track seems to be hurried up in a rather simplified manner.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Telugu sports drama Jersey, Kannada action comedy Paddehuli, Kannada action drama Punarvasu Nakshathra Mithuna Rashi and Marathi thriller drama Miranda House.

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